Honeymoon over for couple

THE SCHOOL teachers who have to sell their home to recoup $260,000 in costs and fees over their aborted Hervey Bay development have slammed the council’s response to their story, both published in Wednesday’s Chronicle.

“The council’s director of development services, David King, has been misinformed,” Sam and Christina Kokkinis said yesterday.

The newlywed Kokkinises fell in love with the Bay when they came here for a holiday in 2002. They saw a block of land just off the beach in Scarness and because of its medium density zoning they put in an application to the council to build five townhouses, one of which they planned to live in.

But seven years of nightmarish toing and froing and that $260,000 later, their dreams were squashed in June when the council told them their application didn’t meet several planning requirements.

In his response published on Wednesday, Mr King blamed the project’s failure on the global financial crisis.

“If council had approved our operational works permit in a timely manner, works could have commenced without the need for the extension to our material change of use approval. I am not sure how Mr King can blame the global financial crisis for this,” Mr Kokkinis said. “And due to the long delays experienced to realise the approvals, infrastructure charges on this project increased from $20,215 to $105,000. This would have had a greater impact than the global financial crisis on this project.”

Mr Kokkinis claims Mr King said that an application was never received. “This is not the case. Application was made on August 27 and acknowledged in council’s own refusal letter.

“The question needs to be asked of our councillors, why would they not support this development, given it had been approved before, would provide income for the council from infrastructure charges and rates and create employment in our region?”

“As usual the council has facilitated this development by providing access to the block, approving the development application and the operational works, however it seems this project is a victim of the global financial crisis,” Mr King said in his official response.

“How can Mr King call what council have done in this instance facilitative? Mr Kokkinis asked.

“Instead of placing blame on the advice we received with respect to his application, maybe he should acknowledge council’s inability to negotiate a suitable outcome for all parties concerned.”

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