A controversial Chinese backed proposal to turn 3,000 hectares of agricultural land overlooking the Freycinet National Park into a sprawling development has been rejected by the Tasmania Planning Commission.
The Cambria Green development, which was narrowly approved by the local Glamorgan Spring Bay Council last year, included an 18-hole golf course by Neil Crafter and Paul Mogford, along with hundreds of accommodation units and hotel rooms, a health spa and palliative care facility apparently aimed at the wealthy Chinese.
According to a report on The Guardian website, the development was rejected largely on the back of technical errors with the application. The proposal had angered many in the local community, and state Greens leader Cassy O’Connor told the website that the proposal had been a threat to the Tasmanian brand.
O’Connor said, “We hope the proponents listen to the community and just be content to look after the 3,000-plus hectares as prime agricultural land, rather than try to develop it into a massive resort and palliative care centre for cashed up Chinese tourists.”
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A controversial Chinese-backed multi-million-dollar tourist development in Tasmania has been blocked by the state’s planning commission, which found the application to rezone 3,000 hectares of agricultural land was not supported by the necessary paperwork.
Australian-listed company Cambria Green applied for the creation of a special development zone in April 2018 to enable the construction of a sprawling complex including 550 accommodation units and hotel rooms, two golf courses and an 80-bed health spa or palliative care unit.
The proposed development overlooks Freycinet National Park, near Swansea, and covers 12 titles owned by seven companies and two individuals. The land was purchased in 2015, and nine of the purchases were made on the same day.
All but one of the companies – Cambria Green Agriculture Development Pty Ltd – are incorporated in Hong Kong.
In a scathing decision, the planning commission said the proponent failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove it had the consent of all of the Hong Kong-based landowners to make the rezoning application, and had failed to comply with the Corporations Act in the letter of consent for the one title owned by Cambria Green.
There was therefore “no valid amendment request” for it to consider.
The decision means Cambria Green would have to re-submit its rezoning application to council, beginning the two-year process anew, to resurrect the development.
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