NSW's largest housing development overturned a second time by court

NCC member group Sweetwater Action Group has successfully had NSW's largest housing development for 7500 dwellings overturned a second time by the Land and Environment Court.

Sweetwater Action Group President Chris Parker called it a "sweet victory", with the firmly believing the State government was wrong to accept the same development again after it had been thrown out by the Land and Environment Court in 2009.

NCC executive member and Cessnock Councillor James Ryan who has been working with the residents group said he hoped planning laws would be re-written so that demonstrably inappropriate developments such as Huntlee can not occur again.

"The Department of Planning has a systemic cultural problem which needs to be changed. Reform of Department of Planning needs to be take place so that the community can have real confidence that the resources are available for full and diligent assessment of all projects," Cr Ryan said.

"For example at Huntlee the Government approved rezoning the land without much of it being assessed for Aboriginal Heritage. Further some of the land is highly contaminated but there was no definite plan for
rehabilitation.

"The onus is now on the NSW government to bring in new planning laws which properly protect our local communities and the environment so there are no more disasters like Huntlee.

"As far as the Hunter is concerned it is now imperative that the discredited Lower Hunter Regional Strategy is torn up and begun again, this time with full community participation," he said.

Photo: http://jamesryan.net.au/

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