Skennars Head development plan slammed

Through an online petition the Facebook group Skennars Head Community, has attracted 1050 signatures and many comments against the installation of the traffic lights in this development.
Through an online petition the Facebook group Skennars Head Community, has attracted 1050 signatures and many comments against the installation of the traffic lights in this development. Samantha Poate

BALLINA Shire council have entered the "reasonably early stages of completion" of sifting through about 90 submissions related to a development application to subdivide an old Skennars Head farm.

Development Services Manager Andrew Smith said an important stage had been reached about what the community's concerns are.

"It's fair to say a significant issue that emerged is the proposed signalised intersection," Mr Smith said.

He said council was confident and hopeful they could work through the issues before meeting again with the proponents in a few weeks.

Prior to submissions closing last Friday, The Skennars Head Community Group made it clear they had several other concerns about the first stage of the DA of the residential subdivision, including the removal of Norfolk Pines, traffic lights should instead be a roundabout, a visual impact on the community and the density of the lots.

Skennars Head Community Group member, Lee Middleton said the density of the proposed development is "a big issue for the people".

"My opinion is the Intrapac development will be a lot denser than the Angels Beach development," Ms Middleton said.

"It's a prime piece of land across from the beach. It shouldn't be a ghetto.

"The more lots you get in there, it needs to be balanced with more community space."

A petition against the lights started by the group has attracted 1050 signatures and Ms Middleton said the main message of the community group was "developers shouldn't decide the type of community we live in".

The proposed subdivision, to be carried out in stages, is expected to cost more than $20 million and will involve the construction of a new access to The Coast Road incorporating the Sharpes Beach Car Park Access junction with a signalised intersection.

In a conversation last week Intrapac Property's Chief Operating Officer, Maxwell Shifman, said as the developers the vision is to create a "modern, walkable coastal village".

Part of that, he said was it's "fundamental to have a variety of different dwelling types and densities supported by quality architecture".

Proposed for the site is an activity centre which will encompass local retail and food and beverage offerings, as a big part to have "safer, healthier and more interesting places that reduce the outdated reliance on driving for everyday needs".

The removal of vegetation, including the "thin out" of Norfolk Pines was also thought by the action group to "devalue the character of the coastal community" but Mr Shifman assures there will be "lots" of vegetation planted throughout the site.

Intrapac has proposed traffic lights due to safety aspects and the dedicated time option they provide to pedestrians and cyclists, Mr Shifman said.

Topics:  northern rivers development petition skennars head skennars head community group

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