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11 November, 2021

Owners seek injunction on land

A GROUP of Yungaburra property owners are taking legal action in the Supreme Court in a bid to stop a developer from selling off a large block behind their new homes that was originally designated as parkland.

By Robyn Holmes

Property owners are seeking an injuction on the land behind their houses on Newland Street, Yungaburra.

In the Supreme Court claim, Newland Street landowners Eddie Hayes and Stephen Ducksbury, representing another four of their neighbours, are seeking a permanent injunction so that developer Cairns Plywoods cannot sell or develop land that was promoted as being parkland and providing access to the springfed creek behind their lots. 

The claim names Cairns Plywoods, Yungaburra-Tinaroo Realty and Tablelands Regional Council as co-defendants in the matter.

The document states that the lots in Newland Street, which were part of the Yungaburra Village Estate, were priced higher than other lots previously sold in the area on the basis that they would have no rear neighbours, uninterrupted views, the land behind the lots was “natural grassland” and there was access to the spring-fed creek. The lots were all sold between October 2018 and November 2019. 

A TRC report recently discovered by the lot owners shows that Council agreed in principle for the designated reserve to be converted from reserve to residential in August 2018, prior to the lots being marketed.

Shortly after the last of the Newland Street lots was sold, the developer applied to the Planning and Environment Court in October 2019 for an amendment to the original development application, as had been approved by TRC. 

The amendment involved creating a new 10,000 sq m lot from Lot 904, named Lot 206 (or 10B) which could be sold for residential housing. 

TRC did not oppose the amendment and it was granted by the Court. The lot owners were not advised of the developer’s application to the Court and were not provided an opportunity to be represented. 

According to the claim, before committing to buying his lot, Mr Ducksbury had sought clarification in September 2019 as to whether the lots could be accessed from the rear to which he was allegedly advised developers “would like to keep it as just parkland”. 

Mr Ducksbury asserts he went ahead with the purchase on that premise. Both plaintiff s say they relied upon representations from the developer and real estate agent that the parkland would be retained as that and handed over to TRC at some stage. 

The Supreme Court claim alleges that the property owners believe they were misled and deceived and want a permanent injunction to stop any development on the land behind their houses and for the land to be handed to the TRC for ongoing use as a parkland or vacant land.

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