Tweed Shire Council says the Tweed has lost 6600 new residential lots because the roads required to service three major residential subdivisions cannot be funded under the State Government’s new $20,000 developer contribution cap.

Councillors voted unanimously at Tuesday night’s meeting to tell the NSW Department of Planning that choked access roads will substantially reduce the number of approvals they can issue at Cobaki Lakes near Tweed Heads, Kings Forest near Kingscliff and ‘The Rise’ development at Bilambil Heights.

Mayor of Tweed Councillor Warren Polglase said the planned road infrastructure required to service the three major land releases in the Tweed could not be built due to a projected funding shortfall caused by the new cap.

“The NSW Government has said we can raise annual rates to fund the shortfall. It is morally abhorrent that we should hit up ordinary ratepayers to fund developer’s infrastructure, and we won’t do it,” Councillor Polglase said.

“Growth in the Tweed Shire is twice the State average and three times the national average. We have a tremendous responsibility as elected members to deliver the infrastructure required for that type of growth.

“It would be irresponsible of us as a council to allow development to occur when we are unable to meet infrastructure needs. And it’s not just roads under threat – it’s public libraries, parks, community facilities and bus shelters.”

Without the additional road connections being provided by council, the developments will be constrained indefinitely. Other implications are that housing land availability will be reduced and the cost of residential land in the Tweed will rise substantially.

“The irony is that the State Government’s own population projections tell us to plan infrastructure to provide for substantial population growth on the next 25 years – yet they make it impossible for us to service that growth,” Councillor Polglase said.

“We have spent just $76 million on a new water treatment plant and committed another $35 million on sewer treatment infrastructure to service the growth we’ve been told we must have – and now this government’s own policies threaten to make those facilities expensive white elephants.

“This council has made a very bold and courageous decision in maintaining the growth in a sensible manner and that is now under threat.

“A large proportion of the people who live in the Tweed Shire are involved in some way with the construction industry and it is one of our major employers.

“We want to encourage young families to live in our beautiful shire and they also need jobs and affordable housing.”

Cobaki Lakes is being considered by the Department of Planning as a Part 3A Development Proposal with 5300 lots planned. Council estimates show that only 3007 lots could be serviced before access roads choke.

The unfunded infrastructure for Cobaki Lakes includes the duplication of the bridge over the Tugun Bypass to four lanes (with later upgrade to a full interchange) and the extension of Cobaki Parkway to the south with a bridge over Cobaki Creek connecting to Piggabeen Road.

Kings Forest is also being considered by the Department under Part 3A legislation, with 4500 lots planned. Council estimates that only 1267 lots could be serviced before the Tweed Coast Road is choked.

Under the cap, future developer contributions would not be sufficient to provide for the required duplication of the Tweed Coast Road to four lanes from the Chinderah Interchange to Casuarina.

The existing network connecting ‘The Rise’ to Scenic Drive and Piggabeen Road is constrained by the capacity of Kennedy Drive.

To view the Council reports and minutes, visit Council’s website and click on ‘Council meetings’.