Monday, 19 December 2011

Delacombe resident considers legal action after property rezone shock

Delacombe resident considers legal action after property rezone shock

18 Dec, 2011 10:48 PM
A DELACOMBE resident is considering legal action after his property was rezoned by the City of Ballarat without his knowledge, costing him thousands when the property sale fell through. Land owned by Stuart O’Meara was rezoned from industrial to mixed use in 2009 but he did not receive the required notification from the council.
The first Mr O’Meara knew of the rezoning was when the sale of the property was rejected in October 2009.
The purchaser of the land was denied finance because the property had not received an Environmental Audit Overlay, required when land has been rezoned.

Mr O’Meara believes the City of Ballarat should repay him more than $18,000 after the subsequent sale in February 2010 failed to reach the original asking price.
“It’s really not about the money for me, its about the principle that their mistake has caused this to happen and it needs to be fixed,” he said.

“When I have tried to get answers out of them, they have simply not replied.”

Mr O’Meara met with former mayor Craig Fletcher and former council officer Damien Drew, who confirmed that the required registered mail notification of rezoning was not sent.

“Because of the rezoning an Environmental Audit Overlay had to be conducted before the sale could go through,” Mr O’Meara said.

“In September 2010, they gave me a letter saying that environmental audit had been taken care of because of their mistake.”

He estimates his legal and real estate costs at around $2000 and is critical of a slow response from local government.

City of Ballarat growth and development director Eric Braslis refused to comment on Mr O’Meara’s case this week.

“We’re aware of Mr O’ Meara’s concerns, however, as the matter is now the subject of legal correspondence we are unable to make any further comment,” he said in a written statement.
Mr O’Meara has engaged a local law firm to act on his behalf and says he will continue to seek compensation from the City of Ballarat.

“The property is my biggest investment so I can’t just let it go – I need it to be taken care of,” he said. 

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