THE multi-million dollar 424-lot Thurgoona Park North residential sub-division has been approved by Albury Council on a 8-1 vote on Monday night.
Representatives from project developer Peter Bowen were on hand to witness only deputy mayor Amanda Cohn object to the project which will be the subject of more than 20 conditions and sparked numerous concerns from Thurgoona residents about flooding, lot sizes, open space, impacts on threatened species and traffic.
An extraordinary meeting was called to decide the fate of the development application which was first presented to council more than 12 months ago.
The approved application will allow homes to be built between Table Top and Kerr Road in a northerly direction from Thurgoona Oval and behind the Kinross Woolshed Hotel.
Cr David Thurley rejected the flooding concerns, particularly in the southern part of the estate, near the confluence of the Woolshed and Eight Mile creeks.
"This area is low flood-risk and is much the same as Easternview Estate or Mungabareena Park," he said.
Cr Thurley said he was also concerned about a challenge in the NSW Land and Environment Court if the project was rejected by council.
"When professional staff, referral agencies and others recommend approval with conditions, I need very strong evidence to vote against," he said.
"In many ways the ultimate outcome of this development will be determined by the people who buy and build there."
Cr Cohn said she had no doubt the land would eventually become housing.
But she still harboured concerns about flooding and open space which had not been addressed by the developer since the matter was deferred at the last council meeting.
"It makes no sense to me to fill in flood prone land," she said.
"The open space provisions of around three per cent are simply not good enough for future generations.
"Adding a couple of barbecues and shade cloths shouldn't gloss over the fact that it is only three per cent."
Planning director Michael Keys, in response to a question from Cr Alice Glachan about open space, said: "In addition to approximately three per cent for open space there is an additional 7.6 per cent set aside for Sloane's Froglet habitat."
The initial 424-lot sub-division represents first stage of an estate which will eventually grow to more than 1100 lots to cater for up to 4000 people.
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