The site of a proposed marine industrial plan on School Rd, Palmers Island.
The site of a proposed marine industrial plan on School Rd, Palmers Island.

Residents up for fight against marine industrial plan

RESIDENTS near a proposed marine industrial precinct at Palmers Island say the plans approved to go back to the State Government's planning Gateway are riddled with holes.

Yamba Marina owner and Palmers Island resident Peter Sutton said the details of the plans revealed at last week's Clarence Valley Council meeting were light on detail and relied on outdated information .

The council voted to send Yamba Welding & Engineering's revised plans for the site on School Rd, Palmers Island, back to the Gateway, on the casting vote of deputy mayor Jason Kingsley.

"The plans include reference to a giant wall, more than 8m high and 300m long, but don't adequately explain how it will work and what effect it will have on the neighbourhood," Mr Sutton said.

"The traffic studies they rely on are no longer relevant because of all the traffic that will come off the new bridge and the acoustic studies are four or five years old. There are lots of holes in them"

Mr Sutton said the Palmers Island community could not understand why the company's owner, Bill Collingburn, had been so adamant to locate the expansion of his business on Palmers Island.

"It's in the wrong place," he said. "There's 200 acres at Harwood Marine already zoned as a marine industrial precinct."

"He wants to put a marine precinct with four-storey industrial buildings among 10,000 macadamia trees, prawn farms, homestay businesses and mandarin orchards. It doesn't make sense."

Mr Sutton had nothing but admiration for Mr Collingburn's success as a businessman.

"We think it's important businesses like his continue to bring jobs to the Lower Clarence," he said.

"Bill runs a good and successful business, but we think in this case he's got it wrong."

Mr Collingburn has described his plans for the site as "clean and green".

And he said the design of the acoustic barrier would ensure residents would hardly be aware of the site.

"All our buildings are concrete, which absorbs noise, and the acoustic barriers will be so well designed our neighbours won't be able to see or hear us," he said.

He admitted there was still a long way to go before the marine precinct gained development consent.

"I expect there will be a bit of going backwards and forwards before that happens," he said.

"Overall, I would like to be building boats out there in two years."

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