A dispute between a group of Toronto residents and Lake Macquarie City Council could be headed for the courtroom as each side digs in over plans for an access road through a Victory Parade property.
Residents of Riva Apartments may face-off against council in the NSW Land and Environment Court after the city revealed a plan to reclaim land for a public road along the property’s driveway to provide a second access point to Toronto Diggers Club.
The Newcastle Herald reported in 2015 that residents believed a 2004 condition of consent, whereby the Riva developer Buildev agreed to sell an access route back to council for $10 upon request, did not apply because their lawyer received a letter from a council officer saying the city would not seek a land transfer.
But council is pushing to buy back land for the access route, with a spokesperson telling the Herald on Friday council “may be required to commence court proceedings” if residents did not agree to the sale.
Richard Crofts, a Riva apartment owner and resident, said the owners’ corporation enlisted a Sydney barrister to look at their case and would fight council’s claim in court if necessary.
“We in the Riva complex understood that the issue was done and dusted, with the unequivocal waiving of the pertinent clauses in a [council] letter to our legal representative at the time,” Mr Crofts said.
“As searches did not reveal any encumbrance on the property relating to the driveway transfer, many apartments have been bought and sold. I would suggest that several transactions may have had a different outcome if the intent of the council was revealed.”
Council said it hoped the issue could be “resolved amicably”.
“At the time the development application was issued for the Riva Apartments, it was identified that additional access to the Toronto Diggers Club would be required to meet community needs in the future,” council said.
“Council has now formed the view that this access is necessary and has formally requested that the owners’ corporation comply with the relevant condition.”
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