Council erupts over Forsythe Avenue development application

A number of Hilltops councillors have spoken out about the Forsythe Avenue residential development approval and have called for accountability from the general manager and former administrator.

Before the September local government election, the Council approved a 17 lot residential subdivision on an almost two-hectare site approximately 1.7-kilometre east-north-east of the Young CBD, on the northern side of Forsythe Avenue, 100 metres east of Hills Street.

Councillor Matt Stadtmiller believes the Forsythe Avenue DA required further scrutiny and called for an independent investigation into how the residential development was approved.

"My call for an investigation was not successful, but I can't understand why the ultimate decision was not left until a democratically elected council was in place,” he said.

But Council general manager Anthony McMahon called for calm on the issue and said the DA was approved before the election due to time constraints.

"There are statutory time frames that council has to undertake a development application in or else the applicant can take it as a deemed refusal and take it to court," he said. 

However, Cr Tony Flanery raised concerns about the ongoing costs the development will incur and was scathing in his assessment of Council's actions. 

"The incompetence of what has happened is breathtaking," he said. "It seems that there could be at least an extra 27,000 vehicle movements per annum for Forsythe Avenue if this development goes ahead, and the Council is going to have to pay for any road upgrades that are required.

"It is always at the behest of the Council to approve a DA with recommendations and so why didn't the Council put it on the developer to upgrade Forsythe Avenue? This could have had a substantial impact on this development he may not have proceeded, he may have cut back the blocks, it is just gob-smacking that we are going to either foot the bill for legal action or to upgrade a road. This was an appalling decision to approve this DA."