Callala residents want extra time to comment

A CONTROVERSIAL beachfront development proposed for Callala Beach has advanced further through council’s application process, raising community concern.

The house and pool is proposed for three blocks of waterfront reserve at Benton Sands.

The blocks were purchased for a little over $6000 each at an auction on December 14, 2010.

Blocks of land on the beachfront at Callala normally sell for about $1 million.

Shoalhaven City Council had intended on buying the land for which rates were owed, however a communication breakdown led to the council representative being outbid at the auction.

In May this year Shoalhaven City Council received a development application to build a two-storey house and pool on the three adjoining blocks.

The land is situated on the bush reserve between Griffin Street at Benton Sands Estate and the beach.

The land is surrounded by bush and residents who mounted a campaign to stop the development had hoped the Rural Fire Service would knock it back on the grounds of fire safety.

The bushfire protection assessment concluded that adequate bushfire protection was consistent with NSW RFS requirements for flame zone developments.

The development has come up again for public comment

because the applicant recently submitted more information about threatened species.

Anyone wishing to comment on the development was given two weeks to do so.

Chairman of the Benton Sands Community Association Eric Byrne is going to request an extension due to the Christmas break.

“I’m asking for an extension. Council is well aware of the timing. I’m sure they think putting this through over Christmas means people won’t be around to make submissions,” he said.

“I’m going to write a letter to seek legal advice on taking action against the development. 

“Council needs to give us 30 days at least to get over the Christmas period and speak to lawyers and get a response.”

Shoalhaven City Council’s development building manager Bob Goldspring said the building had been specifically designed with bushfire in mind.

“The applicant had a bushfire consultant on board, and as I understand it the referrals we’ve done to RFS have come back and they’re happy,” Mr Goldspring said.

He said the timing was due to the applicant recently submitting additional information.

“We have to advertise these things as they come about.

“The reason it has been readvertised is the applicant submitted additional information to us which our threatened species people are currently looking at.

“Two weeks is our standard time for notification, but people can ask for an additional extension, which we sometimes grant.”

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