At last week’s October 22 CVC meeting, councillors unanimously supported spending $150,000 on “a feasibility assessment of a future urban bypass of Yamba along the reserved corridor”.
The assessment will estimate construction costs and produce a preliminary traffic impact assessment.
The assessment’s author will also provide a preliminary environmental assessment focusing on: ecological studies and vegetation offset obligations (a preliminary staff assessment of these obligations would put the costs in excess of $2million alone), potential impacts on the local flood regime; and, potential noise impacts, the report to council stated.
In June 2012, councillors unanimously supported setting the “scope of Stage 1 of the Yamba Urban Bypass and Urban Intersections project”, which only focussed on the bypass’s footprint east of Carrs Drive and, specifically, on the section between the Yamba Road and Shores Drive intersection to Coldstream Street.
The Independent sought clarification on which parts of the reserved corridor would be assessed and asked what parts of the 2012 decision had been completed.
Completed works include the roundabouts at the intersections of Coldstream and River streets and Yamba and Coldstream streets, and the Deering Street access to the new Yamba industrial area.
The council’s response also said: “A West Yamba DCP [development control plan] has been adopted by council for [the following] roads to be progressively constructed as developments progress in West Yamba: a roundabout at Carrs Drive will be constructed within the next 12-18 months, funded by both state government and developer funds; a new Section 94 plan for the Carrs Drive intersection has been resolved by council[lors] and is under preparation by a consultant, and a number of contributions by voluntary planning agreements have been made.”
In 2012 councillors also resolved to engage “qualified consultants … to undertake a flora and fauna study and review of environmental effects on the section of proposed bypass between Angourie Road and Coldstream Street, plus a necessary special impact statement and the results be reported back to Council”.
On this, CVC responded: “Preliminary ecological studies were completed; however, these will need to be re-assessed due to new NSW Bio-Diversity Conservation Legislation changes that occurred in 2016.
“Council will be now be required to provide offsets to clear any vegetation and any new threatened species declarations….
“The last studies will be factored in to the updated studies and included in offset calculations.”
On the 2012 decision to “undertake public consultation in conjunction with all significant future bypass processes”, CVC said: “There has been community consultation with regards to the developments around West Yamba.
“These are now happening with a total of three major development applications displayed publically and debated by Council in the last five years – there are more to come.
“These have included studies related to traffic, flood (based on the council’s well established flood model) and ecology.
“As part of the assessment for these DAs, this data will also be used in the new reports.”