The proposal for a controversial faith-based rehabilitation centre at Meander has been sent back to the planning tribunal after a Supreme Court judge found an error in its original decision.
The error stemmed from what Chief Justice Alan Blow described as a "lightbulb moment" from the Meander Valley Council on the final day of the tribunal hearing.
Teen Challenge Tasmania applied in 2017 to build a residential drug rehabilitation centre on the former Meander Primary School site. The development application was subsequently approved by the council.
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The facility would house up to 12 women undergoing rehabilitation, as well as their children.
In the Supreme Court in Hobart on Friday, Chief Justice Blow delivered his judgment in Timber World Pty Ltd's appeal against the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal's decision to dismiss an earlier appeal against the council's approval of the project.
Teen Challenge Tasmania opted not to participate in the Supreme Court appeal.
In the RMPAT matter, Timber World, which is run by former Tasmanian Greens leader Kim Booth's son Bronte, argued that the facility could not be built at the designated site because it was in a bushfire-prone area.
But the council, together with Teen Challenge Tasmania, successfully contended that standards in the Meander Valley Interim Planning Scheme relating to bushfire-prone areas were ultra vires, or beyond the delegated powers of the legislation.
Chief Justice Blow said the tribunal was wrong to accept that argument, which focused on a particular clause in the interim planning scheme that set out performance criteria for developments in bushfire-prone areas.
"Until the final day of the hearing, there was no suggestion that any of the relevant provisions in the planning scheme were ultra vires," he said. "As a general rule, an ambiguity or uncertainty about the meaning of a provision in a piece of delegated legislation will not result in invalidity."
"I have decided to make an order setting aside the decision of the tribunal and remitting the case for reconsideration in accordance with a direction that the tribunal is to be constituted by members who did not sit on the original hearing."
The bushfire clause in question was drafted by the state government, approved by the Tasmanian Planning Commission and applied across every planning scheme in the state.
The Meander Area Residents and Ratepayers Association has spearheaded the campaign against the Teen Challenge development, believing the proposed site could be utilised for better purposes.
Concerns have also been raised about the organisation's attitudes towards LGBTI people.
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