Council claims landowner has cost ratepayers millions
COUNCIL is claiming a Lismore Heights landowner is costing ratepayers a massive amount of amount of money for every day he denies them access to clear up contaminated waste at his property.
But Ken Allport, who owns land impacted by the landslip on Beardow St, reckons Lismore City Council is persecuting him through the NSW Land & Environment Court over the remediation of his block which was affected by the 2017 flood.
Earlier this year Mr Allport asked the council to purchase the land, as he believed the matter had cost more than $170,000 for legal, engineering and repatriation costs.
On May 13, the council took Mr Allport to the NSW Land & Environment Court, with the matter scheduled to heard on May 23.
Mr Allport has accused the council of running a vendetta.
"This is a very vindictive council, they have hounded and hounded me and I am feeling very persecuted by them," he said.
But council have disputed this, saying they are ready and willing to undertake the remediation of property, but have not been given reasonable access by Mr Allport.
"After much correspondence, Mr Allport granted access to council over his land on 6 May, 2019," a council representative said.
"However, that 'terms of the access' was restricted in such a manner that it has prevented council from undertaking any remediation works or removing any contaminated material from the site."
Mr Allport's legal representative from a Sydney law firm, said he felt the council was being unfair.
However, the council said the contaminated material on the site needs to be taken to a licensed waste disposal facility and the closest and appropriate place is in Ipswich.
"With the Queensland Government's new waste levy taking effect from July 1, the potential additional costs to Lismore ratepayers for the disposal of the contaminated material is in the order of $1.5 to $2 million," the representative said.
"Every day that Mr Allport prevents reasonable access to his land has the potential to cost Lismore ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars in additional waste disposal fees. "