Dorrigo in too hard basket

DENNIS Atkinson walked away from yesterday's Bellingen Shire Council meeting shaking his head and saying it would be better to settle the matter of a proposed 31lot development on the western edge of Dorrigo in court.

That was after the councillors had voted to defer, yet again, a final decision on the application.

Representatives from the Waterfall Way/Oak Street Residents and Friends had earlier addressed the council about their concerns.

"The main issue for us is the density of the development," spokesperson Sue Dolby said.

"We would also like the council to defer the decision until after a community meeting on February 22 when we will be discussing Dorrigo's growth."

Deputy mayor, Cr Ralph Lynch, asked Mr Atkinson, as representa- tive for the owner, whether the owner would consider reducing the number of blocks.

Mr Atkinson returned and said the owner was willing to reduce the number of lots by three, but the offer turned out to be a Catch 22.

Council's planning director, Simon Waterworth, questioned whether changing the application in this way meant the application itself was changed and therefore subject to a new assessment.

"My advice is that if council wishes to go down this path, the matter should be deferred as a precautionary measure," he said.

"We have to make sure the proper process is gone through."

Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the council voted to defer the matter until its March meeting.

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