Why Ballina council rejected church's rezoning plan
LATEST: A PROPOSED rezoning of a 9ha piece of land for future development, owned by the Roman Catholic Church, has been rejected by Ballina Shire Council.
The planning proposal would have provides for the subdivision of an additional 20 residential allotments at Cumbalum.
Council adopted a the report by council staff recommending not to approve the request.
Councillor Keith Williams said the rezoning could not be approved as there are well-known noise issues in that area.
"It's not just upper floor issues, or something that will only occur every now and then. That area will have consistent noise issues from the highway on a number of these blocks at ground level that is not able to be remediated by a sound barrier," he said.
Cr Sharon Cadwallader reminded her fellow councillors of the possible koala habitat in that area of land.
"The north and wester parts of the site are affected by potential koala habitat. This is really important stuff," she said.
Jason Fox, from TTM Consulting, speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church, presented a deputation to council in favour of the proposed rezoning.
The proposal was unanimously declined by council.
Original story: THE Lismore Catholic Diocese's plan to rezone land it owns at Ballina Heights to pave the way for future development may not be successful.
At Thursday's meeting, Ballina Shire Council will look into a proposal to amend the Ballina LEP 2012 in relation to a 9ha parcel of land at Mitchell Close, Cumbalum.
The land is owned by the Roman Catholic Church.
Part of the land is zoned R3 (medium density residential) and the rest is RU2 (rural landscape zone).
The request is to rezone the RU2 area to R3, while replacing the current minimum lot size of 40ha for the RU2 portion of the land to a new minimum of 450 sqm.
The planning proposal would provide for the subdivision of an additional 20 residential allotments.
Documents submitted to council by Ardill and Payne last June, on behalf of Catholic Church, St Francis Xavier's Parish, explained the intention was to "enable the future construction of dwelling houses, dual occupancies, multi-dwelling housing and residential flat buildings."
But council has been recommended to decline the planning proposal, on the basis that "rezoning land for residential purposes would not be in the public interest, having particular regard for noise impacts and associated implications".
Council's staff highlighted three main issues with the request ‒ noise, the land's topography and the fact that it is potential koala habitat.
"The submission does not undertake a comprehensive assessment of the land's suitability for urban development," the document stated.
"Rather, the proponent requests application of the R3 Medium Density Residential zone applied to the whole of site, despite (...) environmental constraints affecting parts of the subject land.
"The key issue affecting the suitability of the subject land to accommodate urban development is road noise associated with the Pacific Highway.
"Slope stability assessment indicating that approximately one third of that part of the site (western parts) having either a medium or high likelihood of slope instability and having grades in excess of 20 per cent slope.
"Koala habitat mapping indicating the northern and western parts of the site are affected by potential koala habitat."
The Ballina Parish was contacted for comment via the Catholic Diocese if Lismore.