Zoo Owner Fights With Neighbours Over Access

Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday February 1, 1989


The owner of Sydney's largest private zoo has taken two of his neighbours to court in an attempt to make them consent to a planned upgrading of a common access road.

Mr Emmanuel Margolin, a millionaire developer who keeps 3,000 animals, including lions, monkeys, koalas and alligators on his Notre Dame property at Mulgoa, near Penrith, wants to get council approval for uses of the property which are variously described as recreational, educational and tourist.

But two of his neighbours have refused to agree to the upgrading, and yesterday they appeared in the Supreme Court to argue against the road widening.

Alfred and Jane Attard, and Mr John Williams, claim the proposal will double the number of cars using the road, currently up to 450 on weekends, and will detract from their enjoyment of their properties.

The court was told that Mr Margolin, who owns the centre strip of the road, wants to construct entry and exit lanes over the first 45 metres of the 1.6-kilometre road leading to his property.

Because the common right of way to Notre Dame passes over the lots of the Attards and Mr Williams, their consent is necessary before Penrith City Council will consider the development application on behalf of Notre Dame.

Mr Murray Tobias, QC, for Mr Margolin's company Annwrack Pty Ltd, told Justice Waddell yesterday that although various activities began on the property from about 1984, there was no complaint from Penrith City Council until late last year when an action was begun in the Land and Environment Court.

He argued that the upgrading, which would occur only at the intersection of the access road and Mulgoa Road, would enhance the current situation and not detract from it.

The Attards and Mr Williams had not claimed that the current use of the road in any way impeded their own use, he said, or they would have taken legal action.

All that had to be decided was whether Annwrack is entitled to require the defendants' consent to the work, and whether there is a threat of excessive use of the road entitling them to refuse, he said.

Justice Waddell was told that proposed extensions to 55-hectare Notre Dame, which also sports a rainforest and some 49 andalusian dancing horses, include an equestrian area and 100 log cabins.

The Attards are cross-claiming for a declaration that Annwrack cannot use the right of way to enable Notre Dame to continue as a tourist area.

Justice Waddell, who said the situation had been a "bit of a nightmare" for the Attards and Mr Williams, reserved his decision.

© 1989 Sydney Morning Herald

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