Craig Thomas Tea Gardens Letter to Editor about Development Application communication


Dear News Of the Area,

The facts of the cause of justified community concern regarding the additions to the Tea Gardens Police Station should be considered.

A development application was submitted to MidCoast Council by the NSW Government for consideration, which was approved by delegated authority, where Council staff did not put the matter on public display for public comment and input, denying the voice of our community.

There is no doubt that changes would have been made to make the structure blend with the current buildings and amenity of these locally heritage listed public structures, and such amendments would have filtered through to the NSW government for amendment prior to approval.

The responsibility for this fiasco lies squarely on our elected Councillors who have permitted this system to evolve. An example of another recent DA approval by delegated authority is to demolish the heritage listed Tea Gardens Slipway winch shed by the Tea Gardens Slipway Association, constructed by the Korsman family in 1948 previously approved for relocation further away from the water to allow relocation of the slipway and its retention.

Also a $4.95M multi unit development between Myall Street and Witt Street in a sensitive area has been approved without public input. And the list goes on with the demolition of the iconic brick G A Engel’s store (est 1888) and Engel Cottage. Letters to MidCoast Council by the writer expressing these concerns have been completely ignored without reply.

Approvals by delegated authority for smaller approvals are being handled efficiently by Council staff, however Development Applications concerning heritage, environment or large scale developments with possible repercussions on the amenity of our area should be placed before us for input.

What price our heritage?

Craig Thomas

Tea Gardens

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