Supermarket divides opinion
RESIDENTS of the upmarket Tweed Coast township of Casuarina Beach have become divided over plans for a major supermarket and new housing lots on land previously set aside for open space, a bikeway and drainage swales.
The community division last night left Tweed Shire councillors with the decision of which homeowners and investors to please, and which ones to infuriate.
The township's developers had applied to change the original 'master-planned' concept which ten years ago gave great emphasis to natural drainage swales and open space.
The new plan would create 56 new residential and commercial blocks and provide a supermarket with an associated shopping complex as part of a long-awaited town centre - partly on one of those main drainage swales.
Earlier this week nearly 70 residents met to voice their concerns that the council would reject the latest plans and delay the town centre further, but last night other homeowners appealed to the council to protect the swales and open space.
It was revealed the Santai resort owners' corporation opposed the new changes and one nearby homeowner, Andrew Robinson, told councillors he and others such as the Santai unit owners had bought their properties because of the open space.
“We designed and built our house to take in the benefits of the swale and easement,” he said, adding that the swale gave the reassurance of “fail-safe drainage”.
“Why should the residents who have bought and built on the edge of the swale be forced to sacrifice their lifestyle?” he asked.
Councillors were left battling with the issue with a decision due to be made late last night.
Council planners were against any change because the open space provided important open flood drains and a cycleway linking the beach with sports fields.
They argued that the dev- elopers should revise their concept to conform to the original plan approved by the Land and Environment Court in 1998.
Engineering chief Patrick Knight warned the open drain provided “a fail safe storm- water conveyance system” designed for once in 100-year storm flows.
He said because it was open it could cater for “much larger storm events”.