Camping cut from Dolphin revamp


AROUND 320 residential and holiday units will be added and camping scrapped as part of major changes planned for Yamba's Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort.

A business name change to 'Dolphin Blue' also forms part of the redevelopment plans.

A draft blueprint of the plans will be introduced to State Planning Minister Frank Sartor this week.

Joint owners of Blue Dolphin, Mariner Land Limited and Mitchell Partnership, met with Clarence Valley Council department heads and councillors last Thursday to outline their future vision.

Mariner Land Limited is looking at transforming the current tourist site into a high quality, master-planned, residential and holiday accommodation precinct.

Plans boast landscaped grounds that mimic the style and form of the Clarence River as the 'river of a hundred islands'.

Further details of the proposed development are expected to be released publicly by the proponents at the end of the week.

North Coast company Sustainable Futures Australia has been appointed to manage the community consultation for the project.

Sustainable Futures Australia community consultation coordinator Stephanie Long said the meeting with council was the first step in the community engagement strategy, with public workshops and meetings with project planners and architects scheduled from mid-April to the end of May.

Ms Long said the official community consultation process would start next Monday with the unveiling of conceptual maps and project blueprints by Sydney-based design team Woodhead International.

"The architects are designing the site for the development application (DA) and that design process will continue over the next couple of months," Ms Long said.

"The community engagement is planned to run alongside that design process so that people in the Yamba community can give input into the design as it's being created.

"It means at this point, plans are still very rough."

Clarence Valley Council director of environment and planning Rob Donges said Blue Dolphin would have a significant impact on tourism and residential development in Yamba.

"It appears that it has the potential to be a landmark development of this nature, in terms of sustainability and reducing the impact of the development on the amenity of the community based on the information provided to us on that day," Mr Donges said.

The development application will not be formally submitted before June 30.

Late last year, Mariner Land Limited purchased a 55 per cent stake in both Blue Dolphin and Yamba Waters Caravan Park. Former owners of the parks, Yamba's Mitchell family, has retained 45 per cent ownership of the facilities.

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