Ballina Shire Council has developed a draft strategic plan for Wollongbar.
Ballina Shire Council has developed a draft strategic plan for Wollongbar.

One person's 184 responses to survey on town's 20-year plan

IT'S a plan that will help to shape the town for the next 20 years.

And community consultation drew a strong response: too strong from one resident.

Ballina Shire Council has had to scrap some 184 responses to an online survey on the Wollongbar Strategic Plan.

Along with 114 valid responses and 18 other submissions, strategic planner Klaus Kerzinger said 184 responses to the plan appear to have been deliberately lodged from the same device.

Mr Kerzinger said that respondent appeared to be "unhappy with aspects of the plan, particularly the incursion into the urban buffer area for the urban expansion".

Even after scrapping the excess responses, Mr Kerzinger said this buffer zone - between Wollongbar and Alstonville - was something residents felt strongly about.

"The community's very supportive of the urban buffer," he said.

"We're recommending the Rifle Range Rd urban development area ... be deferred for at least a five year period."

Mr Kerzinger said many of the things proposed in the plan were broadly supported.

In a report that will go before the council's meeting this week, staff said an evaluation of survey data found "there is strong support for the three vision elements and reasonable levels of support for many of the strategic actions contained within the draft strategic plan".

40 per cent supported a plan to potentially allow dual-occupancy within existing low density residential land.

42 per cent supported expanding Wollongbar to the east, while 48 per cent supported expanding the Russelton industrial area.

61 per cent supported rezoning the Wollongbar Business area from B1 to B2 and 76 per cent supported retaining Wollongbar Village's existing business zoned area.

The council's staff have recommended councillors adopt the draft Wollongbar Planning and Environmental Study and Wollongbar Strategic Plan.

They have also recommended a report be prepared regarding a potential Local Environmental Plan amendment to permit a service station on a Rifle Range Rd site.

Mayor David Wright said it was "not on" that someone attempted to "taint" the survey process.

Councillors will consider the matter at its Thursday meeting.