The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled Campaspe Shire Council pay costs to Echuca's Star Hotel because of a heritage mapping mistake.By Darren Linton
Campaspe Shire Council will have to pay $16
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled the council should bear some of the costs because of a mistake in the mapping of a heritage overlay.
Hotel operator Paul Jarman had sought full costs of $87
The argument put forward was that early this year it became clear Heritage Overlay HO34 was mapped wrongly and until the gazettal of Amendment C97 on April 26, the correct legal position was no ‘‘permit trigger’’ existed for internal works to the Star Hotel.
However, council ‘‘in practice’’ took the approach that an internal works permit was required.
VCAT Member Philip Martin refused to award full costs finding ‘‘sufficiently exceptional circumstances’’ did not exist to justify a different position.
‘‘At a personal level, I acknowledge the applicant’s frustration at how events have unfolded,’’ Mr Martin said.
‘‘It is also self-evident that Amendment C97 involved the correction of a mapping error affecting the Star Hotel.
‘‘Such mapping errors obviously need to be avoided.’’
Mr Martin accepted there was a permit trigger for internal works issue in relation to the proposed new coolroom although it was complicated by the discrepancy between the relevant case law and the relevant Departmental Practice Note.
However, Mr Martin did award costs against the council in relation to an aborted February VCAT hearing of $16
‘‘If council had correctly mapped the location of the Star Hotel individual Heritage Overlay on the overlay map in the first place, this whole very messy aspect of the broader proceeding would not have ever arisen,’’ he said.
‘‘It is reasonable for all other stakeholders to expect council to undertake this Heritage Overlay mapping exercise very carefully from the outset and I am struggling to see why council should totally avoid any costs liability when it made this fundamental mapping mistake at the beginning of the sequence of relevant events.’’
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