Tilly O'Connell, Craig Gillespie and Scott Barker at the paddle protest against the Iron Gates development on Evans River.
Tilly O'Connell, Craig Gillespie and Scott Barker at the paddle protest against the Iron Gates development on Evans River. Susanna Freymark

Developer's final statement on project before DA closes

TILLY O'Connell is passionate about the coastal town she grew up.

Her father fought against the Iron Gates project in the 90's and on Sunday at the Evans Head paddle protests, she was made her way down the river with 66 other protesters.

Protesters

"It does not make sense to destroy Aboriginal heritage, dig up the habitat of threatened species and put our marine life at risk for 175 home sites on the riverbank," Ms O'Connelll said.

"I am the second generation of my family fighting this development. It will be a disaster for the Evans River, a river I want my children to enjoy it as much as I have."

Paddlers formed their craft into a giant 'NO' on the water.

"No to further pollution, no to damaging developments and no to the high-density Iron Gates housing estate," resident Ian Rankin said.

Stopirongates.org is aware of more than 100 submissions lodged against the development proposal that have been lodged, he said.

Developer's statement

Ingles Group managing director Graeme Ingles said the Vantage at Evans development would not harm the environment or the Richmond River.

"There has been a lot of misinformation about the project circulated in the community by a small vocal minority who are opposed to the project even though most of them do not even live in Evans Head," Mr Ingles said.

"This misinformation is completely contradicted by the experts' reports that have been submitted as part of this development application and are freely available on the council's website.

"We have been speaking to Evans Heads residents every week and most residents realise the criticisms are complete rubbish."

Mr Ingles said pollutant traps would be used during the construction phase to prevent any run-off reaching waterways.

"Under the plans before the council, all stormwater from Vantage at Evans will be collected in retention basins and swales within the site. No stormwater will flow directly into the river.

"The drainage systems to be employed at Vantage will represent the latest technology available. Vantage at Evans will not affect the water quality in the river in any way."

Council comments

Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdoanld said the DA exhibition ends at close of business today.

Following that the council will acknowledge receipt of submissions and submissions will be sent to Integrated NSW Govt Agencies to be summarised and a list of submitters sent to Northern Region Planning Panel.

The Master Plan exhibition of the Vantage at Evans project concludes close of business on December 6.

The Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment make a determination on the Master Plan

The NRPP will hold a public meeting after the DA exhibition has concluded likely to be in early February.

Then the Integrated Agencies issue General Terms of Approval or otherwise and finalise a Determination Report once all the above has been conducted.

There will then be a NRPP Hearing to determine the DA.

Public submissions

Public submissions on DA 2015/0096 Iron Gates Residential Subdivision, Evans Head close today at 4 pm. Go to Richmond Valley Council website. Email your concerns or support to council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au and include "DA 2015/0096", by 4.30 today.

 

Paddle protest against the Iron Gates development on Evans River.
Paddle protest against the Iron Gates development on Evans River. Susanna Freymark