Tuesday, 19 August 2014

So was it Clarence Valley local government councillors voting in the chamber or management acting under delegated authority who decided to overrule the NSW Land & Environment Court and council's own LEP?

This interesting snippet found in NSW court records for July 2014 alerted me to a puzzling situation:

The puzzle is of course how 18.32 ha of mortgaged RU1-Primary agricultural land (or a little over 45 acres) in the Clarence Valley with only one permanent building entitlement on record and, with apparently no council consent for a temporary rural worker’s dwelling as late as 2001-2, should suddenly acquire two habitable dwellings on the lot?

How was consent acquired?

Google Earth snapshot 2013

One has to suspect that someone at Clarence Valley Council did not refer to the complex legal history of this lot, given that a condition of consent for the riverfront house was the demolition of the original dwelling, on three occasions council had refused consent for a second dwelling, the NSW Land & Environment Court had upheld refusal and ruled against the establishment of a rural worker's dwelling on the lot, council’s own subsequent legal advice of September 2000 was that it would be acting unlawfully if it gave consent for such a rural worker’s dwelling, the NSW Dept. of Local Government conducted a preliminary investigation into council’s handling of a development application/consent on this lot which left it seriously unimpressed and, the conditions council later placed on this lot did not allow a rural worker's dwelling unless the property legitimately became a profitable commercial enterprise and supplied council with verifiable documentation to that effect.

Or am I mistaken and council did not give its consent?

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