Council responds to court ruling on North Lismore Plateau
LISMORE City Council has responded to the Land and Environment Court’s North Lismore Plateau decision.
The ruling has put a stop to a 433-lot residential subdivision, one of three developments slated for the plateau.
The council has already spent big on infrastructure to prepare the land for development,
and released a statement yesterday, addressing the outcome of the case of which council was party to.
“This is an important decision in the context of the development of the plateau and for other development,” the council’s partnerships, planning and engagement director Dr Sharon Harwood said.
The council defended its decision to initially approve the development even though the court found that a Species Impact Statement (SIS) should have accompanied the development application, and therefore the DA was not properly and lawfully made and the decision to grant consent was void and of no effect.
“Council has always been concerned to protect the environmental attributes of the plateau – and it was for that reason that so much of the land has been rezoned for the purposes of environmental management,” Dr Harwood said.
“There is no suggestion that the land that has been set aside for environmental management is inadequate. The decision provides clarity with respect to that part of the plateau that needs to be the subject of specific consideration with respect to the ecological impacts arising from any residential development.”
The statement explained the developer has implemented a number of measures to negate impact on biodiversity and vegetation, including compensatory planting of over 2000 forest red gums.
The statement drew attention to two other challenges that Mickey Ryan lost in court.
Mr Ryan was unable to persuade the court that construction certificates issued by the council to allow the development to proceed in accordance with the consent were unlawful. The court concluded that no error had been made by council when issuing the construction certificates.
Mr Ryan was also unable to persuade the court that orders should be made regarding the failure to obtain a permit under the Heritage Act 1977 before excavation associated with an alleged “gravesite”.
The Court declined to make any declaration that the Act had been breached and noted that correct procedures on the excavation had been followed and that no relic had been located on site.