The Northern Midlands council has delayed seeking a land use change to progress the Ridgeside Lane proposal until they can be provided with more detail on matters including road access points and the development's impact on nearby agricultural land.
An amendment to the Northern Tasmania Regional Land Use Strategy is required before the project can progress. The developer, Traders in Purple, requested the site be considered an urban growth area - rather than rural resource - under the land use strategy in December.
Public numbers swelled at the council meeting on Monday night ahead of the vote, with Brett Robinson - chief executive of Traders in Purple - giving a brief overview of the sustainable housing and tourism proposal he described as a community designed "from the ground up".
Noting the economic benefit the $450 million investment would bring the region, he closed by saying he "sincerely believed" the success of the project was based on obtaining the support of the community.
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Mr Robinson was the only speaker in favour of the project.
Speaking against, a neighbouring vineyard owner noted four objections to the project including a "direct impact" on their ability to use their land, that the recently amended land use strategy did not declare the land an urban growth zone, its size being "incompatible" with the Evandale area and nearby farmlands, and a lack of solutions to road access.
"A poor precedent will be set if the regional land use strategy is amended for this proposal that will have long term ramifications," they said to applause from the room.
A second speaker against the project, Barry Wilson, said some of the reports provided by Traders in Purple had "deficiencies", while others were "outright wrong". Mr Wilson pointed to the traffic report having been conducted outside of peak times as one example.
Councillor Ian Goninon moved the motion to defer the decision, saying he didn't believe there was "sufficient detail" in the reports to understand the proposal and seek the land use amendment.
"I think we really need more details and I don't believe at the moment, in the reports I've read, that we have those answers," Cr Goninon said.
Councillor Dick Adams and Councillor Michael Polley also spoke in support of the motion. Cr Polley noted the distinction between a subdivision and the "project" being put forward by the developer.
"I think to give the matter the best shot, you need to have a situation where you can carry the majority of the other councils," he said.
The decision will go to council again on April 15.
Traders in Purple held a number of community consultations for the project last year, at a cost of about $100,000.
Mr Robinson noted some key concerns arising from these included the heritage values of Evandale, traffic around the proposed site and avoiding an impact on the viability and productivity of nearby farmers.
More coverage of the Ridgeside Lane proposal
- Ridgeside Lane proposal's next stage, master plan released - November 25, 2018
- Ridgeside Lane developers submit land change request to the council - December 15, 2018
- A timeline of Traders in Purple's Ridgeside Lane proposal - March 16, 2019
The company has previously accepted the chance the development could be rejected initially. Their principal, Charlie Daoud, said in December if that were the case they would need to reassess and modify their plans accordingly.
"However, all indications to date from the business community and the Northern Tasmanian Population Growth Strategy have all said it's the right thing to do," Mr Daoud said.
The idea to develop the land, spanning from Logan Road to White Hills, was floated in May last year.
Expected to cost approximately $431 million, more than 60 direct jobs over 15 years would be created by the development. Construction is proposed to begin by 2022 and continue through until 2029.
From completion, the site would provide 133 management positions and operation jobs from hospitality to land care.
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