The Crozier Hill development on Stock Road is under an independent investigation

CONTROVERSY: Ben Blatchford has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting the City of Victor Harbor council on the approval of developments at Stock Road. A review is being conducted by council on the development.
CONTROVERSY: Ben Blatchford has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting the City of Victor Harbor council on the approval of developments at Stock Road. A review is being conducted by council on the development.

The Crozier Hill Land Division Independent Review is ongoing and on Monday, September 3, an Informal Gathering was held at the City of Victor Harbor council chambers. Nearly 40 people attended to listen to seven years of investigation by local researcher Adrian Burton. 

National Planning Manager of FYFE Environment Development Resources Michael Osborn also presented, as part of a council led independent review. The Crozier Hill development has been under intense scrutiny, due to the Victor Harbor council’s decision in 2000 to allow housing developments on a floodplain.

The Lots abut the Inman River and properties on Stock Road, which is part of the Crozier Hill Land Division, have encountered flooding issues. For the past seven years landowner Ben Blatchford has voiced concerns on the approved development.  

City of Victor Harbor CEO Victoria MacKirdy said Monday’s informal gathering was an opportunity for the community to ask questions and the independent consultant to present his preliminary findings. There is still work to be done on this review, with the information collected at the informal gathering to be further reviewed by the consultant before the final investigation report is prepared. I intend to present the final investigation report to the council for consideration at the September council meeting,” Ms MacKirdy said.

Mr Burton’s investigation was thorough and widely applauded by those who attended and raised doubts on what maps were used for the approval of the development in 2000. “It is alleged elected members of the time were unsure of where the floodplain started and whether allotments were inside or outside of the 1/100 year floodplain. There is so much confusion and it is apparent council went against its own planning Principles,” Mr Burton said.

“All Victor residents and landowners are stakeholders in the Stock Road saga, as 30 acres should have been a reserve for community use.”

Michael Osborn said council’s actions in March 2000 showed there was significant focus on managing the flood risk with finished floor levels for buildings.

Resident Ben Blatchford praised Mr Burton. “Evidence from both reports suggest serious wrong doings. Lot 25 subdivision was approved by current planning staff in 2010, so it is still happening. ”Truth is all developments have been approved with absolutely no surveyors flood plain map,” he said.

Nick Hall owns Lot 29 of the Crozier Hill development and said 80 per cent of his land is in the 1/100 year floodplain. “Every year the Inman River bursts its banks on our block and in 2016, I lost 90 per cent of my fencing. I do not know what to do now,” Mr Hall said.

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