Huntlee Developer claims untrue
MEDIA RELEASE – 02 August 2011
Claims made by LWP Property Group about the merits of the Huntlee planning decision in the Land and Environment Court have been labelled as misleading by Greens NSW MP and Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge.
“The developer’s claims that the merits of the Huntlee proposal have twice been ‘found to be solid’ by the courts are completely untrue,” Mr Shoebridge said.
“Labor’s pro-developer laws meant that there was no capacity for the merits of developments to be challenged in the courts. This was why the legal challenge was limited to the process.
“The site was rated the least suitable of almost 100 potential development sites in the lower Hunter by State planning staff, yet because of the lack of transparency in Labor’s broken planning laws it keep being revived.
“Huntlee is an example of all that was wrong with the notorious Part 3A. It involved the wholesale rezoning of rural land, the ignoring of key environmental controls and the use of unlimited discretionary powers by politicians all wrapped up in the one development.
“With less than 50 signatories, the petition being circulated by the developer is proof positive of the lack of support for this development in the Hunter.
“The develop is disingenuous in saying that the Court did not find against the development on merit, when they know full well that the planning laws prevented any third party appeals reviewing the lack of merit of the application.
“Given the lack of merit in this development, it is most unfortunate that its merits could not be tested in open court.
“This is a real test for the Coalition’s resolve on planning reform. Will the Minister stand up to the developer or will he, as Labor did before him, seek to bend the law to allow for this misplaced development to continue?
“This appeal looks a lot like a delaying tactic by the developer to give them time to get a political fix from the planning Minister. The Minister must now stand firm and let the Courts finalise this matter,” Mr Shoebridge said.
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