The future of the controversial $140 million Cambria Green development at Dolphin Sands is up in the air after a scathing decision by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.
But opponents to the project are not celebrating yet, as it is not known what next steps will be taken by the developers.
At the centre of TPC decision were doubts over landowner consent.
Cambria Green CEO Ronald Hu was singled out by the Commission as being evasive in his responses.
“It was the Commission’s observation that Mr Hu was defensive and evasive in his responses to questions asked of him which is also evident in the transcript extracts included in this decision,’’ the 20 page decision read.
“ “The Commission considered that much of his evidence was not credible and not supported.’’
“The Commission questions why the applicant did not submit more persuasive direct evidence to support its submissions.’’
A spokesman for Cambria Green said the company was reviewing the decision of the Tasmanian Planning Commission and would then consider its options.
The East Coast Alliance which objected to the development said it was a momentous outcome.
“This decision is a resounding win for community action and it reinforces the critical, continuing need for a genuinely independent Tasmanian Planning Commission,’’ a spokesperson for the Alliance said.
“While we are very pleased with the Commission’s decision, the journey is far from over.
“We will continue to provide updates as and when we have further news re the proponent’s next actions.’’
In a submission to the TPC, Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor said the rezoning required to enable the Cambria Green development must be rejected.
“It also represents a precedent for future large-scale developments across the state,’’ Ms O’Connor said in her submission.
“The Greens welcome good developments in the right places, and we welcome the visitors who come to experience Tasmania’s wildness and beauty.
“We believe the access of visitors has to be carefully managed, however, to protect the Tasmanian environment, its natural resources, biosecurity and treasured way of life.
“The Cambria (Homestead) Village proposes to create an alternate shopping and cultural centre outside Swansea with shops, cafes, restaurants, pharmacy, galleries, medical facilities and aged care.
“Rather than bringing visitors into the area, the project appears set to create a self-contained business and cultural district, which may in fact discourage the residents and visitors inside the proposed Cambria Green development footprint from using local businesses.’’
Glamorgan-Spring Bay Mayor Debbie Wisby, when asked if the proposal had divided the community responded: “There are various opinions within the community’’.
The Cambria Green development proposal included:
- The restoration of the Cambria homestead and surrounding gardens, to be used as a wedding venue which is expected to host 50 events a year;
- Construction of a 120 room luxury hotel;
- 200 luxury villas and units for visitor accommodation;
- A golf course with practice facilities and club house; and
- An international conference centre expected to host 26 events – of around 100 attendees each – annually.
“Our aim is to attract and service a tourism market not currently being serviced within the region,’’ Mr Hu said.