Pottsville High School site back in the spotlight
THE future of Pottsville High School is up in the air again as developers submit new plans for a controversial housing development.
Newland Developers has submitted another development application for a 72-lot subdivision comprising 69 residential houses at the Seabreeze Estate in Pottsville, despite losing an appeal in the Land and Environment Court over a similar application for the same site lodged in June 2015.
Last year the LEC ruled in favour of council's decision to reject the original application for a 65-lot residential subdivision to protect the land earmarked for a future high school.
Councillor Chris Cherry said the latest DA had left the community questioning why the developers, who were currently developing the Altitude Aspire estate in Terranora, would resubmit the application.
"It's a bit of disbelief that it's been put in again,” she said.
"It will obviously be assessed on its merits but it's hard to understand the reason for the resubmission. It's very hard to work out what's going on, especially after the LEC hearing last time... (when) the commissioner said strategic planning is the correct option for this block and really seemed to agree with council that a high school was a really good outcome.”
Cr Cherry said she had heard rumours a private educator might be interested in the site.
She said the Pottsville community was in desperate need of a high school, especially as the population continued to rapidly grow.
"We need a school, whoever provides it, whether it's public or private.
"Pottsville is growing so fast, we're looking at a population that's almost the same size as Murwillumbah and yet (there's) no high school.
"Dunloe Park will most likely have a primary school and then the case for a high school will be stronger.”
Cr Cherry said while "strategic planning might not happen tomorrow”, there needed to be some thought into what was needed for the growing Pottsville community moving forward.
"There has been some comment on social media that we need more housing and that is true but there is planning in place to provide that at Dunloe Park, Kings Forest and Cobaki,” she said.
"We just need infrastructure to catch up with it.”
Mayor Katie Milne said she was also worried about the DA, especially after council had already spent enough money defending its original decision for the site.
"Protecting the Pottsville High School site at Seabreeze is a case in point that we are currently having to reconsider despite council previously winning a case in the Land and Environment Court,” Cr Milne said.
Newland Developers have been contacted to provide comment.
Public submissions for DA18/0133 are open until Friday, April 13.
Visit www.tweed.nsw. gov.au/PropertyEnquiry.