PLANNING: An aerial shot of the proposed Cobaki development.
PLANNING: An aerial shot of the proposed Cobaki development. Contributed - Leda

Cobaki developer plans to build higher than three storeys

BILLIONAIRE developer Bob Ell is attempting to increase the size of buildings at his proposed $3billion Cobaki Estate.

Leda Holdings has applied to the NSW Department of Planning to build eight- and 10-storey residential buildings instead of the currently approved three storeys at the would-be 13,000-population town just west of Gold Coast Airport.

The request to go higher has frustrated Tweed Mayor Katie Milne as she claims the council's planning controls are being circumnavigated by Leda.

Cr Milne said the State Government approving projects within her shire was destroying decades of planning guidelines created by the council.

"Cobaki development is proposing to go to 10 storeys now," Cr Milne said.

"That is not our planning control, so after decades and decades creating a planning scheme it is going to be just wiped out by State Government."


Leda Group, Reg van Rij on the Kings Forrest Development site
CHANGES: Leda Group's Reg van Rij. Scott Powick

The concept plan for Cobaki Estate has been approved by the NSW Department of Planning as it is classed as a Major Project.

Leda has applied to change the concept plan 11times, including removing the condition that cats be banned from the mini city.

The modification to increase building heights went on public notification earlier this month and finishes on December 7.

"Responses will be published on the department's website," a NSW Department of Planning spokesman said.

"The department will then undertake a detailed merit assessment of the proposal and carefully consider all issues raised by the community before making a recommendation."

Leda Development regional manager Reg van Rij said the proposed modification would not increase the population of Cobaki Estate.

"It simply seeks to extend the range of product to include medium high-rise apartments," Mr van Rij said.

"We are looking 10-15years ahead and there is a growing segment of the market that no longer wants to have a freestanding home and prefers an apartment.

"The locations would offer apartments with easy access to the town centre and by virtue of the transport infrastructure which will service that town centre.

"It would be the same development footprint, same amount of yield of product and population, but we're just looking to broaden the product to meet emerging needs in the market."

The modification applies to three of Cobaki's 17precincts.