JENNIFER Hawkins may have been enlisted to promote the $388 million Trinity Point marina project on the Morisset peninsula, but this hasn’t appeased the area’s community groups.
Three groups from the area criticised the project at a Planning Assessment Commission meeting on Monday.
The meeting gave residents a say on planned changes to the project’s concept plan, which the NSW government approved five years ago.
The community groups weren’t happy about the way the plans had been chopped and changed.
They took aim at billboards promoting the development and bemoaned the loss of a ‘‘tranquil bay’’.
Morisset Park and District Action Group president Tom Dumbrell said the plan included no infrastructure for boaties and their tinnies.
‘‘While the marina will cater to the wealthy, the ordinary residents of Trinity Point and Morisset Park gain nothing in the way of boating facilities,’’ he said.
Developer Keith Johnson said the project would ‘‘cater for the whole community’’.
‘‘Everybody will be able to have a coffee and enjoy the waterfront,’’ Mr Johnson said. ‘‘But what’s wrong with catering for the wealthy – is it a sin?’’
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said it was ‘‘clear many residents are opposed to the marina’’, but he said many residents supported it.
Mr Johnson estimated 70 per cent of the community supported the plan.
The proposal includes 198 residential lots, 250 tourism and residential apartments, a 60-room hotel, restaurant, cafe, 300-seat conference centre and 188 marina berths.
Bonnells Bay Progress Association president Col Roach said the plan was a ‘‘massive overdevelopment’’ and raised concerns about ‘‘advertising trailers and signs littering the landscape’’.
Mr Johnson said the signs were legal and important for marketing purposes.
‘‘We’re promoting Lake Macquarie,’’ Mr Johnson said.
Mr Dumbrell described the plan as a ‘‘constantly moving and shape-shifting apparition’’.
He said the developer ‘‘should be required to lodge a new concept plan’’, instead of a string of modifications.
Sunshine Progress Association secretary Bruce Baylis said the changes made a ‘‘mockery of planning procedures in this state’’.
Johnson Property Group development director Bryan Garland said the company was ‘‘following a process we’re allowed to follow’’. This would enable an economically viable and environmentally friendly marina, he said.
Mr Roach said experienced sailors were ‘‘incredulous at the proposed location of the marina and the fact it is open to the prevailing north-east sea breeze’’.
Mr Garland said marina experts had confirmed the project’s outer breakwater would be ‘‘of sufficient size and weight to counter prevailing winds and provide an acceptable wave height’’.
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