Holiday park, council head to Land and Environment Court
BYRON Shire Council and a North Coast holiday park will take a dispute to a Land and Environment Court in the new year.
The council’s legal counsel Ralph James said a hearing into the matter, involving an activity application from Reflections Holiday Parks Terrace Reserve, would be held in March.
Reflections brought “deemed refusal” proceedings against the council when the application, seeking the licence to operate the existing caravan park at Terrace Reserve, including the southern precinct, was not approved within a specific time frame.
“The reason for that and the reason we’re advancing in the hearing is that we weren’t given sufficient information to enable us to determine it,” Mr James said.
“What we’re saying is that we didn’t get sufficient information to enable us to conduct a proper assessment of the activity application and apply the local government regulations.”
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Mr James said the council would also argue it also it could not properly assess the application against the Byron local approvals policy or “the principles of ecologically sustainable development”, on the information available.
Reflections Holiday Parks CEO Steve Edmonds confirmed the application was lodged on August 7 last year.
Mr Edmonds said the most recent approval for this use expired on May 9, 2015 and despite several applications since then, they still had no approval.
“Reflections have previously provided the council with a number of expert reports including town planning, ecology and arboricultural reports, which should include sufficient information for the council to carry out an assessment,” he said.
He said the council had requested further information since the court proceedings began.
“Reflections have attempted to answer the council’s requests for information as best it could by referring the council to the relevant existing expert reports or providing further documents and explanations where necessary,” he said.
“Reflections and the council have had continuing discussions and negotiations about the operational park boundaries since 2015.
“As such the information provided with each application would have been updated to reflect the most recent discussions between the parties.”
He said the park is still operating while the matter remains before the court.