Group vows to fight development

Members of the Suffolk Park Progress Association gather on the proposed development site at Suffolk Park.
Members of the Suffolk Park Progress Association gather on the proposed development site at Suffolk Park.

The Suffolk Park Progress Association will fight a development application for a medium-density development at Suffolk Park which it says will have a huge impact on the site.

 The development application from Reef Break Solutions is for 52 units in 13 residential flat buildings each containing four two-bedroom units for a 3.3 hectare site on Broken Head Road adjacent to the Suffolk Park Service Station.

The application, which has been recommended for approval by Byron Shire Council staff (subject to conditions), will go before council at its meeting today (Thursday).

An on-site inspection was held on Tuesday with members of the progress association and council.

Progress association spokesperson Bernie Petry said the development had been in abeyance for more than two years, with several objections from the community raised at a meeting in December 2007 in terms of flood-plain management, traffic issues and wildlife protection.

He said that while the association was not against development on the site, it was the size and scale that raised concerns.

“Only about 30 per cent of the site is suitable for development, and with 52 units proposed, well, it’s not what I would call medium density,” Mr Petry said.

“The development will have an impact on the flood-prone land from drainage, as the land currently acts as reservoir for stormwater from Byron Hills.”

“It will also impact on Tallow Creek, especially downstream, and the proximity of the development to the Suffolk Park roundabout would mean huge traffic congestion problems.”

Suffolk Park resident Helen Brown said the site was flood-prone and was unsuitable for development.

The association is also opposed to the visual impact of the development.

“The number of dwellings needs to be reduced by one third and the spacing between the blocks of units should be increased,” Mr Petry said.

“People are going to be living on top of each other.

“The DA also contradicts the current Development Control Plan which ‘promotes social and economic welfare of the community by providing housing choices’ by offering such small and cramped conditions for residents.”

 Mr Petry said there were also soil contamination issues and the association wanted to know how the council was going to deal with it.

He said the association also wanted to know to what extent would there be access from the site via the Kalamajer/Korau laneway from just the residents of the developed site, or to all pedestrian/bike traffic, and with parking proposed at the eastern side, would there be 24-hour lighting?

“Why is there provision for noise reduction for the site from Broken Head Road, but no protection for the residents on the north/east/south sides from noise from the proposed development?” Mr Petry said.

One Suffolk Park resident said there had been very little consultation with the community.

The report to be presented to council today said that 36 submissions had been received in relation to the DA, with 33 opposed and three in support.

It said that the proposed development was not located in the vegetated northern part of the site nor the part of the site on the eastern side of Tallow Creek.

“The existing ecological values are capable of being maintained and enhanced and a condition requiring a Biodiversity Conversation Management and Landscaping Plan is recommended that will bring about this objective,” the report said.

“The visual impact of the development is acceptable, given the existing mixed character of development in the locality, and the layout of the development and the capacity for front setback landscaping. The dwelling density complies with the relevant DCP 2002 provisions and will provide for an increased range of housing options.”

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