Site for potential new high school at Pottsville remains free from development

Tweed Shire Council
Mayor of Tweed Chris Cherry

The NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC) has dismissed a deemed refusal appeal relating to a Concept Development Application to build on land earmarked for a potential new high school at Pottsville.

In its ruling published on 31 March, the LEC dismissed a deemed refusal appeal in respect of the Concept DA submitted by Newland Developers Pty Ltd in 2022 to build a seniors housing development on 6.3 ha of vacant land at 1 Seabreeze Boulevard, Pottsville.

Under the proposal, Newland was proposing to develop 93 lots for seniors housing as part of a community title subdivision. A second matter heard by the LEC, to carry out water and sewer supply works on the property, was approved by the Court, subject to certain conditions.

This is the third time Council has successfully defended its position in the Court against Newland Developers, with the first two DA refusals (involving residential housing) upheld by the LEC in 2017 and 2020.

As part of the Facts and Contentions put forward by Council in defence of this appeal, it was argued that the proposed development was inconsistent with Section B15 of the Tweed Development Control Plan 2008 (DCP 2008) which identifies the subject site as a potential school site.

However, in its ruling on the current Concept DA, the primary finding of the LEC was that the Concept DA failed to adequately address provisions for emergency response in situations such as flooding.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry (pictured) said this was a good outcome for the Pottsville community who have long lobbied for a high school in the coastal village.

“We welcome the judgement in the LEC on this issue,” Cr Cherry said.

“Council has long been trying to ensure that a high school site for the Pottsville community is secured. In the end, the question of needing to retain the designated site for future education purposes did not get addressed by the Court as the issue of flooding preceded it.

“Ensuring flood safety for our Seniors living communities is paramount and the decision found that this Concept DA did not provide the certainty needed for safe occupation of the site by our most vulnerable of residents.

“This is the third time Council has had to go to the LEC to defend this piece of land, promised for education purposes when the Seabreeze Estate was formed in 2000. Each time Council has won these cases.

“Council appealed to the NSW Government to rezone the land to infrastructure zoning so these repeated attempts could be avoided and the promise to the community could be honoured but the State Government did not support it.

“With the recent change in State Government, and the promised support of a Pottsville High School by the new government, it is fantastic that this determination has come in now and kept this land available.”

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