Lalla reservoir decision not revealed


Ben Lomond Water appears to be pushing ahead with its controversial plans to locate a reservoir next to the historic Rhododendron Gardens at Lalla.

The reservoir, part of Ben Lomond's $7 million water pipeline to Lilydale, is opposed by the Launceston City Council and some residents.

Ben Lomond chairman Miles Hampton decided to re-examine the reservoir's location, close to the garden's entrance, after a public meeting at Lilydale in June.

Yesterday Mr Hampton would not reveal his decision but pointed to Ben Lomond's hearing with the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal on August 20.

The company wants the tribunal to give conditions for the development because it argues the council did not act within the regulatory time frame.

However, the council disputes this.

Mr Hampton plans to attend a public meeting at Lilydale on August 16 to deliver the board's decision.

``I'm not prepared to go any further than that at this time,'' Mr Hampton said.

Rhododendron Gardens co-owner Margie Dockray said she was assuming Ben Lomond had not changed its position on the reservoir given the hearing was proceeding.

``We wait with bated breath,'' she said.

Mrs Dockray participated in Ben Lomond's independent consultation process set up to assuage community concerns.

Mrs Dockray, who owns the gardens with husband Chris, said the couple presented alternative reservoir sites, drafted by an engineer.

Ben Lomond is also appealing against the council's refusal of its reservoir development at the hearing.

Launceston aldermen voted against the development despite believing at the time they had missed the deadline but hoping to influence any conditions the tribunal may set.

``We are hopeful that a consent agreement will be reached that resolves the appeal to the satisfaction of all parties,'' council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said.

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