Fresh protest against Cairns eco-developer's vision
THE owner of Taylor Point will drop the costly court appeal he is fighting against Cairns Regional Council over plans to build on the land, saying he would rather work with the council now they are lending an open ear.
But the renewed prospect of development on the outcrop near Trinity Beach has again stoked community backlash, and a rally will be held at the weekend to demand action from CRC.
Eco-developer Robert Prettejohn has lodged new plans to divide the headland into 19 residential blocks, replacing his original proposal for 30 houses, which he was doggedly pursuing in the state's highest court.
"My intention is not to continue with the Court of Appeal because I'd rather be in a situation of negotiation with the council, rather than confrontation," Mr Prettejohn said.
He said the new plans for the land took on board the issues raised by the Planning and Environment Court in Cairns when it judged the original larger-scale proposal to be unfit earlier this year. Mr Prettejohn pointed out that Judge Bill Everson confirmed the development would not be obtrusive from the neighbouring beaches, and would help tame the rampant weeds growing on Taylor Point.
But a group of local residents has galvanised and formed a community lobby group in response to Mr Prettejohn's proposal and others popping up on the northern beaches.
President of the new Cairns Coastal Heritage and Marine Protection Association Kelli Harris said the council should buy the 18.8ha headland and donate it to the community to finally end the decades-long fight to protect it from development.
She will host a rally at the Kewarra Beach stinger nets overlooking Taylor Point on Saturday to raise awareness about the future of the Point.
"We're concerned it will be an exclusive community that would benefit only a small group of people," she said, adding that an invitation would be sent to councillors and Mayor Bob Manning.
Mr Prettejohn said public rallies against his plans tended to be "inflammatory".
"It's a bit like a kangaroo court; it's been called without any input from me and it's tainted with bias," he said.
"It's disappointing when you see people calling these meetings without talking to me."
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Community campaign: Kelli Harris and Angela Lansdown oppose the residential development proposed for Taylor Point. Picture: TOM LEE