OPPONENTS of the north Orange McDonald’s development say they’re bitterly disappointed by yesterday’s Land and Environment Court decision to allow the fast food chain to build at the contentious Farrell Road, Northern Distributor Road intersection.
Kay Fitzgerald said once Orange’s second McDonald’s opens it’s only a matter of time before the decision’s folly becomes obvious.
“Ask me about it in 18 months, there’ll be so much traffic up there that you won’t be able to move,” she said.
“This is the legacy that our current council is leaving for us and we’ll just have to live with it.”
Mrs Fitzgerald said she wouldn’t be surprised if residents who live close to the site sought a reduction in their rates and compensation for a drop in the value of their house once McDonald’s opens.
“I feel for the people with their beautiful half-acre blocks, they’ve been wronged,” she said.
Despite her disappointment Mrs Fitzgerald said she know’s she’ll just have to live with the decision.
“I’ve got no regrets about the stand I’ve taken on the issue ... [but] big dollars speak, not the people.”
Susan White said while she’s disappointed about the decision she too thinks there’s nothing more that can be done to stop construction going ahead.
“When the traffic is atrocious up there I hope they remember we tried to do something,” Mrs White said.
“I’d made up my mind to accept whatever was going to happen but I hope this doesn’t set a precedence for further developments in the area.”
Councillor Kevin Duffy said enough time and money had already been spent on the development and he welcomed the court’s decision.
“I’ve supported the development for a long time, it met the criteria of the LEP (local environment plan) and zoning laws and council staff approved it, along with outside consultants,” he said.
“It ticked all the boxes.”
Cr Duffy said it was disappointing that ratepayers would now have to pay court costs that he estimated to be as high as $100,000.
Cr Duffy said he there were lots of positives to come from the development including the fact that McDonald’s would be made to contribute to the cost of the construction of the traffic lights at the intersection.
He said Orange would also benefit from the additional 150 jobs McDonald’s would provide, the majority of which would go to people over the age of 18.