Raging against red tape

A BUSINESS owner has cited Tweed Shire Council's bureaucracy for his decision to abandon plans to expand into the area.

Tru Steel Structures owner Earle Hogg said his mobile grandstand business had outgrown its Burleigh workshop and he was looking to build a facility at Murwillumbah.

After waiting 12 months for planning approval, Mr Hogg pulled the pin on the Murwillumbah plan.

"It was absolutely incredible," Mr Hogg said.

"I received a request from the council to show how trucks would be able to get in and out of the property. Then three months later and I got another letter asking the same thing, but this time from the boundary to the factory."

In a letter to the council Mr Hogg wrote: "I have to wonder whether the right hand of your building application fraternity knows what the left hand outfit is doing, as the internal machinery does not run smoothly if it runs at all."

Mr Hogg has ditched his plans for a multi-million dollar export business in the Tweed because of the delays.

Tweed Shire Council planning and regulation director Vince Connell said a lack of information from the applicant was the main reason for the delay.

"While it is acknowledged that a more co-ordinated request for information with regard to engineering issues may have avoided some delay in determination, the level of information initially submitted with the application was significantly short of council's required specifications," Mr Connell said.

"Concerns were raised in relation to the utilitarian design of the proposed building, however it was considered that with appropriate landscaping to soften the appearance of the building, the proposal would not cause such an impact to the context and setting to warrant refusal of the proposal."

Mr Connell said the application suffered because of the applicant's decision not to obtain detailed pre-lodgement advice.



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