Anna Bay’s Proposed Bay Resort Open For Community Comment

Anna Bay residents are no strangers to protesting eco-resorts seen here they are protesting at the site of the “eyesore” a failed eco tourism resort which has been left derelict. Photo: Philip Craig.

 

PLANS for an eco-tourism resort “The Bay Resort” at Anna Bay are back on public display.

It has been more than a year since the initial plans were rejected by the state government as “not in the public interest”.

The proposal includes 68 units and 51 villas which would be constructed on a coastal wetlands site.

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When the Anna Bay resort application was rejected last year, one of the key reasons was the development “could not be characterised as an eco-tourist facility” and was therefore prohibited.

The developer appealed against the decision in the Land and Environment Court and an amended Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has now been released for public comment until May 20.

The EIS says to ensure credibility as being a genuine “eco resort”, the project will demonstrate energy efficiency and sustainability using recognised rating systems.

The EIS states the redesigned project has a “lighter footprint”, with all accommodation to be built on stilts and plans to provide saltmarsh and mangrove forest offsets.

Fisheries NSW had previously raised some serious concerns about the original proposal given its location adjacent to wetlands and directly connected to a sanctuary zone in the Marine Park.

At the time, the Department had concerns that periods of high rainfall may lead to excessive inundation times with associated increase in flooded pastures that could lead to “blackwater’ events in the adjacent Marine Park Sanctuary Zone.

Port Stephens Council has stated, “Applications for development need to consider the flood risk associated with the site and address the relevant flood planning controls provided in Council’s Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan.

“Controls include various mechanisms to address the flood risk such as limiting development in high flood risk areas and raising floor levels above anticipated flood levels.”

Anna Bay has been mired by other failed ecotourism developments, one of which has left a scar on the landscape and residents outraged.

Anna Bay residents are not all convinced that this development is right for the area, local Kelly Hammond who has been fighting hard to get change at the “eyesore” told News Of The Area, “When you mention Ecotourism in Anna Bay the first thing that comes to mind is our very own eco friendly sand swallowing 8-year-old “eyesore”.

“So, we try to ignore the white elephant at the end of our village.

“The Bay Resort 4177 Nelson Bay Road Anna Bay was sent back to the drawing board and now returns redesigned on stilts, I for one will need convincing that it is a genuine Eco-Resort,” said Hammond.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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