DOMA and Council summonsed over JRPP approval of ATO

A battle looms in the courtA battle looms in the court over the ATO building on old school site

The Gosford Waterfront Alliance Inc (GWA) has formally lodged a challenge in the NSW Land and Environment Court to the development consent for Doma to build an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on the former Gosford Public School Site.

A summons was to be served on the two respondents, TO Gosford Pty Ltd (owned by developer Doma group) and Central Coast Council. The GWA is challenging the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) decision to grant conditional consent to the building of the ATO. “We feel that the JRPP’s decision is manifestly incorrect and therefore invalid,” said Ms Claire Braund, President of the Gosford Waterfront Alliance. “Planning in Gosford over the years has been inconsistent and messy, and that is why we currently have such an unattractive city.

Another Erina strategy

“The ATO development, if it goes ahead as slated, would be a return to ‘the Erina Strategy’ that gutted the CBD of business and life,” she said. Barrister assisting the alliance, Mr Matthew Fraser, has helped articulate and identify the multiple point challenge to the development, including: signifi cant under construction of car parking; failure to meet the zoning objectives; general underutilisation and activation of the site; a lack of design excellence; and a failure to address concerns relating to the historical School of Arts building on the site.

An extract from the Summons papers states: “The exercise of the planning discretion by the JRPP in considering Part 8 Gosford Local Environmental Plan, was so devoid of plausible justifi cation, and so irrational, that no reasonable person could have granted planning consent, such that the exercise of the planning discretion miscarried and/ or amounted to an abuse of power”. The fi rst hearing of the challenge has been set to be on September 16.

Media release, Aug 17, 2016 Claire Braund, Gosford Waterfront Alliance