21/10/2009 - 11:04

Cockburn awarded $150k from developer

21/10/2009 - 11:04

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The City of Cockburn has been awarded $150,000 by the Fremantle Magistrate's Court following legal proceedings against Swan Bay Holdings for unlawful development of a roadway and concrete container yard operation.

The City of Cockburn has been awarded $150,000 by the Fremantle Magistrate's Court following legal proceedings against Swan Bay Holdings for unlawful development of a roadway and concrete container yard operation.

While the development has since been approved, the company pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful development at Lot 446 Barrington Street, Bibra Lake after the City of Cockburn submitted that a significant deterrent penalty was required.

The Supreme Court has noted that retrospective approval of unlawful development is not a mitigating factor.

Swan Bay Holdings asked the court to take into account the fact the development was consistent with zoning, was low-impact and did not have an adverse impact on surrounding properties.

 

Full announcement below:

 

City of Cockburn awarded $150,000 in case against Swan Bay Holdings

THE City of Cockburn has been awarded $150,000 by the Fremantle Magistrate's Court, following legal proceedings against Swan Bay Holdings.

The company pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful development at Lot 446 Barrington Street, Bibra Lake, after developing a roadway and concrete container yard operation without first gaining the necessary planning approvals from the City of Cockburn.

While the development has since been approved, the City of Cockburn submitted that a significant deterrent penalty was required and the Supreme Court has noted that retrospective approval of unlawful development is not a mitigating factor.

Swan Bay Holdings asked the court to take into account the fact the development was consistent with zoning, was low-impact and did not have an adverse impact on surrounding properties.

After hearing both parties, the court noted:
- The development was very large.
- It was not suggested the company didn't know its actions were wrong.
- It was clearly a commercial decision to undertake the works without approval.
- The City of Cockburn may have required the development to be carried out differently had the company applied for approval before starting the works.

Taking those factors into account, and the fact works continued after a formal direction was given, the court imposed Swan Bay Holdings with a fine of $150,000. The company was also ordered to pay costs of $1200.

City of Cockburn Director of Planning and Development Daniel Arndt said it was a timely reminder that businesses and residents needed to follow proper procedures when it came to planning approvals - or they would have to face the consequences.

"Planning approvals are important to ensure the quality of any development and the safety of the community, so there's no point in avoiding them because ultimately you will be required to gain the approvals in the future," he said.

"People may think they're saving money and time but, as this case shows, it could prove to be an extremely costly exercise."

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