Monday, August 31, 2009

Catherine Hill Bay: Court Overturns Sartor

Former Planning Minster, Frank Sartor's, approval of a development at Cathering Hill Bay, south of Swansea, near Newcastle.

As then Planning Minister, Mr Sartor, accepted the advice of the Planning Panel. He appointed members of the panel, so any references to it being "independent" outght to be questioned. Rose Corp's development application was ranked very low on the Planning Department's list of preferred developments for the lower Hunter Region. It's approval was contingent on the deal to transfer some land to the State Government, in return for planning aproval, and land.

Residents of the old coal-mining town, and from other nearby, small settlements, objected. Today, the Land And Environment Court has declared void the former Planning Minister's approval of the development.

While the method, the deal and reasoning behind the development approval appear to be discredited by the court's decision, I think it is unlikely that the State Government will challenge it. The court's decision, though, does not mean there can be no development at Catherine Hill Bay; it just means that Frank Sartor's decision was not valid. I wonder how much of it was his idea - as Minister for Water, Sydney Water employees had two 'terms of endearment'. They were 'The Big Drip' if he had an idea, or 'Cranky Franky', if in his usual mood.