Mediation Is Last Hope for Housing Application
Byline: Adrian Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Fry outlaid about $2 million to buy and decontaminate the 4.5 acre site.
He entered negotiations with council planners in April 2006.
Application to develop 50 housing lots submitted in August 2006.
Application refused July 2009.
Appeal lodged August 2009.
Matter goes to Planning and Environment Court July 2010.
Mediation may finally resolve it in three weeks' time.
DENNIS Fry and his wife, Vicki, hope mediation will succeed where four-and-a-half years of negotiations have failed in their attempts to get permission to build houses on the site of a former wrecking yard.
The Frys say the protracted wrangle with Rockhampton Regional Council planning officers has cost them more than $700,000 in legal fees and engineering reports so far a and they have had to sell their family home to continue with the plans for the 50-lot subdivision at Parkhurst.
The dispute, mainly over stormwater issues, went to the Planning and Environment Court earlier this month when both sides agreed to mediation.
"Basically it is now up to technical experts from each side to get together and reach a solution," Mr Fry said.
"If the mediation doesn't work then there will be a court battle that will cost both sides thousands of dollars, possibly $50,000 to $70,000. Of course, Rockhampton ratepayers' money will be accessed for the council's court costs and my wife and I are ratepayers as well. So it will be costing us on both sides of the equation. …