AT the recent Hawks Nest – Tea Gardens Progress Association meeting, Ralph Cashman, a land owner in North Hawks Nest, spoke about the recent history of the land between Hawks Nest and Myall Lakes National Park, and the frustration that the many land owners have had in getting their land rezoned and developed.
About ten years ago, after many studies had been commissioned, a developer (Crownlands Developments) proposed a mix of 1000 low and medium density residential lots, a hotel/tavern, conference centre, chapel, theatre, artist’s workshops and 800 square metres of retail space on the eastern side of Mungo Brush Rd and a golf course on the western side.
Following further discussions between Council, the State Government, the developer, our local Koala and Environment Group representatives and the land owners, the developer chose to abandon the proposed golf course on the western side of Mungo Brush Rd.
The overall proposal, if it had proceeded, was considered to be a landmark development on the NSW coast.
Unfortunately, the developer had to withdraw his proposal due to financial difficulties experienced during the global financial crisis in 2007.
According to Mr Cashman, the Dept of Planning had insisted that the land on the west side be dedicated as National Park before a decision on the rezoning of the east side could take place.
The land owners on the west side are not prepared to risk giving up their land for National Park until they can be assured that the rezoning of the east side land will be approved, so that they can share in any profits.
Therefore, a stand-off exists
It was noted that current economic circumstances are preventing any interest being shown by developers in proceeding with the concept.
Many questions from the Association meeting attendees were taken by Mr Cashman and the topic created an interesting discussion.
In response to the Chairman seeking opinions of existing business owners, Lorna Russom of Mungo surf shop indicated that she is more concerned about the state of the existing shopping area and she would like to see that remedied prior to considering any possible additional business competition.
Mark and Karen McCormick of Myall Beans and Leaves in Tea Gardens indicated that they believed the proposed development, with a possible injection of up to 3000 residents, would be of benefit to businesses in the area and, consequently, they would support the development.
by Trevor Jennings President Hawks Nest – Tea Gardens Progress Association
Myall Coast News will keep the community up to date on further discussion.