ORANGE City Council general manager Garry Styles has warned councillors against issuing an outright refusal for three units in Speet Place.
Councillor Peter Hetherington moved to refuse the development at Monday’s Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) meeting citing the impact on the amenity of the area but was warned the decision could result in legal action from the developer.
Council accepted Mr Styles suggestion the matter be deferred for council staff to write a further report regarding the refusal for an upcoming meeting.
“You’re going to end up in strife if it goes to legal action,” he said.
Cr Hetherington told the Central Western Daily he felt the site was over-developed which could be reduced if a compromise was reached to remove one unit.
He said potential legal action shouldn’t deter council from making the right decisions about developments.
“The Land and Environment Court is there for all parties,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be used as a bogeyman or a big stick.”
The proposal to build three, three-bedroom units on a vacant block in the cul-de-sac attracted 11 submissions from opponents including resident Jan Savage who raised safety concerns about the increased traffic she believed the units would create.
She told the Central Western Daily she was surprised council had voted unanimously to refuse the development.
“The whole street will be happy,” she said.
“I understand where the council stands in terms of the legal requirements but the cul-de-sac is very small and that needs to be strongly considered.”
Mrs Savage said she was very impressed with council’s decision.
“There has to be a time when people do step forward in local government to make decisions for common sense and the community,” she said.
Cr Neil Jones said the inconsistencies of some councillors’ decisions for the Speet Place development and a similar unit development in Kite Street approved at the same meeting was “quite extraordinary”.
“They voted unanimously to reject Speet Place yet four voted for Kite Street,” he said.
Cr Hetherington said he hoped a policy change for subdivisions with dual occupancy would be forthcoming as currently it was based on state government policy to suit the needs of metropolitan communities not regional areas.