Federation Shire ratepayers will foot the council's large legal bill following a stoush over plans for a 300-plus lot subdivision.
The shire won a NSW Land and Environment Court hearing brought by Awesome Corowa Pty Ltd and Awesome Cemetery Pty Ltd.
The developer had sought approval for the large subdivision and took the council to the court when staff failed to determine the application.
The business had proposed creating 355 lots at sites on Cemetery Road and Redlands Road, before scaling back to 306 allotments.
There had been a large number of public objections to the development.
Attempts between the developer and council to address problems with the project failed to resolve the matter, and the developer instead sought approval in the court.
The court ruled in October last year there were inadequate arrangements for water supply and sewage services, road access and ecological concerns over the development, and knocked back the application.
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Council staff sought to recoup its legal costs from the developer, which has now been refused by the court.
Ratepayers will pay the council's original legal action costs, and the developer's costs incurred during the attempt to recoup the money.
General manager Adrian Butler said the dollar value wasn't yet known, but the legal proceedings had been expensive.
"This was a costly exercise for council and council with legal advice proceeded with an application to seek costs, but were unsuccessful, and are now required to pay the applicant's costs," he said.
"These being the applicant's costs of this hearing only, not the original case that refused the development.
"The amount is not yet known."
The costs application was determined before the court on Tuesday.
The development had a lengthy history before the court, beginning in December, 2020.
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