The Land and Environment Court has ruled that approval of the development application to create over 400 residential lots on the North Lismore Plateau, is invalid.
The DA for the project was lodged in 2017 and approved in 2018 by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Bundjalung man Mickey Ryan served Lismore City Council with a summons over the contentious North Lismore Plateau development in January last year and commenced legal proceedings to invalidate the development consent.
Mr Ryan told Echonetdaily at the time that successive attempts by local Aboriginal people to establish the importance of the land to their culture have been rebuffed during the approvals process, adding that Council is ‘not listening’ to their views on the project.
‘There was no consultation whatsoever,’ he said. ‘They’ve never listened to any of the Elders here’.
Development Consent was invalidly made
Last Thursday the NSW Land and Environment Court judge, Justice Pain, handed down her judgement in the case of Ryan v Northern Regional Planning Panel, finding that the Development Consent 2017/270 granted on 17 October 2018 was ‘invalidly made, void and of no effect as the DA when lodged failed to comply with s 78A(8) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979’.
Ryan – we knocked ‘em for six
After the announcement, Mickey Ryan said that it felt like a David and Goliath Battle. ‘We knocked ‘em for six. It’s like a fairytale come true. We started crying with emotion and relief.’
Developer David Rothwell from the Winten Property Group has said this is not the end of the line for the DA and they were reviewing their options.
‘We will be looking at all our options,’ he said in a news report. ‘Our ecologist at the time and Council, decided between themselves that it wasn’t necessary. That’s still my advice today.’
It’s possible the developers will appeal the decision and the case will return to court within two weeks where the final orders will be made.
Mr Ryan has said that if there is a comeback from the developers he will be there to stop them.
‘It’s so important for the mountain to be protected and saved for our future generations. If we’ve got no future, we’ve got no past.
‘I don’t think the fight’s over. It’s just the start. I will stand and fight until I can’t fight no more.’