The Land and Environment Court battle over the future of the $3 billion Calderwood development is set to enter a fourth hearing day later this month after the case yesterday failed to finish as expected.
Lawyers for developer Lend Lease and opponents NSW Planning and Wollongong and Shellharbour councils had expected to have questioned all the witnesses and put forward closing arguments by yesterday afternoon, 2½ days after the hearing began in Albion Park on Wednesday.
However, protracted debate between the parties and the need for additional expert witnesses to clarify contested points caused lawyers from both sides to agree they would need a further hearing day, set down for March 28.
Meantime, Lend Lease yesterday reiterated its opposition to Wollongong City Council's suggestion in court on Thursday that it should contribute to upgrading Yallah Road.
Town planning expert Lesley Bull said Lend Lease's traffic modelling showed the quickest and most cost-effective northbound route from the southern part of the Calderwood development - the first section to be constructed - did not involve driving on Yallah Road.
She said residents would instead travel along Calderwood Road and join up to the planned extension of Tripoli Way, which would flow on to the Illawarra Highway.
However, during cross-examination Ms Bull admitted it was likely some Calderwood residents may use Marshall Mount Road and then Yallah Road when driving to Wollongong.
But she said Lend Lease's traffic modelling showed Yallah Road would require upgrading by 2021, independent of the Calderwood development.
"The modelling demonstrates the Yallah Road upgrade is required irrespective of Calderwood," she said.
"The need [to upgrade Yallah Road will be] generated in the next 10 years by reason of [other] development without Calderwood."
Laws governing mandatory developer payments for infrastructure, referred to as Section 94 contributions, stipulate developers can only be required to pay for infrastructure upgrades where demand for, or use of that infrastructure increases because of their development.
They cannot be asked to fill the gap where there currently are, or are forecast to be, existing deficiencies without the impact of their development.
Ms Bull argued this was the case on both Marshall Mount and Yallah roads.
Other contested points raised in court yesterday included the type and length of the replacement bridge for Marshall Mount Road, and the nature of the proposed intersection upgrade at Marshall Mount and Yallah roads.