REVEALED: Flour mill site developer taking council to court
AN ONGOING dispute between the developer of Maryborough's old flour mill site and the council has escalated.
Chris Moore has filed an appeal in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court against the Fraser Coast Regional Council's decision to reject his development application.
It comes after the council insisted a historic entrance archway be preserved despite being deemed unsafe and the cost of repair or relocation prohibitive.
Court documents outline Mr Moore's belief that the council's justification for rejecting the application in June were "wrong in fact" and "unreasonable".
The council listed in its reasons for refusal "insufficient grounds to support the proposed demolition".
This was in reference to knocking down the front fencing and main archway of the Kent St site.
Mr Moore said expert engineering reports provided to council had proven the structure was unsafe.
The developer said it had been frustrating to hear the council understood the mill buildings were unsafe and required demolishing (which has since occurred) but had not extended that reasoning to the unsafe fence.
Mr Moore said if approved the new development would have a number of references to and recognition of the site's history.
He said it was disappointing the issue could not be resolved before now and worried on the impact a court case may have for more opportunities in Maryborough.
"Unlike many others we have seen potential in town," he said.
"I worry what it (the court dispute) will look like to other developers looking at investing in the area."
Mr Moore said the project was being funded by "mum and dad developers" who were not backed by millions of dollars.
"We know going to court is a cost to us and can be very costly to the rate payer," he said.
A Fraser Coast Regional Council spokesman said they were disappointed the developer had appealed the council's decision which they described as protecting part of the Fraser Coast's history.
"Council is keen to work with the developer to see a positive project planned and delivered for the site," they said.
"We had hoped the developer would submit a proposal for redevelopment of the site which incorporated the important heritage listed entrance way.
"We appreciate the developer has legal rights to appeal Council's decision.
"Council will defend our decision and the importance of the heritage-listed entrance way as part of any future court proceedings."
There are a number of stages including mediation that will occur before the case is heard in a courtroom.