Round one to subdivision applicants

THERE was emotional debate in the Grafton council chambers last night as Wooloweyah residents spoke on the controversial Lakes Boulevard subdivision.

The matter came before Clarence Valley Council’s environment, economic and community committee (EECC) and followed a council visit to the site yesterday morning that attracted about 40 residents.

Land owners Barry and Lenneke Serjeant had filed a section 82 review of their application to subdivide their block after it was rejected by councillors last year.

Three deputations were given before the EECC made its recommendation; two against the proposal and one in its favour.

Wooloweyah resident Ilma Hynson told the committee the benefit of a few should not outweigh the wishes of the majority.

“We live in a unique environment ... the overwhelming majority of residents are opposed to this subdivision,” Ms Hynson said.

Another resident, Janet Purcell, spoke about the uniqueness of Wooloweyah and said the village was listed in the directory of important wetlands.

“People who live here have invested in a lifestyle. This subdivision will transform Wooloweyah,” Ms Purcell said.

Applicant Lenneke Serjeant also spoke to the EECC and said the block, if subdivided, would be larger than most residential blocks in Wooloweyah.

“This won’t set a precedent and open the floodgates for Wooloweyah,” Ms Serjeant said.

“The tree clearing is minimal and will have no impact on the biodiversity of the area.

“The number of objections is not the view of the majority but are based on the fear-mongering of a few.”

In response to objectors stating the natural environment was central to their objections, Ms Serjeant hit back.

“Rest assured we are more concerned about the environment than most of the objectors,” she said.

“This has become highly emotive and I’m baffled to what the true motives (of the objectors) really are.”

The Serjeant’s development application, if successful, would allow them to subdivide their 2400 square metre block to create two blocks.

The first would be a 580 square metre block which would front Lakes Boulevard. The other would be a 1767 square metre ‘battle axe’ block.

When it was time for the vote, three of the four committee members voted in support of the development application. It will be decided at next week’s full council meeting.

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