The Land Environment Court last Friday issued an interim injunction against a Belongil landowner preventing the further dumping of rocks on Belongil beach.

Byron Shire Council’s general manager, Graeme Faulkner, said the Court has issued an interim injunction restraining the landowner from placing “rock or other material” on Manfred Street or their property to “form or construct erosion protection works or other works.

The court hearing arose from a stop-work order issued by Council to the landowner when it was ascertained that the landowner was about to dump rock onto BelongilBeach following erosion of the area during the heavy storms last week.

“We understand that the landowner has since commenced proceedings against Council,” Mr Faulkner said

“The landowner, having now been prevented by the Court from using rock for the time being, is seeking permission to have repair and maintenance works done to geotextile sand bags in front of their property and Manfred Street.

“The Land and Environment Court have directed the landowner to provide a design of what they say the interim geobag repair works should constitute by the end of today.”

A four-day hearing will commence on Monday 9 June in the Land and Environment.

The Belongil spit area is subject to Council’s ‘planned retreat’ strategy which was adopted at the inception of Council’s Local Environmental Plan in 1988.

Mr Faulkner said planned retreat is a planning and land use management tool. 

“It mandates that within certain distances of the erosion escarpment, development is meant to be relocatable so that as erosion moves landward the development can be removed,” he said.

“Rather than prevent all development at all times, planned retreat allows for the limited use of land until it is threatened by coastal hazards such as erosion. 

“Where it applies, the planned retreat management strategy requires that, in approved development, the consent only remains valid while a beach erosion escarpment does not encroach within a set distance from a development.

“If the erosion escarpment encroaches within a set distance from a development approved under the planned retreat, the development must cease and be removed from the immediate hazard area,” Mr Faulkner said.