Failure of Coastal Panel to respond to rock wall application deemed as a refusal

The Land and Environment Court case to determine whether or not six residents at Wamberal can build a rock wall to protect their properties from erosion may be resolved by mediation.
The Central Coast Council is not a party to the case, because it was not the consent authority for a development application lodged following the June 2016 storms.
The case is between the engineer representing six residents, Mr Peter Horton, and the NSW Coastal Panel, which is the consent authority.
The reason why the Central Coast Council was not the consent authority was because it has not yet resubmitted its Coastal Zone Management Plan to the NSW Department of Planning for certification.
The six residents seeking consent to build a rock revetment between their properties and the ocean ended up in the Land an Environment Court because the Coastal Panel failed to respond to their application.
An initial hearing of the Land and Environment Court (LEC) on December 21 determined that the Panel’s failure to respond to the application was legally deemed to be a rejection of that application.
A further meeting was held in the back yard of one of the affected properties on February 1, where there was an open discussion followed by a confidential hearing attended by residents, representatives of the Coastal Panel and the LEC.
Mr Horton said he was subject to a sworn confidentiality agreement which prohibited him from providing any information about the case.
He said he was able to confirm that the proponents were able to submit a revised application which would be the subject of another LEC mediation meeting on March 15.
It is hoped the parties can come to a mutually agreeable outcome.
It is understood the six residents wishing to build the revetment are those south of the site called The Ruins, on Ocean View Dve.
The three blocks that make up The Ruins included those where houses were lost in the 1978 storms.
That land is now owned by the State Government and is believed to have been filled with tonnes of road base to stabilise the dunes at that time.

Dec 21, 2016
Eugene Marchese, Wamberal
Phone interview,
Feb 7, 2017
Pat Aiken, Coastal
Residents Inc
Phone interview,
Feb 7, 2017
Peter Horton, Horton Coastal Engineering
Jackie Pearson, journalist