Developer seeking $400m over failed Hunter projects

Well if anyone had any doubt that at least the Developer thought there was a deal with the Government (even though us poor souls in the public were told our submissions would be considered) , then this court case should put an end to those doubts!

James Ryan

Developer seeking $400m over failed Hunter projects

By Giselle Wakatama

From ABC radio 26.9.12

A developer that was once behind the state’s biggest housing project in the Hunter is suing the New South Wales Government over failed developments.

Hardie Holdings and 12 associated companies allege negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied contractual obligation, negligent exercise of statutory power and breach of agreement.

The plaintiffs say the state “made it clear” it would ensure the rezoning of several Hardie development sites, including the massive Sweetwater development now known as Huntlee near Branxton.

But that project was delayed after a Land and Environment Court judge likened land swap deals to bribes.

The companies are seeking $394 million from the state of New South Wales in damages.

The Supreme Court has been told the sites were seen as crucial to the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy.

Hardie Holdings says their values have “collapsed” and argues that the state is liable for the losses.

After suffering financial strife, the companies have sold several properties including the $1.5 billion Huntlee project.

In a submission to the Court, the state said that the case does not give rise to a public interest argument.

But Justice Ian Harrison said the result of the litigation may be of interest to other developers such as those involved in a development at Catherine Hill Bay.

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