Friday, 21 November 2008

Up the hill without a paddle

If you go down to the woods today, near Mansfield Street, high above Earlville, you might get a big surprise.
This story all started a few years ago, but heated up two weeks back. It could well become a battle between David Vs Goliath.
The father of Cairns construction, CEC's Roy Lavis, is up to some clever propaganda. Roy says he wants to cut his large hillside block in two just to "have a go". This is largely because he couldn't get his five lot subdivision approved 3 years ago on the same chunk of land.
Lavis bought the land at the top of Mansfield Street in 1994, and then built a large house on the Cairns-facing side the spur line, then in 2001, he tried to sell the entire block. In 2005 when he began applications to subdivide the land into five lots, which was withdrawn the following year, apparently because of conditions put on him by various environmental agencies.
Last July, Lavis again applied to subdivide, but this time into two lots, with the stated intention to put a house on the second lot. He also applied to have the zoning code changed for the small area of land that the house would occupy.
At this time he has also applied for a road to allow access to the lots independently. Although this was never approved as confirmed by Council's town planner Peter Tabulo, aerial photos clearly show a road has been constructed (see photo below). However, Roy's the most recent application [note: 6mb] to Cairns Regional Council, shows a photo taken some years ago before the road was constructed, that is being sought for approval (see plan far below).
So Roy is now doing it one division at a time - knowing one division is hard to argue against and that once one is done, it gets easier to get the next one. Get the idea?
The land is zoned 'Impact Assessable', which means that it can be subdivided but only with Council approval and only with the opportunity for the public to object.
Lavis also admits he's a developer and that he is in it to buy, develop and sell land. Hello! Such declarations makes it blindingly obvious what his plan is.
Here's a list of the many environmental objections from various organisations and local residents against Roy Lavis' plans.
The large community opposition to this potential hillslop subdivision by stealth, have published the whole toroid tale on their new website.


Johhny & S. Cityview said...

Don't mess with Roy. I reckon he'd have some big heavies knocking on your door at 2 in the morning... and not in a nice way.

Jan from Kewarra said...

Another arsehole cowboy in this town who thinks that they can destroy whatever they like, however they like. They have the Cairns Post in one pocket becuase of all the advertising revenue they generate and they have the CRC planners in the other pocket, wining and dining them, buddy, buddy, wink, wink, say no more.
They are then given the green light by the State govt, because they are providing accommodation and or land for the masses of people who are being shunted northwards by the govt because of their own lack of planning and forsight and and aging and retiring population.

Good Luck with this project/fight.The community will need to be very well organised and equipped with strong objections to beat this developer. 105 submissions for a Conservation Planning Area at Paradise Palms was not enought to defeat Vision & Hedley in July 2008. Not a lot has changed with Cairns Planners mentality since then unfortunately!

Monty said...

Judging by the story in today's Murdoch Express (Cairns edition) Roy has another headache coming his way in the shape of a court case over the False Cape tragedy.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

I'd like to congratulate the Mansfield St. Action Group for a great, easy-to-use community action website. I'm going to recommend similar to my local mob at Yorkeys when we've got another bloody Council schemozzle to fight.

Robbie Williams said...

The problem with Lavis, DeLacy, and other hillside developers is their abysmal; and mostly non existent knowledge about mountains. It was only a short while ago, in the history of the planet, that these mountains were uplifted to form the Great Dividing Range. The weathering of the mountains eroded some hundreds of feet of rock and decomposing granite into the valley we see as the Babinda and Cairns flatlands. The process is still going on. Only an ignorant person would bite a chunk out of False Cape and expect the decomposing granite and the 150 tonne boulders to stay in the decomposing sand that precariously holds them in place. One such boulder caused the death of a machinery driver. Lavis has crises crossed the land he is caretaking to the extent that a good wet season or several of them will see his spur of hillside continue on its thousand year journey into the creeks and rivers that wind to the sea. So shall we all relish the day and cheer as we see him and his uninsurable houses sliding down the mud slide he creates. Such it the way of the planet and the properties of Gravity.

Anonymous said...

Any subdivision will no doubt be used to help out CEC's continuing debt problems, the company owes money all about town and can't pay their bills or contractors. The bad times aren't over for this lot and I can't believe the CEO keeps painting a rosy picture when the business continues to falter