Residents have asked for Penrith council intervention in a dispute with property giant Lendlease over who owns 50cm of their backyards.
More than 50 Werrington Downs and Werrintgon County landowners are involved in the dispute, which began when Lendlease wrote to the residents stating surveying work showed a boundary alignment error that meant their backyards encroached on Lendlease land by some 50cm.
The issue intensified after the company lodged a development application for nearly 70 houses directly behind the residents before the land ownership matter was resolved.
While Lendlease has since written to residents stating the company owned the disputed land but would transfer ownership back to the Werrington land owners, residents want the DA process halted until the matter is resolved.
“The land owners impacted by this land ownership dispute and DA for mass housing have written to Mayor John Thain and all councillors urging that they stop the clock on the DA until there is a legal resolution to the ownership of our land and the alignment of fence boundaries with Lendlease,” resident spokesman Ken Rollinson said in a statement.
A Lendlease spokeswoman said the company would be continuing with the transfer process.
“Lendlease is committed to working with the Werrington County residents and Penrith City Council to resolve the boundary adjustment process,” she said in a statement to the Gazette. “We will be corresponding with residents shortly about the process to transfer the land into their ownership.”
A Penrith City Council spokesman said the DA submitted “in part facilitates the transfer of land to be consolidated with the residents land”.
“The transfer of ownership to the residents is complex and requires development applications to be submitted, amendments to sub-division plans and new Title Deeds drawn up,” he said.
“Lendlease is continuing to provide updates to residents on the progress of the transfer.”
But Mr Rollinson said the issue was causing residents “anxiety and stress”.
“The DA land is also at the centre of the ownership dispute so its makes no sense to us that council would allow this DA to proceed until the ownership matter is legally resolved,” he said.
“Penrith council is the authority responsible for legally resolving this matter yet we’ve heard absolutely nothing from them about where we stand, the process and what we can do. They’ve left us in legal limbo and its causing us lots of anxiety and stress.
“We want answers and have asked the mayor to hold a public meeting so we can express our concerns directly to the councillors and planning staff. Without proper information we are at a complete disadvantage in this entire process.
“We have lots of concerns about [the DA] and don’t want houses built directly behind us. Lendlease previously told us at one of their information sessions the land immediately behind us would not be used for housing so we now feel totally deceived and view their DA information as dubious.
“We also requested that when this DA is to be determined that it come before the elected councillors for a vote note be determined behind closed doors by a council staffer.”