Sunday 7. August, 2016

Crown Resorts Barangaroo Development Faces Legal Challenge

Crown Resorts is facing a new hurdle over its planned $2 billion Barangaroo casino resort development. A legal challenge has been launched alleging that the approval given to the project is invalid.

A local community group known as Millers Point Fund Inc. lodged papers claiming that fundamental errors were made by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) when considering the development and therefore the approval it granted, is invalid.

In considering Crown’s application, the PAC decided that since an amendment to the Casino Control Act in 2013 allowed the casino to be built near the planned foreshore, that parliament effectively approved the location of the gaming floor.

However, the community group does not agree with the PAC’s assessment.

“Basically, we are saying the Casino Control Act doesn’t dictate the planning decisions that are made in NSW,” stated Sue Higginson, who filed the claim at the Land and Environment Court as the CEO and principal solicitor at the Environmental Defenders Office.

“In fact, the PAC really is required to make a decision about where a casino can and cannot be built based on planning law.”

She described the PAC’s ‘error’ as “so significant that its decision to approve the latest modification to the concept plan and approve the actual construction of the project is invalid and of no effect.”

During the public hearings held in April by the PAC, the most controversial issue was the position of the tower block and casino gaming floor on the planned foreshore. However, with some design changes, the development was approved in its proposed location.

Proceedings over the matter are due to commence later this month and in response to the challenge, Crown Resorts has said it will “defend these proceedings vigorously.”

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