Gates shut on Evans Head development

ABOVE: A protest group had banners across the road from the Evans Head RSL Club while the planning panel held two public meetings. Photos: Maria Matthes

Susanna Freymark


That one word on the Community Against Iron Gates Development Facebook page said it all.

Ian Rankin from the protest group was elated and found it difficult to put the Northern Rivers Planning Panel’s decision into words.

There were two public hearings today, Tuesday, August 30, at the Evans Head RSL Club where the panel listened to arguments for and against the Iron Gates housing development.

There were about 60 people in each session, Mr Rankin said.

The panel said they would announce their decision on the DA by GoldCoral for 183 houses at Iron Gates in Evans Head at 5pm.

At 5.30pm the panel chair Paul Mitchell made the announcement.

There were cheers. There was relief.

Kellie and Bonny Wilson at the meeting.
Photo: Claire Rankin

The DA was refused on many grounds including bushfire and flood safety, Mr Rankin said.

The panel will publish the details of the decision in the next few days.

Mr Rankin said developer Graeme Inglis and his team were at the sessions.

Gold Coast Coral has been trying to develop the land since the 1990s.

Mr Mitchell reminded the crowd that the Iron Gates site was privately owned land zoned for residential use and a new deal could come forward at any time.

For those who have fought development on this site next to the Evans River it was a win.

“There was a huge sense of relief for people who have opposed this DA,” Mr Rankin said.

For decades some residents have been in opposition of the several DAs put forward for Iron Gates.

The dream for those people would be that the site becomes a national park.

“We would love the NSW Government to acquire this land and conserve the treasures that are there,” Mr Rankin said.

“If it became a national park, that would be magnificent.”

Richard Gates spoke at the panel session.
Photo: Claire Rankin

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