Court action halts moves on Gnarabup development

THE protracted battle over a $30 million development at Gnarabup in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has ground to a halt pending a number of Supreme Court actions.

An application for a roundabout on Walcliffe Road, put forward by the developer, Mark Hohnen’s Gnarabup Beach, was knocked back by the council this week in light of the ongoing legal skirmish.

“We decided that, in light of the fact that there’s still a $5.7 million injurious affection claim lodged (against the council by Gnarabup Beach) in December, we resolved we couldn’t consider any matter west of Walcliffe Road,” Shire of Augusta-Margaret River president Nick Dornan said.

“So we required that it be withdrawn.”

In February this year the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River ruled to excise the council from any decision regarding the future of the development, leaving it in the hands of its chief executive officer Ian Bodill, in consultation with the shire president.

Mr Dornan said the issue was moving forward very slowly.

“We’re waiting for a Supreme Court hearing on the jurisdiction issue,” he said.

“We have to wait and see if the proponent is going to test the town planning scheme in the Supreme Court.”

Mr Dornan said he felt very little could happen until the legal aspects of the issue were resolved.

“It’s difficult for Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan,” he said. “She may well try and move the matter forward once the legal aspects are resolved.”

Mr Hohnen also suggested the matter would continue to be drawn out.

“We won our case against the Leeuwin Conservation Group in the Supreme Court and we’re just waiting for things to progress forward.

The Leeuwin Conservation Group also was challenging the WA Planning Commission with the hope that it could get the subdivision approval for the site revoked.

A representative from the Leeuwin Conservation Group could not be contacted by WA Business News.

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