A FURIOUS Griffith developer has threatened to take council to court over a “ridiculous” decision to refuse his development application (DA).
A single resident has managed to halt the development of the Collina housing estate after she objected a proposed two-storey house next to her property at last week’s council meeting.
Despite council planning staff recommending the DA for three double-storey homes on a subdivision in Franco Drive be allowed to go ahead, council staff voted six to five in favour of the objector and the application was rejected.
Developer Zep Lanza, of Zeplan Developments, has slammed the decision saying he “ticked all the boxes” and had met above the minimum requirements in most cases.
Mr Lanza is considering taking his case to the Land and Environment Court, where he is confident council’s decision would be overturned.
Mr Lanza was especially offended by Councillor Paul Rossetto’s inquisition at the meeting.
“I am seriously unimpressed by Paul Rossetto – his lack of planning knowledge is astounding,” Mr Lanza said.
“And I am bitterly disappointed with council’s outcome.
“The planners at council are great but then it goes to councillors and you get a decision like this, based on the complaint of one resident.”
Mr Lanza estimates the process so far has cost him at least $15,000 – money he cannot recoup.
“It’s ridiculous that I make everything compliant but council is likely to do a backflip because of one complaint,” he said.
“I’m not happy as a ratepayer for council to make a stupid decision like this that they know they can’t win in the Land and Environment Court.”
Council received three submissions from nearby residents opposing the development on the grounds of privacy issues, overshadowing and economic impact to their properties.
While developers went to lengths to ensure these concerns would not be a problem, Hillam Drive resident Joan Dean, who spoke publicly at council over the matter, said she was “not against development in Griffith”, but she held “grave concerns” for her and her neighbours’ day to day life.
Mrs Dean was concerned the amount of sunlight able to warm her home would be compromised, as would her level of privacy, and she did not like the prospect of looking out onto a six-metre high wall.
Griffith Council coordinator of planning and compliance Kelly McNicol said there were a few options available to Mr Lanza - though they would all come at a cost.
“The applicant has the option to request a review of the determination, or he can appeal to the Land and Environment Court,” Mr McNicol said.
“He also has the option to put in a new DA.”
Mr McNicol had recommended the approval of the DA but said council had “every right” to refuse it, based on the merit of public objections.
Councillor Bill Lancaster, who was in favour of the development, suggested people who were averse to two-story homes being developed should consider buying rural properties.