Meriton has launched legal action and a concerted media campaign against NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in an effort to push through its controversial high-rise proposal in Macquarie Park.
Meriton has issued a summons in the NSW Land and Environment Court seeking to compel the Department of Planning to increase the floor space ratio and height controls at 112 Talavera Road in Macquarie Park.
Meriton amended its original proposal of up to 63-storeys, reducing the height to 42-storeys after receiving 380 objections.
Harry Triguboff accused the government of “moving the goalposts” ahead of the upcoming election.
“Those policies should not suddenly change because the seat of Ryde is in contention at the upcoming election,” he said.
“The whole industry needs some certainty that the rules at the start of the process are going to be the same at the end.”
The state seat of Ryde is held by finance minister Victor Dominello by a comfortable 11.5 per cent margin.
Dominello’s challenger, Ryde’s current mayor Jerome Laxale, rejected the project in December.
Meriton’s media release was accompanied by a UDIA release accusing the government of making “rash announcements” in the lead up to an election.
Both the premier and deputy Liberal leader Dominic Perrottet have said that they will “take the community’s side” on the issue, pointing to the Labor-led Ryde council for stoking over-development.
In an interim report released last week, the Greater Sydney Commission recommended a pause on new approvals in Ryde Council for 12 months to allow for more evidence-based inquiry into development in the area.
Meriton general counsel Joseph Callaghan pointed out that the proposal lodged in May 2017 by the developer had already been endorsed by the Department of Planning on behalf of the Greater Sydney Commission.
In response to community concern and the recommendation of Ryde Council, the premier ordered an “assurance report” in late 2018.
Callaghan said that an issue in the case will be whether the request of the assurance report can impact a planning proposal “as well-advanced as Meriton’s”.