ALBURY'S mayor has linked recent flooding at Thurgoona golf course to over-development in the area.
Kevin Mack aired his views as the council voted 5-4 to reject a plan for two town houses to be built on a Birchgrove Crescent block at the Brooklyn Fields estate.
The same meeting on Monday night saw a 5-4 vote to oppose the installation of two small prefabricated homes in the backyard of a Cadell Street property in East Albury north of Borella Road.
Albury Council election candidate Ross Hamilton objected to the Brooklyn Fields proposal, saying he bought the neighbouring block on the understanding multiple dwellings would not be permitted.
"Our sales rep looked us in the eye and said 'no this area, as per the covenant that you'll be signing is signed up for single occupancy dwellings only'," Mr Hamilton said.
He welcomed the council's vote.
"I'm very happy to see the council value the amenity and future of our community over short-term gains for Sydney investors," Mr Hamilton said.
The council's city development boss David Christy said such private covenants could not be enforced by the council though could be subject to civil action by a buyer.
In debating the approval, councillor David Thurley said the town houses met council requirements.
"Whether the seller made a false claim to the buyer is unfortunately not council's problem, the development as proposed meets our planning guidelines," Cr Thurley said.
Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn, who opposed Brooklyn Fields being approved in 2017, said there was "absolutely no need" for higher density housing in the area.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Cr Mack echoed Cr Cohn's concerns and said it was "wrong" to give an undertaking of no dual density when that has eventuated.
He then reflected on recent flooding at Thurgoona golf club, saying it's "the by-product of over-development, the by-product of us asking for 30 odd dams or retaining basins in that corridor that have not been constructed to slow down that water".
Meanwhile, the Cadell Street project was rejected after councillor John Stuchbery put a motion stating it did not meet planning rules and would "undermine" the community's expectations and aspirations for quality.
It involved installing two one-bedroom prefabricated units in the back yard of the property.
Councillor Henk van de Ven said it was "nothing more than the precursor to a manufactured housing estate in East Albury".
Cr Mack said it would be creating a bad precedent if it was approved.
"We need to set the standard, not just accept an average standard," Cr Mack said.
However, councillor Alice Glachan said it was important such housing was available, given the council had only recently lamented the lack of affordable accommodation in the city.
Cr Cohn said the area was suitable for medium-density housing unlike Thurgoona.
Planning consultant James Laycock, who submitted the proposal to council on behalf of property owner Andrew MacAulay, was surprised by the council's vote.
"It's very, very odd," Mr Laycock said.
"I'm not quite sure where the councillors are going at the moment."
The proponents are weighing a response.
They have six months to decide if they will appeal the matter to the NSW Land and Environment Court, seek the council to review its decision or make a fresh application.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.