Sandy Shores develops into battle

THE battle over the controversial Sandy Shores development is heating up.

Peter Darby, who is one of the owners of the site, said the council’s Sandy Beach/Hearnes Lake development control plan was not legally able to impose any rezoning of their land.

He said the DCP was inconsistent with the current legal instrument, which was LEP 2000, and placed huge prohibitions on their development.

Mr Darby said the council had rushed through a non-legal document (their DCP) that devalued his land by back-zoning it from the 2a/2c zoning (residential low and medium density) it had held for 30 years to a mostly 7a zoning (environmental protection), which they legally could not do, and had wanted the owners to give them 90% of this land for free – by dedication (gifting) rather than by acquisition (buying).

He said even before this occurred, the council had decided to offer the land free to a government department, and he had the council letters to prove it.

Meantime, Bill Yassine, the project manager for the development, has said copies of a letter between solicitors in the fight over development of the land, was sent to all Coffs Harbour City councillors “under our instructions”.

The letter, which said the developers would seek to recover a wide range of costs if the council lost the case, is an indication of the high stakes involved in the case, which pits local planners, councillors and residents against the owners and developers of the land.

A judicial review of the concept approval for development of 200 lots by the former Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, has been set down for initial mention on April 8 in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

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