16.5 C
Byron Shire
April 24, 2024

Iron Gates DA at Evans Head to go to court after conciliation fails

Latest News

Sweet and sour doughnuts

Victoria Cosford ‘It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a sweet tooth,’ says Megan. I’ve called in at the pop-up...

Other News

Sustainable power from carbon dioxide?

University of Queensland researchers have built an experimental generator which they claim absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) to make electricity.

‘No-one ever came back but all reports indicate it’s lovely,’ and so begins this wickedly funny play about death and motherhood. Directed by the Drill’s accomplished artistic director, Liz Chance, Ghosting the Party tells the story of three generations of women who face questions of mortality and life with rigour, honesty and humour.

D-day for Bruns pod village pesticide treatment

After two delays, the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) will be treating Bruns emergency pods with a pesticide treatment, despite some strong opposition from flood-affected residents.

Reclaiming childhood in the ‘device age’

A century and a half ago, the visionary Henry David Thoreau declared people had become ‘the tool of their tools.’  In this device-driven age of smartphones, social media, and artificial intelligence, few observations could be seen as more prescient. 

WATER Northern Rivers says Rous County Council is wrong

WATER Northern Rivers Alliance says despite decades of objection, Rous County Council have just commissioned yet another heritage and biodiversity study in the Rocky Creek valley, between Dunoon and The Channon, in the heart of the Northern Rivers.

Byron Bay takes second at NSW grade three regional bowls championships

Pam Scarborough Byron Bay’s district winning, grade three pennants bowl team knew they had stepped up a grade when they...

Blue Pool Road clearing, June 2014. Photo supplied

The  Land and Environment Court (L&EC) conciliation meeting between Iron Gates developers at Evans Head and the Richmond Valley Council (RVC) that took place on Monday failed according to the Evans Head Residents for Sustainable Development Inc (EHRSD). A L&EC directions hearing has now been scheduled for Sydney on Monday. 

‘Evans Head Residents for Sustainable Development Inc learned late yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 8 March, 2023) that the Section 34 Conciliation process for the Iron Gates had failed and that the challenge from the developer Goldcoral Pty Ltd was now proceeding to the L&EC. So far there has been no statement issued by the L&EC Commissioner indicating why the conciliation was terminated,’ Dr Richard Gates, the spokesperson for EHRSD told The Echo

It is understood that a directions hearing has been scheduled for Monday morning, 13 March, in Sydney at 10:45am. This will be confirmed late Friday afternoon as it can be subject to change. 

The public were excluded from several sections of the conciliation meeting on Monday but it is understood that they will be able to connect online to listen to the directions hearing. 

One of the Evans Head, Iron Gates drains needing to be filled on Court Orders from 1997. Photo supplied

‘I am not surprised the conciliation process has failed because the case against the development application (DA) is so compelling,’ said Dr Gates. 

‘The two independent reports provided to the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), which heard the case for the DA last August, left nothing to the imagination in their rejection of the DA. This was a “slam dunk” “No” backed up by other independent reports in the same vein provided to the NRPP including those of the public.  

RVC should seek costs from developer

Dr Gates has asked RVC lawyers to ask for costs against the developer should the developer lose. This is in the absence of being able to request a surety upfront from the developer as happened with other cases involving Mr Ingles and the Iron Gates development previously in the Queensland Supreme Court. 

Iron Gates Road in flood March 2022. Photo supplied

‘This developer has cost us dearly with figures around a million dollars years ago. It is no doubt much larger now and will expand dramatically as L&EC cases do not come cheaply.

‘We should not be bearing the costs of his challenge. He had ample opportunity over the eight years of the application to make his case but clearly failed to do so in spite of continuing advice.’

Dr Gates said he was told that it is ‘presumed’ that each side in the case will bear their own costs but had found that there were provisions to seek costs after the case was concluded. 

Developer Graeme Ingles. Photo inglesgroup.com.au

Developer says GM asked him to submit DA

At last year’s NRPP hearing, where the DA was refused on multiple grounds, the Iron Gates developer Graham Ingles claimed that former RVC general manager John Walker had invited him to make the development application for the Iron Gates in 2014 because of a shortage of land at Evans Head for residential development.

Dr Gates said the EHRSD group was ‘interested to see what might come of the claim’. 

‘In light of that alleged invitation, it is not unreasonable to speculate that Mr Ingles might have had some expectation that his DA might receive a sympathetic hearing. It would appear that there was an underestimation of the community’s resolve against this development in such a fire and flood-prone location with a critical Aboriginal cultural history and long sustained period of community rejection extending back thirty years.’

Simone Barker (nee Wilson), daughter of the late Lawrence Wilson who opposed the development back in the 1990s accompanied by supporter Jaydn.

Withdraw the DA

‘The best thing which could happen now is for the Ingles group to withdraw its case, for council to rezone the land to a more appropriate zone in keeping with its character and for the land to be removed once and for all from future residential development so that people are not put in harm’s way,’ Dr Gates told The Echo.

‘Richmond Valley Council is in the process of completing its Growth Strategy and is ideally placed to bring this change particularly given the community’s overwhelming view against residential development at the Iron Gates site.’ 

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Foodie road-trip paradise: Harvest Food Trail

Calling all food and farm enthusiasts, the iconic Harvest Food Trail is happening soon, over four days from May 2-5. It’s your chance to...

Buzz Byron Bay, brewing unforgettable moments with a tuk-tuk twist

In the charming coastal haven of Byron Bay, where laid-back vibes meet bespoke experiences, there’s a new buzz in town – literally. Enter Buzz...

Cape Byron Distillery release world-first macadamia cask whisky

S Haslam The parents of Cape Byron Distillery CEO Eddie Brook established the original macadamia farm that you can see from the distillery at St...

Heart and Song Gold Coast Chamber Orchestra with soprano, Gaynor Morgan

Join us for an enchanting afternoon as Byron Music Society proudly presents ‘Heart and Song.’ Prepare to be immersed in a program meticulously crafted by the Gold Coast Chamber Orchestra, showcasing a world premiere composition. Well-known soprano, Gaynor Morgan, will be premiering a setting of poems by Seamus Heaney and Robert Graves, skilfully arranged for soprano, harp, cello and string orchestra by prominent Northern Rivers musician Nicholas Routley.