Backyard blitz sees Council threatening legal action

CLARENCE Valley Council could take legal action against a Waterview Heights property owner, with the potential cost expected to be between $50,000 and $100,000.

The council's director of planning and environment, Des Schroder, said the case centred on zoning regulations and environmental issues.

The property functioned as a scrap metal yard for the past 30 years and the council decided to take legal action after the owner of a neighbouring property complained about battery acid and engine oil allegedly leaking into a nearby creek.

Mr Schroder said properties that engaged in these sorts of activities were allowed under NSW state planning legislation, but they needed consent from councils, which he said this property did not have.

"We're looking at taking action through the Land and Environment Court," Mr Schroder said.

"What frustrates the community is these things take more time than they think."

Mr Schroder said the council had engaged in lengthy negotiations to get the landholder to clean up his property.

The case is understood to have appeared in court twice before but the cases were either discontinued or withdrawn.

The property owner said most of the cars he had previously housed on the property had been removed, except for a few vintage pieces he was collecting.

He said the property was never used as a car yard but was a scrap metal yard, something which might prove significant in the expected court case.

He dismissed the allegations of battery acid and oil leaking into the neighbouring creek, a tributary of the Clarence River.

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