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

Coastal property's rezoning given the nod from council

A PLANNING proposal for a possible North Coast development site will be referred to the State Government for rezoning.

Ballina Shire Council voted to endorse the planning proposal for a 33.96 ha parcel of land at the Stewart Farm in Skennars Head at Thursday's meeting.

Max Shifman, chief executive officer at developer Intrapac, welcomed the decision.

The rezoning - which allows for 5400sqm of commercial floor space - will now go to the State Government for gazettal.

"That could take four to six months to get gazettal, but we can start working on our DA now," Mr Shifman said.

"We're obviously very happy that it's gone through."

The planning proposal includes a reduction of the low density residential area from 282,900 to 241,400sqm, a creation of the new 29,200sqm medium density area and an increase of the neighbourhood commercial zone from 870 to 13,200sqm.

55,800sqm of environmental protection zone has remained unchanged in the plans.

Councillors had deliberated on whether they were happy with the allowed commercial floor space.

The council's consultant had recommended 5000sqm, but Mr Shifman said he was pleased the council accepted the larger space.

"It was really in the margins, at the end of the day," he said.

Councillors had last month voted to defer the matter to a briefing to consider options for reducing the allowed commercial floor space.

But Crs Phillip Meehan and Eoin Johnston then lodged a rescission motion, which was supported in a 5-3 vote on Thursday.

A motion to endorse the planning changes - which will amend the Ballina Local Environment Plan -and authorise the council's general manager to proceed to implement the changes was then won 6-2.

In the meeting, Cr Meehan said an information session about the proposal had clarified Intrapac's plans.

He said the R3 (medium density) space in the proposal was "no bigger in size than R3 in the adjacent Skennars Head area".

"I think we have, together as a group reached an agreement on R3 zonings," he said.

A separate $22 m subdivision - known as Aureus and containing more than 200 lots - is also planned for the Stewart farm and that development application will go before the Joint Regional Planning Panel for determination, pending an assessment report from the council.