Kings forest a 'future slum'
AN attempt by developers of the planned Kings Forest township on the Tweed Coast to provide “affordable housing” by creating tiny blocks of land has sparked fears children will have no backyards to play in and the housing could turn into future slums.
The concerns prompted urgent talks last week between representatives of development group Leda and council planning officers who have cautioned the NSW Department of Planning against the extra-small house lots.
Tweed mayor Warren Polglase yesterday confirmed the urgent talks had been held with the company and warned the Tweed Coast may not be the right area for low-cost housing.
Environmentalist Jim Warburton, who has been fighting with others to protect koalas currently living on the 880-hectare site inland from Casuarina Beach, said the small house lots would be slums of the future and create social problems by jamming low-income and unemployed people into high-density housing.
Under Leda's plans, some house lots would be just 175 square metres - less than half the minium lot size of 450 square metres currently allowed in the Tweed.
So-called “traditional detached dwellings” would be “generally on 550-square-metre lots” - half the size of old-fashioned “quarter-acre” town blocks.
Leda would also create its own Kings Forest development code in place of the council's existing rules for the rest of the shire. In a report to councillors, planning staff this week warned: “The code overrides council's existing planning provisions and provides a housing choice of lots less than 450 square metres and as small as 175 square metres, presently not available in the Tweed”.