Developer pushes ahead with plan for over 55s village
Concern about revived plans for an over-55s community in Ewingsdale have been met with community concern.
A petition bearing 294 signatures went before the Byron Shire Council's meeting on Thursday.
It called for the retention of large lot and low-density residential zoning in the area, in response to plans by Ingenia Lifestyle for an over-55s living village at Lot 101 Ewingsdale Rd.
No development application has been lodged but Ingenia has raised its plans.
A similar proposal was refused in a previous term of council.
The petition called for Ingenia to "forfeit their deposit" on the land and "move onto their other options".
On its website, Ingenia says it is "reviewing an opportunity to become part of the Ewingsdale community".
"Our goal is to create a masterplanned lifestyle community shaped by the region and through community consultation," the company said.
"Ingenia believes there is clear demand for and a shortage of options for over 55s to retire or age in place in the Ewingsdale region."
According to the council's Business and Industrial Lands Strategy, any proposed development in the vicinity of the hospital "will be assessed against its consistency with the function of the hospital" and other key measures.
Councillor Cate Coorey said the strategy was "clear" on the goal for the precinct around the hospital.
"The areas adjoining the hospital precinct are to be used for allied hospital services," Cr Coorey.
"This is just a housing development.
"An over-55s housing development is not ancillary to a hospital service."
The council's director of sustainable environment and economy, Shannon Burt, said staff would be working on "a precinct plan for around the hospital" for the next financial year.
She explained the developer would need to go through Gateway Determination with the state planning department for the proposed development to be allowed there.
Mayor Simon Richardson moved that the council note the petition, refer it to Ms Burt's department and that they consult the community on plans for the health precinct.
This decision was adopted.