For those that are interested in following the saga that we reported on originally in October 2013 and updated through to May 2014 HERE I have aggregated the articles in the Newcastle Herald and The Examiner to finish off the story.
Congratulations to the ‘Voices of Wallalong and Woodville’ community group who took on a coterie of high profile Developers from the ‘Wallalong Landowners Group’ including The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, multimillionaire Jeff McCloy, Property Tycoon Hilton Grugeon, and former general manager of Hardie Holdings, Matthew Somers in a battle to ‘keep Wallalong rural.’
Despite recommendations against the proposal by Council Staff and the Department Of Planning there was heavy barracking from our Mayor and most of our Councilors (some directly involved) to contend with as well. Council even allowed the proponents to withdraw the application and resubmit it again after they reduced the development fees by $750,000.00. Details in the first story below.
You may think that this story does not affect us out on the peninsula, but it is a classic case of how our Port Stephens Council currently operates against all recommendations but in the interests of the big end of town and how sustained opposition from the local community can sometimes still end up with a good result, Look at the recent decision on Soldiers Point Marina as well. Without the weight of well articulated public opinion we could have had a different result. TRRA Inc. are not anti all development, just inappropriate development.
Lets hope that these decisions are not revisited in the future, but big money does not give up easy.
NSW Government Planning & Environment: Gateway Decision- Full details
Newcastle Herald 11 April 2014: Property Moguls Benefit As Council Slashes Fees
Newcastle Herald 4 May 2014: Wallalong Plan Inconsistent With Guidelines
Newcastle Herald 13 June 2014: Wallalong Rezone ‘Needs More Work’
Newcastle Herald 13 June 2014: 3000 – House Wallalong Development Knocked Back
Newcastle Herald Letter 17 June 2014: ‘Keep Wallalong On The Down Low”
Examiner 18 June: Residential Wallalong Development Rejected
The Last word to V.O.W.W. Bob Beal: