A heated discussion broke out among frustrated North Hawks Nest land owners at the most recent Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association meeting.
As it stands the Great Lakes Council and NSW government have an agreement that development can go ahead on the eastern side of North Hawks Nest if the western side is handed over to the Myall Lakes National Park as an environmental offset.
For this to become a reality, land owners need a developer with “deep pockets” who can buy out owners along Mungo Brush Road, and hand over land on the western side to the National Parks and Wildlife Service as an offset to develop land on the eastern side.
Great Lakes Deputy Mayor Len Roberts said the council was trying to keep this current proposal in “hibernation” pending take up by a new developer, whenever that may be.
According to Cr Roberts, the plan has been the subject of a Commission of Enquiry that ultimately supported the approved master plan.
“It’s important to note that the approved plan was developed after considerable community consultation which ended with all local community groups supporting it,” he explained at the meeting.
The approved proposal is apparently “sitting on the minister’s desk” awaiting finalisation of these outstanding environmental offset issues.
A developer was willing to take on the project in 2009 but the offer fell through.
“It’s not council’s fault that the Global Financial Crisis forced the previous proponent to withdraw,” Cr Roberts said.
Some owners of western side properties were in attendance at the meeting.
They questioned the statements made by Cr Roberts saying no sensible developer was ever going to spend the $100 million required to develop the approved area of 15% of the land when the remaining 85% has to be dedicated to the government for environmental protection.