FURORE by some opponents over controversial plans for the new Nightcap Village township west of Murwillumbah has been blamed for potentially dangerous vandalism on a neighbouring acreage estate.
Firebug vandals last week torched a sign advertising the eco-friendly Mebbin Springs project on the opposite side of Kyogle Road near Kunghur to the township planned by Peter van Lieshout.
The fire, which was intended to destroy the sign, had it not been so poorly lit, could have easily engulfed nearby trees and spread into surrounding properties.
Spokesperson for the Mebbin Springs project John Quarry said confusion over that development and Mr van Lieshout’s planned township was probably behind the blaze which occurred on Wednesday night after Tuesday night’s Council decision.
"It seems to have been a spur-of-the-moment job," said Mr Quarry.
"Thankfully they didn’t get it properly alight, because the area is surrounded by forest.
"People who light fires are dills.
"But in their feeble and pathetic attempt to light the fire, they split and wrecked the sign."
Mr Quarry said the Mebbin Springs project had only ever proposed 66 house lots, each with an average area of about 0.4 hectares, or one acres. More than 140ha (350 acres) would be left "just as it is now".
On top of that he said the project was "all five-star environmental standard."
"Unfortunately there’s been a lot of confusion over the years with people mistaking one development for the other," he said.
"But the main point is it’s stupid to light fires.
"Thank God, they were hopeless at lighting fires."
* For more see tomorrow's Tweed Daily News.