Conservation group wins court case

THE Nambucca Shire Council is facing a substantial legal bill after losing a case in the Land and Environment Court.

The Nambucca Valley Conservation Association (NVCA) with the assistance of the Environmental Defenders Office and Legal AID successfully challenged the council’s approval of a seven-lot residential subdivision at Valla.

“The court found the council made two procedural errors in its approval of the subdivision,” council general manager Michael Coulter said.

“These related to our notification of amendments to the development application and our consideration of all the environmental aspects of the subdivision.”

Mr Coulter said the judgement also found that the council and the developer should pay 60 per cent of the costs.

“I expect the bill will run into tens of thousands of dollars,” he said.

“We won’t know what it is for a while but already the developer has asked council to pay his share.”

NVCA president Georgette Allen said the judgement showed the council had failed to follow due process in 2008 when it approved the subdivision in prime koala habitat at Valla.

“This legal challenge was about council’s unacceptable process in considering and determining a controversial development application which had been significantly amended over the five years it was with council,” Ms Allen said.

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