The Western Regional Planning Panel (WRPP) has rejected a proposal to develop a 600-person ‘eco-tourism’ facility on rural land on the banks of an anabranch of the Murray River near Corowa.

On behalf of our client, a neighbouring farmer, EDO wrote to the local Council highlighting that the proposal was prohibited development under relevant planning laws. 

The proposed facility was to include caravan and camping sites, cabins, safari tents, cottages, lodges, studios, swimming pools, group stay facilities, an information centre and café, as well as infrastructure such as an access road, telecommunications services and sewage systems.

EDO acted for Mr Robert Pearce, a neighbouring farmer, who initially contacted our telephone Advice Line with concerns about the proposal. On behalf of Mr Pearce, our lawyers wrote to Federation Council arguing that the proposal did not comply with the requirements of the Corowa Local Environmental Plan and was prohibited development. Council’s assessment report to the WRPP agreed with our client’s position and on Thursday 9 May, the WRPP rejected the proposal.

Our client Robert Pearce told us: “We cannot thank the EDO enough as your work was crucial in this decision to reject the resort. We are really pleased that one of the best preserved reaches along the length of the river should hopefully remain so.”

Brendan Dobbie, Acting Principal Solicitor for EDO, said, “As public interest environmental lawyers, we were pleased to have been able to assist our client and the community in highlighting planning law issues with this proposed development.

“The proposal was inappropriate because of its size and nature, given its close proximity to the sensitive riparian environment of the Murray River. We are very happy to have helped our client in protecting this part of the Murray.”