Property developer files case against NSW government officials

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A property firm has sued New South Wales government officials and the Greater Sydney Commission in an effort to get the approval for its proposal to build a residential tower in Sydney’s north-west.

Harry Triguboff, founder of Meriton, wanted to build a 42-storey apartment block at Talavera Road in Macquarie Park., according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The property group claims that as early as 2017, the planning proposal was already lodged and had already been endorsed by the Department of Planning on behalf of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC). 

However, the initial proposal was rejected by Ryde Council since it raised political concerns regarding the development in Sydney. In 2018, Ryde Liberal MP Victor Dominello requested that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to commission an "assurance review" by GSC.

That report recommended that the NSW government "pause the finalisation of any existing residential planning proposals in the Ryde [local government area] for a 12-month period.”

Meriton believes that GSC does not have the power to advise or provide recommendations for plans submitted before the review was ordered in October.

The firm, through its construction arm Karimbla Constructions, is suing Berejiklian, Planning Minister Anthony Roberts, Department of Planning Secretary Carolyn McNally, and the Greater Sydney Commission.

The company is also pushing for the height limit and floor-space ratio for the 112 Talavera Road site to be increased under the area's local environment plan.

“[Meriton’s proposal] been recognised as being entirely consistent with all of the government’s publicly stated planning strategies and policies. Those policies should not suddenly change because the seat of Ryde is in contention at the upcoming election. They can’t move the goalposts like that,” Triguboff said.

Commenting on the situation, NSW Deputy Liberal leader Dominic Perrottet said that development in Ryde under Labor mayor Jerome Laxale had been "allowed to get out of control".

“We are fixing the issue, following a review by the Greater Sydney Commission. We will of course let any legal action play out, but I want to assure the local community that we are on their side,” he said.  

The case will be in court on April 12.

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