Conciliation conference terminated and discussions on controversial development to occur in closed Council before further legal proceedings

New South Wales Land and Environment Court Commissioner, Sarah Bish, terminated the conciliation conference on March 8, but how the matter of Cardiff Holdings Pty Ltd versus Singleton Council is to proceed remains a mystery.

The intersection in flood.

The intersection in flood.

Council’s Acting Director Planning and Infrastructure Services Group, Mary-Anne Crawford, says the Commissioner terminated the conciliation conference and has placed the matter in the Registrar’s telephone Mention list on Monday, March 26, 2018 when Council will inform the Registrar how the matter is to proceed according to a resolution of Council.

“Councillors will consider the matter in closed Council at the ordinary meeting on March 19. The matter is a closed agenda item because it is subject to legal proceedings as per clause 10A(2)(g) of the Local Government Act 1993. Accordingly, Council is unable to disclose any further information at this time,” she explains.

Our local Councillors unanimously rejected the development application (DA199/2016) put forward by the proponent, Cardiff Holdings, at a meeting on March, 27 in 2017. And, as a result the proponent began proceedings in the Land and Environment Court to appeal the decision.

The DA seeks to build a service station, take away food and drink premises, and two ancillary shops, at 5 Bridgman Road which is located in a high hazard floodway as identified in the Council’s Singleton Floodplain Risk Management Plan.

The application has been met with some fierce opposition; many local residents – especially those who witnessed the intersection go underwater in 2007 – dumbfounded that such a proposal could even be on the table.

Besides flooding, they have a number of other concerns: traffic congestion, risks posed to pedestrian safety, noise, loss of amenity, and that the land should be used for agricultural purposes only.

Grounds for Council originally refusing the development were:

1. Proposed development is not suitable in a high hazard floodway according to Singleton Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2013 and Singleton Floodplain Risk Management Plan 2012;

2. That the development is inconsistent with RU1 Primary Production zone of the Singleton LEP 2013;

3. The proposed development has the potential to increase traffic congestion and adversely affect traffic and pedestrian safety;

4. That the development is not in the public interest as identified in the Community Strategic Plan.