Lismore City Council has fined a local development company $6000 for undertaking unlawful works relating to a subdivision approved by the Land & Environment Court in 2011.
The 75-lot Ubrihien Estate subdivision at 554 Ballina Road, Goonellabah, was the subject of an appeal to the Land & Environment Court, and a number of amendments were made to the original development application to address numerous planning issues before the Court granted consent.
Construction on the subdivision commenced in early 2017, and a community complaint was received by Council in June alleging that Riordans Consulting Surveyors Pty Ltd were undertaking unlawful activities on site.
Council conducted an investigation to determine the level of compliance with the Court approval, and identified that a significant amount of unlawful works had been undertaken outside the area approved by the Court, which included the following unapproved activities:
- construction of haulage roads;
- clearing of vegetation;
- removal and stockpiling of rocks;
- construction of drainage lines;
- construction of a large sediment pond; and
- earthworks conducted over a Council sewer trunk main.
The unlawful works covered an area of more than two hectares outside the approved areas for subdivision work. Additional concerns were identified about the lack of adequate sediment and erosion controls within the approved work area.
Lismore City Council Compliance Coordinator Matt Kelly said the investigation results were assessed under Council’s Enforcement Policy, which concluded that a number of offences had been committed against the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
‘As a result, the decision was made to issue the project manager responsible for the work, Riordans Consulting Surveyors Pty Ltd, with a penalty notice in the amount of $6000 for the offence of undertaking development without consent,’ he said.
Two formal cautions for other offences attracting fines totalling $6000 were also issued to the company in relation to the unlawful works.