MORE than 80 Casuarina residents joined forces yesterday in opposition of a report to be considered by Tweed Shire Council that may further delay construction of the $50 million-plus town centre project.
A report to tomorrow's Council meeting is asking councillors to vote against Casuarina developers Consolidated Properties using parcels of council land for the supermarket and mixed retail development.
The report also recommends the town centre, which is planned to include a 2500-square-metre supermarket; 1160sqm of retail shops and restaurants; 400sqm of office space and 242 car parks, should be relocated opposite the beach, rather than the Tweed Coast Road.
“Council is trying to flex its muscle about the project because the State Government is the consent authority,” said Casuarina Residents Association president Rob Bryant.
“Yes, there are some concerns about the plan, but even the residents who are concerned about easement and drainage issues are in favour of the town centre going ahead.
“Most of us bought into Casuarina thinking there would be a town centre built; now Council seems to be trying to stall the plan.”
Consolidated Properties development manager Steve Pink said the recommendation that councillors not give owners consent for parcels of council land to be developed as part of the project would not stall company plans to start construction by the end of the year.
“It's frustrating that Council would consider stalling this project in the current economic climate, when we are shovel-ready and it would create about 200 permanent jobs and 250 during construction.”
Meanwhile, business owners in Pottsville are “not concerned” about the town centre plan as its economic modelling did not include drawing trade from the area.
“There is a proposal for a centre with a supermarket around 2000sqm with retail stores to be built at Cabarita, and in its application it says that it has included the Pottsville community in its planning,” said Pottsville Beach Business Association president Tania Murdock.
“That is why we are opposed to the Cabarita development but see no threat from the Casuarina plan.”