THE owner of the embattled Broulee Beach Estate has defended the planned project after a community backlash, stating zoning changes would merely return the development to what it once was.
Suzanne Gillan spoke in the public forum to Eurobodalla Shire councillors on Tuesday before they voted to apply to the state government to amend their Local Environment and Development Control Plans to cater for changes sought by the developer.
These included rezoning the land from low to medium density housing and reducing the minimum lot size to 450 square metres.
Ms Gillan’s speech came after impassioned pleas from nine Broulee and Mossy Point residents for councillors to defer their decision pending community consultation.
The 35 hectares of residential land, between existing housing and George Bass Drive, has been earmarked for residential development for more than 30 years.
Development was delayed because the vegetation on the land was listed by the NSW Government in 2005 as an endangered ecological community.
The council paved the way for the development to proceed after it passed its Broulee biodiversity certification strategy last year, which stipulated how the cleared vegetation could be offset.
Ms Gillan said the most recent changes were the final stage in a 32-year development program, however there seemed to be confusion in the community that it would create new urban zoning.
“It does not,” she said.
“The area in question has been zoned urban since 1984 and the final environmental constraints were solved via the bio-cert agreement last year.”
Ms Gillan said it was hard to believe it had been 32 years since her family’s land was first zoned urban and development consent was granted.
“My father Ian Fraser entered into a legal agreement with the Eurobodalla Shire Council in the form of our 1984 deed,” she said.
“This set down the responsibilities of both parties.
“This deed stated that we must subdivide the land ... and not use the land for any other purpose.”
Ms Gillan said the deed also stipulated what infrastructure they must provide, such as building Train Street and setting aside land for Broulee Public School.
Ms Gillan said these had now been enjoyed by the community.
“We have honoured our side of the deed at great financial cost,” she said.
Ms Gillan said a mix of block sizes would create affordable housing in Broulee, which in turn had the potential for a healthier and more sustainable community.
“We’re not trying to put maximum blocks into one area,” she said.
“We’ve made a mix of blocks so we can cater to everyone in the community.
“We’re not interested in doing all small blocks, that’s not the idea.”
She said the family was excited to be able to finally get on with the development and create “much-needed investment and expansion” in the shire.
“We’re a family business, we live in the area too,” she said.
“We want to live and work with the community to make this a nice development.”
Related coverage: Broulee 500-home development plan hits nerve at meeting
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.