A legal showdown between the developers pushing for a large-scale Bangalow mixed residential-commercial building and Council is likely to return to the Land and Environment Court after councillors voted to reject a compromise proposal recommended by staff at last Thursday’s meeting.
The two-storey building proposal is adjacent to the A&I Hall and would include eight dwellings, three shops with basement car park and an attic.
It would take up almost the entire property. When the plans were initially revealed it riled residents, including the Bangalow School P&C, and public meetings were held in response. Residents claimed such a large-scale building would set a precedent and was not in keeping with the town’s low-key planning strategies.
Crs Cubis, Woods and Hunter voted against, while Crs Richardson, Cameron, Dey, Spooner, Ibrahim and Wanchap voted for the legal clash.
The vote re-affirms a previous decision, which was based on concerns for ‘bulk and scale,’ among other factors. And despite some concessions by applicant Gordon Highlands, the development still contravenes Council’s development control plan (DCP). The vote comes despite staff recommending to approve it if the general manager undertook conciliation. Confidential legal advice was also presented. Ex-councillor and vocal opponent Jenny Coman told The Echo, ‘We are very proud of those councillors who supported their community by voting against the staff recommendation [to accept the development]. I know how difficult it is to do that and we thank them.’