Ratepayers Millions Down The Drains?

Update 05 April 2016. TRRA have been monitoring the developments in this story for some time. A full report soon!

Newcastle Herald 5 April 2016: Port Stephens Council has until 5pm Wednesday to withdraw a key document from a legal case

Newcastle Herald 28 March 2016: Port Stephens Council is under challenge over a Nelson Bay development

More Press Below Story……..

First Posted 19 July 2015

Lagoons Estate – Nigel – TRRA Planning

Down The Drain

Down The Drain ?

The long running and complex saga of the Lagoons Estate at Nelson Bay continues, raising serious issues about Council’s decision making and the cost to ratepayers.

This residential development off Dowling Street has been two-thirds completed and occupied for many years, and the original included installation of hundreds of vertical ‘wicks’ as part of the stormwater drainage. Both the original developer and the current owner of the remaining vacant land is in dispute with Council over the condition of approval which requires installation of many more ‘wicks’ before Stage 3 can be completed.


160226 Bewsher's Report 1A related court action instructed Council to avoid discharge of ‘excess’ stormwater from the entire Seabreeze Estate onto the Lagoons site.  Council had the opportunity to pay the developer a contribution to the on-site drainage works but instead spent more than $2million on its own stormwater pits throughout the Seabreeze.

It seems clear that, as widely predicted by many in the community at the time, this has failed to guarantee that Lagoons Pics 1 Ait is meeting the terms of the Court order. Another Court judgement is expected to rule soon on the dispute.  If Council loses, ratepayers may have to add the developer’s costs to the millions already spent on legal fees over the years, and may also be liable for further damages.

The Community Association representing Lagoons Owners is separately claiming compensation from Council for physical damage caused to their site by the excess stormwater during major weather events Examiner 14 July 2015: Council In Sites On Drains Issue

Lagoons Pics 3 ATRRA believes there are serious questions to be answered by Council about its decision-making on this matter over more than a decade, which has already cost ratepayers dearly and may yet see further large bills, which could have been avoided.

* Click On Picture To Get Larger Image

Lagoons 2

More Press on this………

Newcastle Herald 17 Dec 2014: New court battle over Nelson Bay’s Lagoons Estate

Newcastle Herald 4 Aug 2014: Andrew Cornwell, his wife, father called to face ICAC

Newcastle Herald 20 July 2010: Senators slam Newcastle developer in Parliament

Newcastle Herald 6 April 2010: Port Stephens Council willing to risk court case over drainage

Newcastle Herald 9 July 2009:  Port Stephens Council facing legal battle over drainage 

Newcastle Herald 9 Aug 2008: Massive pain in the drain 


This entry was posted in 2015, Council Decisions, Council Financial, Council Meetings, HOT ISSUES, Litagation, PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT, PORT STEPHENS COUNCIL, STATE GOVERNMENT and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ratepayers Millions Down The Drains?

  1. George Pagacs says:

    Excellent review. I live in Lagoons Estate and I think the most cost effective solution would be for the council to work with the Estate to upgrade the sewerage system so flooding does not run the risk of sewerage overflow and contamination of the lagoon. The existing wick system drained the stormwater which is a great result.

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