Mount Gilead development in the court's hands

Heritage: The historic mill located at Mount Gilead is an important heritage item that many locals have fought to preserve.
Heritage: The historic mill located at Mount Gilead is an important heritage item that many locals have fought to preserve.

More than 100 residents of Mount Gilead and surrounding suburbs will take their fight against a proposed 1700-lot development in the south Campbelltown suburb to court.

The group – headed by a legal team made up of barristers – will challenge the validity of the approval process in the Land and Environment Court.

Three days have been set aside for the hearing which will begin on Tuesday, June, 19. Appin resident Sue Gay is among those who have poured thier own money into the court case.

While she did not know exactly the total cost of the legal bill so far, she said the court case had been an “expensive exercise”.

Mrs Gay said those footing the bill believed there were many errors which had occurred throughout the planning and approvals process – which has involved both Campbelltown Council and the state government.

She said the passionate residents – and organisations like the Macarthur branch of National Parks Association and the Total Environment Centre, who had also contributed to the court costs – were forced to take up the fight.

“We are questioning how it (the development) has got to this stage when the proposal has clearly not been done correctly,” she said.

Mrs Gay said 65 contentious issues had been identified, however the two main areas of focus would be air quality and heritage.

“The Leafs Gully Power Plant had a DA (development application) approved. The DA said the air quality impacts on Mount Gilead were horrendous but the (1700-lot development) was still approved,” she said.

Mrs Gay said the group was calling for a halt on the development until further studies surrounding heritage could be undertaken to ensure the history of Mount Gilead was not compromised to make way for new housing.

She said the group had not called for a blanket ban on development on the site. Mrs Gay said the fight had taken its toll on her health though she would not give up.

“When I leave this Earth I want to leave it a better place for my grandchildren and future generations,” she said.

When I leave this Earth I want to leave it a better place for my grandchildren and future generations.

Sue Gay

Campbelltown Council did not wish to comment while legal proceeding were underway.