Tullimbar Village residents turned out in force at the Shellharbour City Council meeting to hear councillors discuss the fate of more town houses in the estate.
Residents have formed an action group to fight for a 37 torrens title lot residential subdivision on Broughton Avenue to be rejected because the plans do not include a retail and commercial centre in the estate.
Residents bought into the estate with the promise a town centre would be built however the new developer Dahua Group has no plans to build it.
The councillors passed a notice of motion, raised by councillors Kellie Marsh and Peter Moran, which declared they would determine the outcome of a development application once it had been assessed by council staff.
Action group member Michael Cremona said the group was pleased the motion had passed and looked forward to hearing the councillors make their determination.
“The action group members continue to encourage residents to send in a letter objecting the development application or contact councillors to tell them how you feel in the hope they vote to reject the application,” he said.
Councillors will decide on the outcome of the development application at a future council meeting after the submission period closes.
Shellharbour mayor Marianne Saliba said this development application put councillors “between a rock and a hard place”.
“We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t,” she said.
“If the staff recommend the application for approval and councillors reject it then the developer can take the application to the Land and Environment Court for determination. Then there will be no input from the council or community members.
“If we approve the subdivision then we will get hammered by the Tullimbar residents.
“I feel for the residents. They have shown great community spirit and they do deserve some type of town centre because it is a greenfield site.
“But even if council determines that the site needs to be retail, we can’t decide which business should go there.
“It is unfortunate the previous developers did not finish the vision in the town.
“Staff will go through the application and look at the submissions closely.”
Mr Cremona said residents still wanted the town centre to be built as promised.
“We are focusing our efforts on campaigning for the new developers to carry out the Tullimbar town vision,” he said.
The Dahua Group released a statement to the media last week which said representatives from the developer held a meeting with key members of the action group to listen to their concerns about the Broughton Avenue development.
“The meeting was constructive and beneficial to both parties and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the community representatives over coming weeks,” the statement said.
Mr Cremona said Dahua representatives told the group they would not put a town centre in the housing proposal because it was not financially viable.
“They told us they were within their rights to put in townhouses because it was permissible under the rezoning,” he said. “We were told they would not rescind the development application.
“They were open to being a part of a working group.”
Visit the council’s website to read the development application. Submissions close November 12.