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Greening Yamba’s CBD with an outlook to the river

Clarence Valley Council has formalised its plan to construct a town green over the space that is presently the entrance to Calypso Holiday Park.

Pending a decision at the Tuesday June 23 CVC meeting, the area will be replaced with a 2,700 square metre open space.

As the manager of the Crown land in question, CVC has applied to itself on the basis that the “material public benefits [of the town green] will be provided wholly in lieu of the requirement to make a Local Infrastructure Contribution”, which would normally be 10 per cent of the project’s estimated $8,750,000 price tag.

“The applicant [CVC] has advised that the cost to construct the public benefit (the Town Green) is estimated to be $400,000,” the report to council states.

“…The works – in-kind and material public benefits to the community – well outweigh the contribution requirements of the development and demand for infrastructure.”

Staff advised councillors that they “should accept the offer for works and material public benefits … in lieu of [making] capital contributions”.

“The Town Green will provide an entry statement and central pathway connecting Yamba Street to Yamba Bay, featuring: an avenue of native plantings around existing Norfolk pines; casual sandstone seating with timber picnic platforms and grassed lawns; [and], Yaegl Native Title Holders yarning circle, incorporating language, stories and totems,” the report states.

“This area will deliver a flexible open space for a variety of casual and structured activities including picnics, events, markets, buskers, shows etc, incorporating water and power connection points and will be wheelchair accessible.”

A $6.7m NSW Government Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund grant, announced in November 2016, and $2million from the CVC-managed Clarence Coast Reserve Trust, are funding the project.

At the time of the grant’s announcement, CVC’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay, said that a quantity survey, “in current year dollars”, would be completed when the development application is considered by councillors, prior to it being sent to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) for approval appraisal.

He said that the project would be completed in stages.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Yamba Town Green. Image: courtesy CVC

“The nature of the development means we can’t do it all at once; we have to be careful how it’s staged and, at the same time, keep the park operating,” Mr Lindsay said in 2016.

Meanwhile, staff advised councillors at this week’s CVC meeting: “The application is identified as being Regionally Significant Development under State Environmental Planning Policy … being [a] Council-related development over $5 million; and the development is being carried out by the Council,” the report to council states.

“The Joint Regional Planning Panel … is the consent authority under 5.4(b) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the EP&A Act).

“…A date for the JRPP meeting has not been set down at this stage.”

Four submissions made during the public exhibition of the town green concept were deemed to have raised issues that “will be considered in the report to the Joint Planning Panel, who is the consent authority for this development application”, because they didn’t address “the offer for works and material public benefits” in lieu of making a development contribution.