Kids and adults alike love the creek by the bridge at Coral Avenue, Mullumbimby, but fear for its future after a DA has gone in for sports fields further along. (Top, left to right) Sheryl Harper, Sally Tansley, Mehil Beckerman and kids.
Kids and adults alike love the creek by the bridge at Coral Avenue, Mullumbimby, but fear for its future after a DA has gone in for sports fields further along. (Top, left to right) Sheryl Harper, Sally Tansley, Mehil Beckerman and kids.

Concern for sports fields plan

CORAL Avenue runs beside the showgrounds in Mullumbimby, a narrow, pot-holed little road that meanders over the creek, much loved by walkers, cyclists, horse riders and joggers, and a magic place for local kids who can muck around in the creek and pat the horse in the nearby paddock.

But now many locals fear for their continuing pleasure in Coral Avenue after a development application appeared in the local press recently.

The DA is for Tallowood Ridge Sports Playing Fields, submitted by the same developer yet to gain approval for a large residential estate off Left Bank Road, Tallowood Estate.

Sally Tansley is one local concerned about the ramifications of the development application.

Sally said she was shocked to see the application submitted to council for the development of ‘Tallowood Ridge Sports Playing Fields’ in Coral Avenue.

“I was confused as to where it might be, as there was no DA notice on the fence in Coral Avenue, and it was only when I went down to council to look at the plans that I saw the location (off Clays Road), and then found the notice on the fence on Tuckeroo Avenue, off Left Bank Road,” she said.

 “The proposal was detailed in the paper as being a ‘subdivision to create public open space incorporating three sporting fields, two tennis courts, basketball court, public road and car parking’, but nowhere does it make mention of the fact that the proposed submission actually seeks consent to build two roads that will essentially connect Main Arm Road and Left Bank road via Coral Avenue and Clays Road.”

It is the construction of these two roads, as well as the unsuitability of the site for sports fields, that has many locals feeling uneasy.

“The implications for the access road that the developers want are massive,” claimed Chincogan Estate resident Sheryl Harper.

“The high volume of traffic that would result from connecting Main Arm Road and Left Bank Road would require a major upgrade to both Coral Avenue and Clays Road, a cost that council would have to pay for.

“What the developers term an access road is in fact a major thoroughfare, at 20 metres wide the biggest road in Mullumbimby, one that would change the rural nature of the area and create a large volume of traffic noise.”

Other locals do not want the sports fields there at all, citing flood-liability of parts of the land as well as incompatibility with the Mullumbimby Settlement Strategy of 2000 that emphasises the need to ‘enhance the Brunswick River and its creeks, have walkways and trails throughout town and across the Brunswick River, and create additional open spaces and green linkages throughout Mullumbimby’.

There is scepticism about the motives of the developer in giving the playing fields to the community. 

“The developers say that they propose to dedicate the sporting fields to council as a public reserve, which on the face of it seems generous,” said Sally Tansley.

“But in fact they are giving the costs of upkeep to ratepayers.”

Sally Tansley and Sheryl Harper are among many who would like to alert the community to the full implications of the development application, and particularly on the amenity of Coral Avenue/Clays Road.

“I love that area, and often go down there, either walking or down to the creek with the kids," said Sally.

"Those natural areas are really important.”



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