THE row over billionaire Solomon Lew’s controversial Mt Eliza swimming pool has finally been resolved.
In a statement released late yesterday (July 24), the Mornington Peninsula Shire announced it had executed a deed of settlement over the demolition of the Osprey Avenue pool and its retaining walls.
Under the agreement, Mr Lew must carry out remediation work on the land after the demolition to ensure the site matches the surrounding Crown land.
Mr Lew will also make an ex gratia payment to Mornington Peninsula Youth Enterprises. ‘‘Council is appreciative ... for this gesture of good will,’’ said the statement, which did not specify the amount to be donated.
Mayor Frank Martin said council was pleased to have resolved the issue at no cost to ratepayers.
“The deed of settlement means we have avoided the need to commence potentially very costly legal proceedings which may have seen the issue tied up in the courts for many years,” Cr Martin said.
‘‘Council’s objective from the start has been to get the pool removed and the land re-instated to its original condition at no cost to ratepayers, and I’m very pleased we have achieved that outcome.”
The pool was built in 2009 on Crown land adjoining Mr Lew’s holiday house.
Council became aware of the pool in late 2010 and, after it was deemed unsafe, the pool was emptied and covered last year to prevent its use while the dispute between the council and Mr Lew dragged on.
At one stage Mr Lew tried to buy a section of the Crown land, but his bid was rejected by the state government.
Cr Martin said Mr Lew would be given a ‘reasonable period’ to comply with the deed.