Land and Environment Court refuses McCloy Group’s proposed dedication of Billy Goat Hill to Lake Macquarie Council instead of Section 94 contribution

With sweeping views over Teralba, it’s a favourite spot amonglocalswho fondly refer to it as“Billy GoatHill”.

Jeff McCloy, the owner of the McCloy Group

But whenJeff McCloy’s development company made a gambit to givethe grassy knoll to Lake Macquarie City Council–instead ofpaying its developer fees on a new subdivision– the council wasless than enthusiastic.

Now the Land and Environment Court has ruledinthe dispute, throwingout an appeal by the McCloy Groupand ordering that it must pay its full share of Section 94 contributions.

The Newcastle Heraldunderstands the contributions, used to fund the communityinfrastructure required as a result of new developments, amount to just over$765,200.

Lake Macquarie council welcomed the verdict.

“In 2017, McCloy Group lodged an application seeking to modify the approved development application for the 71-lot subdivision in Teralba known as “Billy’s Lookout”,” a spokesperson said.

“The modification requested that council accept a parcel of land at Billy Goat Hill in lieuof monetary section 94 developer contributions, which are used to fund community facilities.

“Council did not support the application as it was not in the community’s interest.”

In court, the council argued that theland –about 9246 square metres in size – had not been earmarked for acquisition.

A council engineer testified that receiving the land would not reduce the demand among residents for recreational facilities, which would then need to be fundedwithout the developer’s financial contribution.

A town planner engaged on behalf of the McCloy Group argued it was “unreasonable” of the council to require the money over the land, when the law allows either as contributions.

“The land dedication would have a strong physical nexus with the subdivision development and would benefit all residents to some degree,” he said.

But acting commissioner John Maston was “unpersuaded” by the evidence.

Mr McCloy could not be reached for comment on Friday.