Community Raises Concerns Over High Rise Development At Bannisters

Community members in opposition to the Bannisters Development. Photo: Marian Sampson.

 

IT is almost 11 years since the original development of the Bannisters was approved by the State Government.

An extension for the project was granted in 2016 and now the community has been advised that Bannisters are planning to proceed with four alterations to the plans.

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However tempers are boiling as the community wants a true consultation and briefing on the project.

One thing is clear: there are aspects of the documents of the concept plan that Bannisters representative Peter Bacon has stated are no longer valid.

Members of several community groups met last week and spoke with Peter Bacon on the changes to the approval which are being sought.

Originally the community was given ten days to comment on changes to the application.

Peter Bacon told News Of The Area, “The development is approved.”

Members of the community challenged Mr Bacon and asked for a community consultation.

There are four modifications that need to be approved.

“The building height is increasing by 600mm; increasing car spaces from 275 to 310; increasing hotel rooms from 84 to 90; and changed the serviced apartments to permanent residences.

“I want to focus on facts, I don’t want people lying… I am here to argue facts, enough fiction,” he said.

Members of the public voiced their concerns about over development and loss of koala habitat.

Members of the community asked Mr Bacon to provide the community with a presentation outlining the whole development.

Newly elected East Ward Councillor Leah Anderson told News Of The Area, “In relation to funds from the development that go to Council she would like to see consultation with the community and look at where the funds should be allocated in things like roads, parking, pathways, pedestrian crossings.

“It comes back to transparency, and the funds should be spent in the area to address the concerns that the community has around the impact of the development.”

Mr Bacon discussed the need for community concerns to be addressed.

“We all need to work together on this.

“It is a community effort.”

He went on to confirm that the wildlife and koala corridor on the foreshore would be preserved, stating that the trees provide the property with protection from prevailing winds.

“It is an over $100 million dollar development which will create an iconic hero product, it will be the only one of its kind between Sydney and Byron Bay offering a 5 and 6 star hotel and conference facility.

“It’s going to create 250 plus construction jobs and 150-160 professional hospitality jobs.”

While the concept plan states that there is a retail precinct as part of the development, Mr Bacon stated, “There is no retail, we are a food and beverage operation.”

Similarly he refuted the blasting of rock which is also included in the concept plan.

The deadline for the community to comment on the modifications to the application has been extended until 21 January and Mr Bacon has agreed to deliver an overview of the project to the community.

Cherylle Stone challenged the validity of the application stating, “The community was never fully consulted on the development and the extension of the development needs to go back to community consultation to ensure that the community and region is best served by the development and ensuring that community concerns are addressed.”

She went on to say, “Bannisters has a track record of patrons parking on public land, destroying koala habitat and not responding to community needs, this has made the community more concerned about the proposed development.”

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

Bannister’s Peter Bacon. Photo: Marian Sampson.

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