Howes under the spotlight over her developments
By MARY MANN
CONTROVERSIAL Ballina councillor Margaret Howes sat on the other side of the fence at a council meeting on Thursday.
The outspoken representative had to leave the chamber while her fellow councillors debated two matters relating to her Empire Vale and Patchs Beach properties.
The issues were originally supposed to be discussed behind closed doors. But after a request from Cr Howes, a speech from a member of the public and on advice from the general manager, the council dealt with them in open session.
Cr Howes was not happy with the outcome of a discussion dealing with a fence and other work on her property.
Council's regulatory services group manager, Rod Willis, said Cr Howes had applied to carry out some development on her Empire Vale property but the work she did was different to the work outlined in her application.
Council voted to order Cr Howes to comply with the development consent. If she did not, further action would be taken.
Cr Howes said she would look to asking for the order to be set aside because she believed the work was causing no environmental problems.
Councillors also discussed the possibility of legal action against Cr Howes for building a private air strip on her property at Patches Beach without consent.
Several councillors expressed concerns about the air strip's legality.
However, no further action would be taken because development consent was not required if the strip was for private use only.