Don Beck wants prime agricultural land rezoned for a development.
Don Beck wants prime agricultural land rezoned for a development. Craig Saddler

Proposal on prime Cudgen farmland ‘poor planning’

FORMER MP Don Beck is seeking to build a $20 million seniors housing development on prime Cudgen farmland that he was previously pushing as the site for the new Tweed-Byron police headquarters.

But council staff have criticised as "poor planning" the proposal to rezone lot 13 Cudgen Rd to allow for construction of 261 90sq m apartments and 155sq m town houses.

The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure have requested feedback from council about the Trust's application for a site compatibility certificate for the development which is required before a DA can be lodged with council.

In a report to council, staff list several constraints to the application including the area being deemed of state significance for agriculture and the impact on adjoining farming activities.

Staff recommended more time be sought to assess the application which was supported by councillors at Thursday night's meeting.

"Urbanising one parcel of land at this location is considered poor planning and if a move away from rural and agricultural use is envisaged a wider planning exercise should be undertaken," council staff concluded in their report.

In 2010, Mr Beck was controversially calling for the land to be rezoned to allow for the proposed police headquarters.

Mr Beck's company Kingscliff Land Unit Trust bought the Cudgen site for $4.5 in 2004.

He was the member for Murwillumbah (renamed Tweed in 1999) between 1988 and 1999.



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