THE owner of a former Caltex service station site has attacked Albury councillor David Thurley after failing to have construction of a home on that property resume.
Ron Emptage has been at loggerheads with the council since May 2019 when it issued a stop work order on the construction of a house on the north side of the property which borders Pemberton and Thurgoona streets.
That followed complaints from neighbours Julie Garoni and Gerard Lukassen the home was not complying to the approved development application, with a particular concern about windows overlooking their backyard.
The matter subsequently went to a council meeting in May last year where a request to modify the development consent was rejected and then on Monday night councillors opted to reaffirm that decision.
The situation has left Mr Emptage, a former Albury Wodonga Chamber of Commerce president, upset and contemplating legal action against the council.
He has taken aim at Cr Thurley, who initiated the motion in May, claiming he had "created his own planning cell in council where he ignores the advice of council's professional planners".
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"David Thurley has resisted a compromise situation for our development to elevate his status amongst councillors," he said.
"He is more concerned about applying penalties to developers than fixing the dysfunction in Albury's planning and engineering departments."
Cr Thurley rejected that, saying he did not always agree with departments.
"Every other councillor votes on their own merits, I do not influence them," Cr Thurley said.
"I try my best to be fair and impartial in all situations, I guess when a decision goes against some people they feel there is a bias against them."
Mr Emptage wrote to Albury Council chief executive Frank Zaknich in December that Cr Thurley had breached the councillor code of conduct in May by not being impartial in consulting the objectors but not him.
Mr Zaknich dismissed the complaint as it was lodged late and there were not "compelling grounds" to consider it otherwise.
Councillor Alice Glachan, on Monday, noted while Mr Emptage may have started with "good intentions" in altering the windows there were now 30-plus deviations and the plan was "detrimental" to the neighbours.
"No-one has won from this situation because there will be ill-feeling, there will be significant loss to all parties," Cr Glachan said.
"I'm conscious of the fact this is not a good outcome for anyone other than the community because it continues to set the standard for the future."
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