Developer ordered to pay Tweed council $600,000
A DEVELOPER who was awarded hefty compensation over dodgy drain works that encouraged a family of protected frogs to move onto a block of land at Kingscliff, has been ordered to pay back more than $600,000 to Tweed Council.
The court case has been running for about 10 years.
Gales Holdings brought a $10 million lawsuit against the council around storm water run-off that created a habitat that then became populated by the wallum froglet in the late 1990s and prevented development on a portion of the land.
While Gales failed in much of its claim, it was awarded $150,000 in damages for the cost of abating inundation at Turnock St and $600,000 to install additional drainage at Blue Jay Circuit.
However the council took it to the Court of Appeal which accepted council's argument that the primary judge had failed to find that it was not reasonable for the council to foresee the establishment of the wallum froglet population.
The council failed in its bid to appeal the $150,000 sum, but it was noted that council had since carried out the drainage works at Blue Jay Circuit which made the original nuisance orders void.
Both parties were given until early December to make submissions on costs.
Last week the court ordered Gales to repay the sum of $600,000 with interest.
A panel of three judges found Gales had still achieved a "measure of success" in its claim and ordered the council to pay 40% of legal costs.