Councillors ignore director advice

A PUSH from Vic Pennisi has resulted in Southern Downs Regional councillors going against the advice of its planning and environment director Ken Harris to refuse an application to reconfigure three lots at Swan Creek.

Cr Ross Bartley owns land in the vicinity of the development, and as such left the room for the discussion at Tuesday's general meeting after declaring a conflict of interest.

The application to council is to reconfigure the boundaries of three blocks which are dissected by a water course at Swan Creek.

At the Planning and Environment Committee meeting last week, councillors voted to have Mayor Ron Bellingham, Deputy Mayor Peter Blundell, committee chair Cr Neil Meiklejohn and Mr Harris meet with the applicant to try and nut out a better alternative.

However despite Mr Harris telling councillors on Tuesday that the application in its current form to council was still not a better planning outcome, councillors have voted to have another look at the issue with a view to approving before next month's round of meetings.

Cr Pennisi led the push to go against a recommendation of refusal.

“I'm sitting here looking at that creek splitting three blocks ... to me it's a better planning outcome than what's there,” he said.

“To me, if I was to have a say right now I'd say I don't have an issue and that it's a better outcome.

“I'd be happy to move that way.”

After Cr Pennisi moved there was an initial pause and nervous looks sent around the table before Cr Mally McMurtrie seconded.

Crs Meiklejohn and Denise Ingram voted against the motion, but Crs Blundell, McMurtrie, Pennisi, Cameron Gow and Jo McNally voted in line with Cr Pennisi's motion.



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