DECISION PENDING: The 140-lot development fronting Hickey and Elizabeth streets, Iluka, which has gone to the Joint Regional Planning Panel for a decision.
DECISION PENDING: The 140-lot development fronting Hickey and Elizabeth streets, Iluka, which has gone to the Joint Regional Planning Panel for a decision. Tim Howard

Huge residential development one step closer for Iluka

A MASSIVE residential subdivision with the potential to change the face of Iluka could be a step closer to fruition.

Clarence Valley Council has prepared its assessment of a 141-block sub-division in Hickey St for the Joint Regional Planning Panel, but its planning environment and community committee voted unanimously to defer discussion to Tuesday's full council meeting.

The report recommends approval of the proposed development, which was first submitted to the council in 2015.

The council's assessment has cleared the development of several stumbling blocks, including claims it contained koala habitat, contaminated soils and that it posed flooding risks.

But the development has split the local community creating fears among some residents the development would change the nature of the village. Others see it as chance to provide the growth needed to attract sought-after services to the town, such as a medical centre,which would benefit an ageing population.

For the land owners, the Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council, the development promises to fund its wide-ranging plans for self determination and is the result of at least 15 years of planning.

The BGLALC said it would not comment on the progress of the DA until a decision had been reached, but it had made its position clear in its preliminary document it presented with the DA.

"The BGLALC have a specific vision for its land situated in Hickey Street, Iluka, as it will generate income to support its community vision including cultural interaction, education and training, employment, housing, improvements to Ngaru Village, support programs, crafts, transport, and playgrounds," the council said.

"The community subdivision is a means to generate an income for the BGLALC. The community subdivision will facilitate the BGLALC vision and enable the BGLALC community to strengthen its future direction towards self-determination, and moving towards reaching its goals in a timely manner. The BGLALC (the land owner) have entered into an agreement with Stevens Holdings Pty Limited (the proponent) to develop the land by way of a residential subdivision."