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Northern Rivers Local News

Fears proposed residential tower will ‘obliterate’ Tweed neighbourhood’s amenity and charm

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The proposed “Tweed Heads” development

Fears proposed residential tower will ‘obliterate’ Tweed neighbourhood’s amenity and charm

By Margaret Dekker

A proposed 104-unit ‘monolithic’ development in the heart of old Tweed Heads is already proving devastating for local residents before it’s even built.
Retired electrical designer Dennis Stevenson, whose balcony would end up only 12 metres west of the proposed development, said the 13-storey/40 metre high building with a span of 55 metres along 7-13 Pearl Street – complete with rooftop entertaining, a swimming pool and gym – is the wrong bulk and scale for the area.
“It’s like a glassy Ayres Rock. We didn’t expect the size of what’s happening,” Dennis Stevenson said.
Mr Stevenson believes the proposal by Sydney developers, First Capital Finance Group, will be problematic from the start. He estimates excavation work alone will require deep removal of more than 20,000 cubic metres of soil for an intended 2 level basement underground carpark and an additional 2 levels of car parks up into the sloping site.
“Pearl Street will just be a disaster during the construction period. We’re talking 2000-2500 truckloads probably every 15-minutes, over 3 months plus, just to excavate the site,” Dennis Stevenson said.
Concerns have also been raised regarding the impact on an adjacent 20-unit building in Thomson Street, and potential structural threat. The excavation encroaches to less than 1 metre of the property boundary at a depth of 15 metres, and there’s no talk of compensation if there is resultant structural failure.
Dennis Stevenson also questioned the myriad consequences of such a big build on a narrow street. It is only 9 metres-wide for 2 lanes of parking and 2 lanes of traffic. As a minimum, a CBD road (as this development is presented) requires a minimum of 3.5 metre-wide lanes resulting in a road width of 14 metres.
“It’s such an impractical type development for this area, it is just not suitable, architecturally it’s wrong, the size is wrong, the parking is wrong, the road size is wrong, the amenity in the area is affected by it, we’ve got a school close by and a church close by that will be affected as well,” Dennis Stevenson said as he also raised the possible need for a major sewage upgrade, to service an estimated 250 new residents.
From his elevated apartment in the adjacent Bay Breeze building, there’s uninterrupted outlook, North, East and South.
“Shadowing, yes we’ll virtually lose most of our sunlight in the morning and that’s the only sunlight we really get,” he said.
And then there’s the potential loss of ‘that view.’
“Of course, everyone in the building doesn’t want it. We have a magnificent view at present, it will not be completely destroyed as we will maintain the views towards the South, but for some on lower floors in the building, many of them retired, it will be completely devastating.”
“This doesn’t architecturally fit the theme of the area, this thing should be on the beachfront or riverfront, somewhere like that, but not in the middle of suburbia,” Dennis Stevenson added.
Unfortunately for residents of Bay Breeze apartments – two of whom have since listed their homes for sale – the site is zoned R3 Medium Density Residential with Tweed Shire Council, making it ripe for development, especially in a white-hot Tweed property market.
Due to its $33 million estimated build cost, the development’s final approval now rests with the state Northern Regional Planning Panel.
With a long career in construction, including on big projects like Jupiters Casino and Sheraton Mirage Gold Coast, Dennis Stevenson is currently poring over the proposed building’s plans with a fine-tooth comb, certain of errors in statements relating to neighbour character, density, built form, aesthetics and potential construction over an easement.
“They’ve actually taken a report from a Sydney-based project and left in references to Elizabeth Street and Castlereagh Street inside the middle of the reports, that’s how slack the submission is,
“How can these submission reports be considered as factual when there are so many issues apparent in the conclusions presented? It would be interesting to find out if any of the consultants used to present these reports have in fact been to the site as part of their commission?” Dennis Stevenson asked.
The NRPP is currently taking public submissions until November 1 about the development referred to only as ‘Tweed Heads’ by architect Tony Owen Partners.
“A lot of the feedback I’ve been getting is that this development should be more across the border up in Broadbeach or somewhere like that, it’s not the style of development that Tweed Heads needs to have as part of its character,” Dennis Stevenson said.

Northern Rivers Local News

DEEGAN BACKS PAY RISE FOR LOW-PAID WORKERS

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

DEEGAN BACKS PAY RISE FOR LOW-PAID WORKERS

Labor Candidate for Page Patrick Deegan today confirmed his support for an increase to the minimum wage for Northern NSW workers.

“The real wages of ordinary Australians are going down under the Morrison-Joyce Government,” Patrick Deegan said.

“Inflation is now steaming ahead at 5.1 per cent. Everything is going up, except for wages.

“That’s why I fully support Anthony Albanese’s call for an increase to the minimum wage, and agree that the minimum wage should go up in line with inflation.

“An increase to the minimum wage of around 5 per cent would equate to just one dollar an hour. It would be a modest increase, but it is desperately needed by many people in Northern NSW who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Patrick Deegan said Northern NSW included some of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia.

“For many people in our region, life on the minimum wage is not an abstract concept. It is their lived reality.

“These are the people who suffer most when governments choose to pursue policies that intentionally drive down wages.

“That’s why so many felt deflated when the Prime Minister claimed an increase to the minimum wage that matched inflation would be ‘incredibly reckless’.

“Let’s get this straight: a small increase to minimum wage would help people to pay for their rent, for their petrol and their food. It would be anything but reckless.”

Patrick Deegan called on Member for Page Kevin Hogan to support low-paid workers in Northern NSW by also backing the call for an increase to the minimum wage.

“Kevin Hogan has been missing in action on the issue of pay and the cost of living. The people of Northern NSW need to know where he stands.”

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2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 

 

Residents and businesses in many parts of the Byron Shire, especially Byron Bay and Suffolk Park, have been affected by flooding with heavy rainfall across the region overnight.  

Rainfall figures released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) show Coopers Shoot recorded 319mm of rain to 9am this morning (30 March 2022) with 282mm at Byron Bay. 

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms remains in place. 

Moderate flooding is also possible along the Brunswick River at Mullumbimby and along the Marshalls Creek at Billinudgel early this afternoon.  

All available Council staff are at work, although many have also been impacted by the rain and flooding.   

For links to all the latest information from the SES, BoM and Council go to our Emergency Dashboard. 

Our Facebook page has loads of information as well. 

Roads 

 

At 11:30 am, we have 37 reported road closures and a significant number of flood cautions issued across our network in Byron Shire. 

The M1 is closed southbound at Tyagarah. 

Significant flash flooding has been experienced in the Byron town centre and industrial estate. 

The flash flooding experienced in Lawson, Jonson Street and surrounds has been unprecedented. Traffic controls have been in place since early this morning.  

Shirley Street is closed at Kendall Street and Ewingsdale Road is closed near Belongil Bridge at Sunrise Boulevard, police are on the scene. 

We also have a landslip reported at Broken Head Road near the Coast Road and emergency services have been on site this morning. There is another landslip reported at Bangalow Road that remains inaccessible to emergency services. 

Suffolk Park experienced significant flash flooding overnight, a number of roads remain cut off here. 

New Brighton Road is closed near the intersection of Redgate Road. 

The majority of our major hinterland roads remain cut off and inaccessible, with crews unable to further inspect the damage in these areas. We have been advised by locals a new landslip has occurred at Wilsons Creek Road. We will provide updates on this when they come to hand. 

We’ve received reports of a number of trees down, blocking roads across our network, many in areas we are still unable to access. 

Evacuation Centres

 

The Cavanbah Centre Byron Bay was opened as an Evacuation Centre this morning by the lead agencies (Department of Communities and Justice and Northern Rivers NSW SES). 
 
We are aware getting to the Cav is a challenge at the moment because of road closures. Check MyRoadInfo to see what roads are open and closed.  

Water and Sewer

 

All available staff are working on the water and sewer network across the Shire. 

Any urgent problems with water, sewer and drainage should be reported to our Depot staff on 02 6685 9300. 

Non-urgent problems can be reported via Report It on our website. 

Drinking water and water for household use 

There is currently no problem with water supply in the Byron Shire and the water is safe to drink and for household use.  

Our water treatment plant at Mullumbimby is still off-line but we have enough water reserved and we have also turned on the emergency connection to the Rous County Council water supply. 

There are no water restrictions but we do ask that people use water sparingly until the flood water recedes and operations return to normal. 

Sewer 

Heavy rain yesterday and overnight is continuing to have an impact on our sewer system and our network is under pressure from the large amount of water flowing into pump stations around the Shire. 

Staff are doing all they can but they can’t get to some sites because of flooding.  Once the rain stops and water subsides we will get to all the affected areas. 

Stormwater 

Everyone should stay out of stormwater.  This is the water in the streets and coming up through the drains. 

Stormwater is dirty and often contaminated with sewer run-off and other substances that are harmful to our health.  

For more information about the danger of stormwater go to the NSW Health website. 

Waste 

Due to the severe weather and issues with access, Byron Resource Recovery Centre, the tip, is closed today. 

Kerbside bins will be collected on your normal bin collection day. There may be some delay to collections if access has been limited due to road closure and flooding. 

Flooding through Byron township has resulted in multiple vehicles getting inundated and large quantities of floating rubbish. This area will be a primary focus for our crews clean-up once water levels drop.

  

Areas that we have not been able to collect are: 

·        Byron Industrial Estate 

·        Skinners Shoot Road  

·        Shirley Lane   

 

Flood recovery clean-up is on hold. 

 

Visit Flood clean up and waste for more information. 

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2022 Floods

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel

 

UPDATE 12.30PM WEDNESDAY 30 MARCH 2022

 

The Lennox Head Cultural Centre is open today as an evacuation centre for anyone seeking shelter from the severe weather and flash flooding.

 

Please only travel to the centre if it is safe to do so. If you are currently safe in your home, it is still the best option to stay where you are and stay off the roads if possible.

 

For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500.

 

ROADS AND FERRY UPDATE

Residents are strongly urged to avoid travel today.

 

The Pacific Highway is closed from Wardell to Tintenbar, between Coolgardie Road and Tamarind Drive. This means the Cumbalum Interchange remains closed as well as the Interchange at West Ballina. River Street in West Ballina is also currently closed due to floodwaters.

 

The Burns Point Ferry remains CLOSED until further notice.

 

Due to access and safety restrictions Ballina Shire Council staff cannot inspect and signpost all urban roads. As soon as it is safe to do so our crews will complete inspections and Council will post updates to www.livetraffic.com. Please be aware of changing conditions in your local area.

 

SANDBAGS AVAILABLE

Anyone needing to collect sandbags should lodge a request with SES by calling 132 500.

 

COUNCIL SERVICES

The Recovery Centre at the Ballina Surf Club remains closed today due to the severe weather. The Recovery Centre will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Flood-impacted residents can still access support by calling the Service NSW hotline on 13 77 88.

 

Minimise water use

If you hear your toilet gurgling, it is expected during the extreme weather we are currently experiencing.

The current high rainfall and tidal impacts are putting extreme pressure on our pump stations and wastewater network.

Council crews are doing all they can to clear the excess backlog but they’re up against it in the current conditions.

To assist us please minimise your water use such as bathing/showering, washing and toilet flushing.

If residents experience problems with sewage entering their home please contact Council on 1300 864 444.

 

Bin collection

Council’s Resource Recovery Team will be unable to complete collections today, Wednesday 30 March due to flooding.

Missed collections are expected to be rescheduled for Saturday 2 April 2022. Where safe to do so, residents can leave their bins out for recollection.

 

Missing bins
If you are in need of a bin replacement, please log a request via the Community Portal on ballina.nsw.gov.au/CommunityPortal or call 1300 864 444 for our team to log your request.

 

Waste Management Centre Closed

The Waste Management Centre on Southern Cross Drive is closed today due to staff not being able to access the site. It will reopen tomorrow if it is safe to do so.

 

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Commercial flights have been cancelled today and access roads are flooded. Passengers should not to travel to the airport today and should contact their airline directly for flight information.

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