COUNCILLORS have been unwilling to grant approval to a subdivision in Shiralee for a second time, amid concerns for the neighbours.
Orange City Council deferred the subdivision at 168 Shiralee Road, urging developer Byng Administration Services to consult neighbouring landowners, or change its plans, because it only had access to six of the 17 proposed lots.
Plans indicated putting road, water and sewer easements for the remaining 11 lots through neighbouring properties.
The move raised objections from affected landholders, saying they had not been consulted.
The matter was deferred last month for a site inspection and was considered again last week, where neighbour Gemma Dwyer told councillors a meeting had taken place with the developer’s representative.
But she said no negotiations took place and the plans remained unchanged.
“[It was] just all being told there’s nothing to worry about,” she said.
“We are not a third party, we are affected landowners who own the land that you are conditioning consent on.”
After the meeting, Mrs Dwyer said neighbours asked the representative why there had been no previous contact.
“They said they didn’t need to,” she said.
Mrs Dwyer said she feared the developer could use DA approval to seek compulsory acquisition in the courts and no contact had been made since the deferral.
The council’s approval notice for the application would forbid subdividing the remaining lots until access is secured and planning laws dictate neighbours’ permission is needed at the subdivision stage, not the DA stage.
However, residents’ fears were shared by councillor Jeff Whitton at the meeting, saying the state government could put covenants on easements and enforce them.
He asked whether those powers could apply to a subdivision and questioned why a developer would take a chance on a restrictive design.
“What happens when the owners of the land subject to giving access say, ‘we’re not giving you access through our land’? Then that person is going to go to the Land and Environment Court,” he said.
“The developer has rights, but so do the people who live around there.”
Council development services director David Waddell said such matters went to the NSW Supreme Court.
“They’re difficult matters to get through,” he said.
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