THE developer of an unmanned motel knocked back by Orange City Council could proceed with his plans at a different site opposite the north Orange shopping centre if he is able to gain support from Orange mayor John Davis and deputy mayor Jeff Whitton.
But Bryce McDougall admits it is unlikely to happen.
Previously, he said he would be forced to take council to the Land and Environment Court if the development was rejected for a second time.
He confirmed yesterday that he had dropped plans to press ahead with the Dalton Street site and was getting legal advice to find out what his options were after the compliant development was refused by council on safety grounds last week.
But Mr McDougall’s experience with council has left such a bad taste in his mouth he is likely to give up on Orange - leaving him $58,000 out of pocket.
“I love Orange, I think it’s such a beautiful city but I’ve had it up to there,” he said.
“I find it quite outrageous that you work with the very professional economic development and planning staff within council, designing something that complies, only to be knocked back by councillors who I unfortunately have found to be narrow-minded and willing to appease a few, rather than consider what is best for the city.”
If approved, guests would have pre-booked their rooms and checked in to the 36-room motel via a pin code sent to their mobile phone.
Mr McDougall said councillors were “naive in the extreme” to knock back an enterprise because it didn’t fit their outdated views of how a business should be run.
“Technology is racing ahead and allowing businesses to operate more efficiently, and rather than opening their minds to new thinking and participate in embracing smarter ways to do business, they push people like me away,” he said.
“Cities that don’t ‘get with it’ fail to reach their fullest potential.”
Mr McDougall said the actions of councillors sent a strong message deterring investors and he warned that others were also likely to walk away from the city.
He will cease paying rent on the Dalton Street site, owned by the neighbouring childcare centre, within the month and may look to establish the concept in Gunnedah or Armidale if he gives up on Orange.