Draft LEP leads to conflict
IT IS not just in the rural areas where the Lismore City Council’s draft LEP is causing angst.
The plan to rezone community land adjoining Herne’s Freight depot in South Lismore to operational has led a neighbouring couple to allege the council is effectively subsidising the expansion of a private company.
At issue is a small parcel of land leading to Hollingsworth Creek, and wedged between Herne’s on the one side and the home of Amanda Morris and Gary Georgeson on the other.
The couple says that in the past the company has expanded parts of its operation into the community-zoned wedge.
“We are very concerned about the message it sends to big business that basically if you ignore council and build on their land, you will berewarded in the long run and be able to purchase that land,” Ms Morris said.
However, the company’s managing director, Stuart Herne, yesterday rejected any wrong doing.
He said the company was allowed to expand into the adjoining land by Lismore’s then town planner after Mr Herne removed ‘many truck loads’ of concrete and other waste that had been dumped at the site over the years.
The council yesterday said the company held a valid development application dating back to 1985.
A spokesperson said the company had operated at the location before the current zones were developed in 1993, which resulted in the land being classified as community, despite its historical use.
“The only way the council can separate the commercial site from community land is through the current LEP process,” a spokesperson said.
Still, the neighbours argue Herne’s, which employs about 80 people and runs 40-odd mostly refrigerated trucks, should not be allowed to expand further as it has regularly flouted noise and environment conditions attached to its development application.
“Our house shakes and throbs from the refrigeration trucks that are parked just metres away from us,” MrGeorgeson said.
He said despite noise and environmental complaints, the council had refused to investigate.
However, the council said it has had two meetings with Herne’s and the company had complied with all its requests.
Mr Herne yesterday said he did not understand why the neighbours had suddenly decided to complain.
“We have been operating here for 30 years, and the residents who are complaining rented their house for about five years before buying it two years ago,” he said.
“If they wanted some nice tranquil environment next to a creek why did they buy in the middle of the largest industrial area in South Lismore?”