Reg van Rij at Kings Forrest.
Reg van Rij at Kings Forrest. Blainey Woodham

Developer allowed to appeal in its fight for the truth

LEDA Developments will be allowed to appeal the Tweed Shire Council's decision to block the company's access to several documents which could impact the future of two major projects.

Following a court stoush earlier this year, Leda was provided with some correspondence between council officers and people who were objecting to the developments, but much of the information had been blacked out or deleted.

A series of emails between the council's director of planning Vince Connell and an unnamed person from January 17-21 are at the centre of the dispute.

At the time, Leda's application to develop 10,000 new homes over the next 20 years was yet to clear the primary planning approval stage.

The council refused to provide the writer's details, on the grounds personal information should be protected.

The writer also referred to a "family circumstance" to justify the non-disclosure.

During the first hearing, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal accepted that the public interest consideration against the disclosure was "very strong" and upheld the objection.

But on appeal, Leda argued that it appeared that the writer was objecting on behalf of a community organisation or association.

They claimed that if that was the case, the writer's claim to privacy was "weakened, if not lost", and the company had the right to know "who precisely had communicated with council officers, expressing concern over the development".

The tribunal allowed the appeal. Hearing dates are expected to be set next month.



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