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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Poultry farm ruled off limits

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A long-running dispute over an illegal poultry farm at Cudgen has ended with Tweed Shire Council set to seek $120,000 in costs from the property owner and a new plan for a scaled-down operation on the site rejected outright.

The controversial farm at No 576 Cudgen Road had angered neighbours soon after it was set up over a year ago to house 10,000 egg-laying chickens in several sheds, without official approval.

Neighbours complained about noise, smell and pollution of nearby water supplies and the issue between council and property owner Dean Sikiric went back and forth between lawyers and courts.

The owner was ordered to remove the sheds and shut the business as a result after council took the matter to the NSW Land and Environment Court, which ruled last December it was operating illegally.

Council’s chief planner Vince Connell said a number of extensions were granted for the dismantling of the operation, but Mr Sikiric was found to be in contempt of court in March this year as no action had yet been taken.

Meanwhile, another person, Mr G Temessi, lodged a development application (DA) for a scaled-down operation on the property, for a maximum of 4,500 birds in eight movable sheds, which was rejected this week.

But Mr Connell said the history of the situation had no bearing on the DA decision, which was ‘considered solely on its merits, without prejudice, as is required with any application we consider’.

He said staff had made the correct determination that the site was unsuitable for the DA as submitted.

‘There is a definite message in all this about the importance of compliance and following proper procedures before making significant investment in any business,’ he said.

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