An artist's impression of the
An artist's impression of the "village green" area of the proposed Aureus development on The Coast Rd at Skennars Head. Contributed

'I want to build stuff, not have arguments': Developer

UPDATE, 2.30pm: THE developer of a major Skennars Head subdivision is hopeful they will have conditions cleared up early in the new year.

Intrapac chief operating officer Max Shifman said they had hoped the 229 residential lot subdivision which makes up stage one of Aureus and also includes a commercial area, would be approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel yesterday.

But the panel deferred its decision, pending Ballina Shire Council's review of alternative conditions put forward by Intrapac.

"They've got to have time to do that," Mr Shifman said.

"It should be by the end of January, at the latest."

Mr Shifman said their key goal was to remove "deferred commencement" conditions from the pending approval, which would mean more must be done before they can begin work on the site.

He said deferred commencement could potentially leave them with "some unworkable commencement conditions" which would hamper progress on the site.

A limited release for stage one saw the company list 40 blocks for sale, all of which sold.

"There's clearly a lot of interest in this project," Mr Shifman said.

"We want to get on with the job. I want to build stuff, not have arguments about tiny (details)."

JRPP chairman Garry West said their decision would come after a further review from the council and more engagement with the applicant.

He said while 30 days would ordinarily be a suitable deadline for this, given the impending festive season they would have the matter resolved "as soon as possible".

He said the panel was "reasonably supportive" of the development, pending the resolution of some issues.

"The big point of difference between the council and the applicant was each party's understanding and view of the ecological assessment," Mr West said.

He said Intrapac felt they'd made a "robust assessment" while the council wanted more work done in this area.

"I think one important outcome… is the lot that runs parallel to The Coast Rd and is going to have some drainage on it, there was some question on it being dedicated in total to council," he said.

"The applicant had been requesting council to give them credit against their section 94 water and sewage charges for that transfer."

But at yesterday's meeting, Intrapac indicated they would transfer council that land without any further credit request.

"That is a very positive aspect of the proposal and is one, I think, will help," he said.


Original story: THE future of a proposed $22 million subdivision remains undetermined.

Plans for a 229 residential lot subdivision at Skennars Head, known as Aureus, went before the Joint Regional Planning Panel at a meeting in Ballina on Wednesday.

Ballina Shire Council had recommended the panel approve the subdivision "by way of deferred commencement consent".

But representatives for developer Intrapac urged the JRPP to approve the DA and remove the deferred commencement conditions.

Skennars Head resident Christine Fry told the panel she supported the council's wildlife corridor and offset conditions.

She expressed concerns, however, about the "size and location" of the estate's commercial space and the presence of medium density residential zoning.

But this matter has been separately dealt with through a planning proposal, recently approved by the council and set to be gazetted by the State Government.

Representing Intrapac, Jenny Rudolph said deferred commencement conditions could make future mediation difficult and urged the panel to support the proposal and their suggested amendments to the council's conditions.

"We believe it's got strong merits," she said.

"We request that you support our application with the necessary conditions."

Bill Knobel, also representing Intrapac, said he didn't believe the company and the council were "too far apart" in relation to the conditions.

He said they hoped to resolve their few disagreements soon.

"This matter has been on the books for a long time," he said.

"There are only a few unresolved matters.

"Our preference is not to have them as deferred commencement items.

"We want to get stuck into it."

Intrapac's suggested amended conditions will be considered by council staff, who will create a new report for the JRPP.

Pending this further information, the panel's chair, Garry West, moved that they delay their ruling on the matter.

"Broadly, I think there's merit in the submission," he said.

"I think we are better off to defer determination today."

He was supported by his colleagues.

Mr West said the panel would not hold another formal meeting on the subdivision, but would deliver their decision online.

It's expected this will be in the new year.

Intrapac will be approached today for further comment on the delays to the project.