Developers fail to turn Council

By PETER CATON

PEACE talks aimed at settling a row between major developers and Tweed Shire Council's administrators have failed.

The talks on Monday afternoon followed revelations that developers, builders, surveyors and town planning consultants had formed a "war cabinet" to fight a council ban on bulldozing hillsides to create flatter housing blocks.

But they ended in a stalemate, with the administrators refusing to make any major change and the developers leaving the meeting in disgust.

About 50 members of the development industry met with administrators Lucy Turnbull who has championed the new planning rules and Max Boyd in Murwillumbah.

Despite the meeting coming hard on the heels of a Land and Environment Court victory by one developer over the bulldozing ban on Friday, the administrators refused to budge.

Managing director of Greenview Developments Brian Turner, whose company has court approval to go ahead with a subdivision on hilly land at West Murwillumbah, said yesterday further court cases could follow, but the most likely result was unemployment.

He said the administrators would "not back down at all".

"It was disappointing they did not accept anything from the industry. This is going to create unemployment," he said.

"Whatever you produce, people will still only buy what they want to buy. People want to buy flat land."

Ms Turnbull said Monday's meeting had followed "an extensive process of public submissions" and three workshops which had led to some changes.

Among those was an amendment which meant the new rules would not be triggered unless levelling work involved more than 0.9 of metre of 'cut and fill'.

Ms Turnbull said she believed opposition from developers was "just a case of being resistant to change".



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