Proposed new school fails to make grade with residents

Residents of Sapphire Coast Drive, Bournda are concerned about the construction of a proposed new primary school which has been granted draft consent by the Bega Valley Shire Council, in spite of a staff assessment report recommending the proposal be refused.

If approved, the school, which is designed to cater for an enrolment of up to 250 students and 20 staff, will be built on a property on the intersection of Sapphire Coast Drive and Kulbardi Close.

The development application (DA) was first submitted in 2011, but neighbours of the development site claim to have not always been properly consulted by either the developer or the council, and have missed opportunities to formally present their objections.

According to the minutes of its December 18 meeting, following a deputation from the owner/applicant, council resolved to defer the matter until after a site inspection by councillors. This was undertaken on January 15, whereupon the general manager was asked to provide a report advising the council of “matters under Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, if any, that would enable the granting of consent” to the DA.

According to the DA, development of the school would continue over an eight year period. Neighbouring residents are worried about potential impacts of the development and plan to attend the council meeting today, Wednesday February 12, to voice their concerns.

Speaking to the News Weekly, developer Mike Lyons described the staff assessment submitted to the December 18 council meeting as “a pretty ordinary document” that “went against the recommendations of a very senior planner”.

He would not be drawn on any details pertaining to the development application, but said he would be happy to provide those should the DA be approved. 

Mr Lyons believes the residents’ concerns are unfounded and claimed that there will be “no impact” on them. “It will be good for everyone,” he said.

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