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Illawarra Mercury

No compo for landowners

Date: 26/05/2010
Words: 280
Source: ILL
          Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Section: News
Page: 8
WOLLONGONG City Council has ruled out financial compensation for Helensburgh land owners who will be unable to build on their properties under a revised council proposal.

Almost 3500 people commented on a council discussion paper last year that recommended zoning changes that would have allowed more than 300 new homes in Helensburgh, Stanwell Tops and Otford.

The council-commissioned report, known as the Willana Report, had recommended that houses be allowed in several environmentally sensitive areas.

They included up to 200 homes in the Land Pooling Precinct and as many as 260 dwellings on the southern part of Lady Carrington Estate.

But after public opposition to further development, the council has backed down on residential zonings in both precincts, recommending they be zoned E3 environmental management and that no additional homes be permitted.

Just 31 additional dwellings - 11 in Central Otford and 20 in the Wilsons Creek precinct - would be supported in the revised council proposal, which residents will have six weeks to comment on.

About 70 per cent of the land formerly zoned 7(d) Hacking River Environmental Protection will be given the highest environmental protection, with an E2 environmental conservation zoning.

Last night, administrator Robert McGregor ruled out financial compensation for most land owners who had hoped to be given an entitlement for a house.

"They purchased them without a right to build initially," Mr McGregor said.

"Clearly they were hopeful of having a right to build, but the issue of compensation does not arise.

"There is just one particular small area where some compensation may need to be considered, but it may be an issue for the State Government."

Mr McGregor defended the council's decision not to undertake environmental studies prior to developing the maps.

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