Works on the Central Link have been suspended, to allow time for an appeal to be heard from residents and non-governmental organisations.
Eight NGOs and seven residents had filed an appeal against the development. The request to suspend the permit of the project was upheld during an Environmental and Planning Review Tribunal (EPRT) hearing on Tuesday.
The appellants had filed a request for the suspension of any works on site as they stressed that during the course of the processing of the application, various breaches of planning laws, policies, potential irreversible damage to Grade 1 Scheduled monuments, heritage buildings, principles of sustainability and the long-term detrimental effect on public health and safety were completely ignored.
During the hearing, lawyer Claire Bonello argued that there are several reasons why the project should be suspended. She argued that the project would have a huge impact on large areas of agricultural land, on farmers, and will also affect trees, and heritage buildings. She stressed that the development cannot simply be reversed if works commence.
Lawyer Ian Stafrace appearing for the applicant said that there was no objection to the suspension of works pending the appeal on works that do not fall under Development Notification Orders (DNO). According to Bonello none of the works fall under DNO since much of the project is located on land which is found in the out-of-development zone.
The EPRT board took note of a declaration sent by cabinet in which the project was described as one of national importance.