Legal concerns flagged over Mooball re-zoning bid
TWEED Shire Mayor Gary Bagnall has called for the council to seek legal advice on a controversial proposal to rezone an area of Mooball.
Cr Bagnall believes a rescission motion (due at the next meeting) has been preceded by an illegal resolution which called for a number of impact studies to be done after the exhibition of Mooball's rezoning.
Flood Impact, Geotechnical and Slope Stability, Bushfire Hazard and soil contamination studies could be outstanding.
"The question we have asked is if council is at fault for not (ensuring) those studies (are done) before the exhibition, and if Cr (Barry) Longland's resolution in June 2014 to do it after, is illegal and null and void," Cr Bagnall said.
"This is very serious; council is in a bit of bind with it at the moment," he said.
General manager Troy Green said he expected to receive legal advice on the matter by Tuesday.
"The advice is being obtained to ensure that the councillors and the community have complete confidence in the decisions made," he said.
A group of Mooball residents against the rezoning met on Saturday to discuss the 22-hectare site, adjoining Mooball-Pottsville Rd, which is proposed to be rezoned to fit 260 lots.
Council staff recommended block sizes be increased to 700sqm, after receiving 33 submissions against the rezoning. But councillors resolved 4-2 on August 6 to approve the smaller blocks.
Tanya Pappin, whose property backs onto the proposed re-zoning site and doubles as a flood drain, was concerned a cumulative flooding impact study had not been done.
"We're not against the development - we just want it done properly," she said.
Mooball Crabbes Creek Drainage Union president Peter Willis, representing eight cane growers, called for a cumulative flood impact study, stating farmer said they stood to lose stock in the event of flood.
Former banana grower of 61 years, Ronald Marshall, said the former banana farm site had "dieldrin, DDT and arsenic" poisons, and called for contamination testing.
But Cr Phil Youngblutt, a foundation member of the Mooball Progress Association, who supported the rezoning, said "there was no reason it shouldn't go ahead".
"When the developer goes ahead with a subdivision development application that is when the testing is done."
Cr Warren Polglase said the area had been earmarked for residential development "for a long time".
It wouldn't be fair on the proponent to have to fork out up to $500,000 for studies, if the rezoning gets knocked back, he said.
After the rezoning, the proponent would have to lodge separate DAs for subdivisions and dwellings, where further studies would be legally required.