A FORMER Leeton resident who is responsible for the development of a housing subdivision has questioned why the rules are strict for some, but bent for others when it comes to road construction.
Laurie Barnhill developed Leeton's Lansdowne Estate in 2004, saying he had to comply with "extreme Leeton Shire Council rules" regarding road work that needed completing.
Now, he's questioning why council has committed to either spend or find grant money to the tune of around $350,000 for roadwork at another private development in the shire - the Whitton Malt House.
In a letter to The Irrigator, Mr Barnhill was curious about this decision by council.
"Tell me how the planning works if this was not worked out in the original submission to Leeton Shire Council (from the malt house) for the roadworks turning lane into the new malt house at Whitton," Mr Barnhill wrote.
"All of a sudden council has to find money to do this work.
"We have to go by the rules or have they been rewritten depending on the development.
"The subdivision I developed in 2004 was under 'extreme council rules' with Almond Road to be new gravel and sealed, plus the piping of the total length drainage channel at a cost $160,000, add another $120,000 for council contributions to council from the developer.
"This was also during the global financial crisis, so there was no bending of the rules."
Mr Barnhill said his comments were not a "dig" at the new development at Whitton, labelling it an exciting project.
He just wanted to know what rules council was following.
According to Mr Barnhill, development at Lansdowne Estate is sitting at $8 million thanks to infrastructure and new houses being built there.
Council said it had spent the money at the entrance to the malt house for road safety reasons.
"The Whitton Darlington Point Road is a busy and important freight route and the malt house is going to be extremely busy," a council spokesman said.
"This investment is warranted as the malt house project is expected to significantly boost Leeton shire's visitor economy in a long-lasting manner, with benefits flowing into Whitton and Leeton accommodation, restaurant and retailers for years to come.
"This significant economic stimulus will create jobs and draw thousands of visitors to the shire annually, bringing positive flow on effects for the whole community.
"The malt house development will be a game changer for Leeton shire's wider visitor economy and will also serve as a showcase of all our local products."