60 blocks will not be built on floodplain land as council refuses DA

The first meeting of Rileys Hill residents opposing the development on January 10, 2023.

Susanna Freymark

Resident Jemma Donnelly is thrilled that the development of 60 blocks on Rileys Hill Road will not go ahead.

Richmond Valley Council has refused the development application at 59 Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater.

“This is a fantastic response and shows that Richmond Valley Council has listened and taken into consideration the community’s concerns and has acknowledged the significant risks this proposed development puts on the existing community and the environmental impacts,” Ms Donnelly said.

“This development is not in the public interest and is not suitable for development due to flood risk.”

During the floods in February–March last year, the site was underwater.

Video of the 2022 floods.

The development site was zoned residential in 1972.

The next logical step would be for the council to rezone the land to agricultural, Ms Donnelly said.

“So that the current or next developer does not continue to propose future development.”

Ms Donnelly has been at the forefront of the fight against the development and she organised several community meetings, one with Ardill Payne & Partners acting for the developer.

She knows affordable housing is needed in the region but “this floodplain is not the appropriate place to develop”.

“This is a great step in the right direction,” she said.

The council listed some of the reasons for refusal of the DA. Some of them were:

● Site is not suitable for the proposed development because of the flood risk.

● The development is not considered to be in the public interest.

● Insufficient information was provided on bushfire assessment and the tree removal plan

The developer has a right to appeal the decision within six months.

It was under water a year ago, now developer wants 60-plus homes on it

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