Council delays Condon?s Hill rezoning application decision

By Bree Price

The battle for Condon's Hill is set to continue after Ballina Shire Council yesterday put off making a decision on an application to rezone the hill to limit development.

The council will now wait until a decision has been made on a development application lodged by the hill's owner, Margaret Condon, to build a 148-unit seniors living complex on the site.

In a report to the council, it had been recommended councillors proceed with the rezoning, but the majority agreed with the motion to defer the decision, put forward by Councillor Keith Johnson.

If the rezoning was approved first, it would block Ms Condon from proceeding with the proposed development in its current form.

Cr Johnson said the future of Condon's Hill was such an important issue the council needed more time to make an informed decision.

"We need to settle down, take time out and proceed with this in a professional and objective manner," he said.

"There is polarisation of the community over this issue. It is prudent to take a deep breath."

He also said the rights of the landowner that would be affected by the rezoning should be an important consideration.

"We can't sweep aside property rights of landowners. We have to have regard for people's individual rights," he said.

Crs Alan Brown, Peter Moore, Keith Johnson, David Wright, John Felsch and Mayor Phil Silver all voted in favour of Cr Johnson's motion, whilst Crs Alan Rich and Sharon Cadwallader were not in support.

In a separate decision, the council voted in favour of asking Ms Condon to withdraw an appeal from the NSW Land and Environment Court concerning the Seniors Living development proposed for the hill.

Ms Condon lodged the appeal after the council failed to make a decision on the DA within 60 days and it was 'deemed refusal'.

However, Cr Rich believed the motion was illegal and left the chamber without cast- ing a vote.

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