The Gold Coast coming to Grafton?
By SALLY GORDON
THE proposed overhaul of the Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort is evidence Gold Coast-style tourism developments are creeping into Yamba, a Lower River businessman has warned.
Wooloweyah plumbing contractor John Batcheldor believes the proposed redevelopment of Yamba Road's Blue Dolphin is evidence mini-metropolis style development is slowly spreading from Queensland south along the coastline. The redevelopment will include the construction of up to 350 holiday apartments in multi-storey buildings. After attending a community meeting regarding the proposed redevelopment, Mr Batcheldor questioned developers' use of the word 'Yambience', which they have used to describe the initial concept plan for the redevelopment.
"They've used the word 'Yambience', but it's not really Yambience at all, it's Gold Coast- or Noosa-style development," he said.
"That style of development is moving down the coast, from the Gold Coast to Pottsville, Byron Bay, Ballina and we're next."
A wide range of issues were dealt with at the community meeting.
Issues relating to security, mosquitos around the proposed swales and lagoons, and public access to the riverfront also were raised.
Mark Mitchell, from Mitchell Partnership, co-owners of the development with Mariner Land Limited, said it was 'ridiculous' to compare the proposed 'Dolphin Blue' project with areas like the Gold Coast.
"At end of the day, how many three-storey buildings are there in Yamba? There's 70-storey buildings on the Gold Coast, so to refer it to the Gold Coast is absolutely ridiculous," Mr Mitchell said.
"There's 15 buildings in (Beachside) that are three and four storeys."
Mr Mitchell said all issues raised in the public consultation meetings would be addressed.
"We are having these meetings to incorporate everyone's concerns. We will address these issues and concerns within the planning stages.
"We've spent $50,000 to get people's input so we can roll that into the development."
James Solari, a key architect with the Blue Dolphin designers, Woodhead International, said one of their priorities in designing 'Dolphin Blue' was that it harmonised with the local Yamba context, so the bulk, height and scale of the development integrated with the surrounds. The design team is investigating the use of low impact materials including weatherboard, recycled timbers, passive solar design, energy and water efficiency measures.