Council rejects subdivision again

IT was close, it was emotional and it was knocked back again despite Clarence Valley Council officers recommending it be allowed to proceed. Now it may end up in court.

Yesterday, Wooloweyah couple Barry and Lenneke Serjeant's application to subdivide their Lakes Boulevard block was rejected for a second time.

The Serjeants were hoping councillors would overturn their original decision to block the subdivision but were disappointed to find that in a close five/four decision the outcome remained the same.

Councillors Ian Tiley, Jim Simmons, Pat Comben, Sue Hughes and Margaret McKenna all voted against allowing the subdivision to go through, while Crs Williamson, Howe, Dinham and Toms supported it.

Speaking the day after the decision, Barry Serjeant couldn't hide his disappointment.

He said he had 'mixed emotions' after being given 'strong indications' the result would be five/four in the couple's favour.

“We were complying with the requirements and I thought that would be enough,” Mr Serjeant said.

“The sad thing is there has been a lot of nastiness. People are allowed to have their say but it's disappointing when the nastiness creeps in.”

Mr Serjeant said the residents opposing the subdivision were a persuasive, but vocal minority.

“We both feel that what we want to do will not impact on the community,” he said.

“I constantly get people stopping me on the street to let me know they're behind us.”

Mr and Mrs Serjeant are now considering whether to lodge an appeal in the Land and Environment Court.

Because the application complies with State and local laws, the move would likely have a high chance of success.

However, the appeal wouldn't be cheap for the Serjeants, likely costing up to $30,000 in legal fees.

The cost to ratepayers could be even higher.

A spokesman for Clarence Valley Council said if the matter went to court it could cost council anything up to $50,000.

The Daily Examiner tried to contact one of the outspoken critics of the subdivision proposal, Ilma Hynson, from the Wooloweyah Ratepayers and Residents Association, but was unsuccessful prior to this paper going to print.

  • Due to today's coverage of the siege at Minnie Water we have had to hold over comments from councillors on reasons for their stance on the Wooloweyah decision. In tomorrow's Daily Examiner we will publish a full account of the reasons behind their decisions.

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