Ratepayers' objections overridden at ratepayers' cost
Council once again seem to be complying with their legal obligations concerning 60 odd submissions from neighbouring objectors on another non-compliant development in Ettalong village.
In reality, all Council have done is tick the boxes and then go about what they (and other parties such as the Chamber of Commerce) originally wanted by pushing through the developer's application.
They treat the community's genuine concerns as just a bit of a nuisance and then proceed to inform the public (after so-called consultation) that it has all been resolved and this is what the community needs.
The process of development applications is necessary with rules and regulations that should apply to every applicant, no matter how big or small the development.
Rejected plans by the Local Planning Panel is not a problem for the rich and powerful - just a delay.
The arsenal of tactics employed by the big players is virtually endless.
If you have money, power and influence, you just keep resubmitting the development application, maybe with slight adjustments.
Who would want to be one of the four Local Planning Panel members with all that pressure put on them?
In the rare case that the applicant is rejected, there is always the Land and Environment Court.
There have been some interesting decisions of late using imaginative language and weasel words in downplaying the protests as insignificant issues and turning a blind eye to breaches (their words) of unacceptable adverse amenity impacts to neighbouring sites.
I would not have thought you make a judgement on a previous build nearby which also exceeds height restrictions as being legally comparable.
Other Council tactics like rezoning and reclassification of areas and boundaries (sometimes environmentally sensitive) are common place.
Let's not forget Council trotted out a consultant expert planner whose assessment was accepted by Court.
If you look hard enough you will always find an "expert" for your cause.
So who pays for that? Ratepayers again just like the consultant's fee for the submission to IPART for extra rates.
How ironic it is that we (the ratepayers) have financed indirectly and unknowingly the Council's expenses to roll the community's objections.
So best of luck to the good people who protested and to all of our community.
This is what we are up against.
Starting to feel a bit like Darryl Kerrigan out of the classic film "The Castle."
Email, 1 Oct 2022
Barry MacDonald, Umina Beach