MCDONALD’S will not be allowed to operate for 24 hours a day for up to 12 months after construction is completed in on the Farrell Road site.
Land and Environment Court Commissioner Sue Morris imposed several conditions on the approval of the development but the only objection from residents she agreed with was that the Northern Distributor Road intersection was not up to scratch.
Orange City Council sustainable development committee chair Jeff Whitton said he was not surprised the court found in favour of McDonald’s because it was very rare for the court to go against “experienced” council staff who had recommended its approval.
Yet he said he stood by council’s decision to reject the proposal.
“The people of north Orange should not see it as a loss. They should be proud of what they have done,” he said.
The main argument from north Orange residents against the development was that there was inadequate traffic safety.
The imposed trial of operating hours from 6am to midnight is to assess the impact of traffic on the residential area, according to Ms Morris.
She said McDonald’s would also be required to pay for part of the construction of traffic lights at the intersection.
However other arguments concerned the amenity impacts and that the development did not comply with planning controls.
Arguments Ms Morris threw out.
She said she accepted evidence from McDonald’s expert town planner that the development does not have to be consistent with the residential character of the area.
“That is because the area is a mixed-use area and, I have no specific regard to the SP3 zoning of the site,” she wrote in her findings.
“The council, in resolving to make its LEP (local environmental plan), undertook extensive planning studies and, after exhibition of the draft plan, further considered the appropriateness of that zoning.”
She said there would be minimal impacts on amenity because the background noise levels would be low, the building was only a single storey and an existing acoustic wall to the east of the site limits the visibility of the building from the distributor road.