Thursday 11 June 2015
Bega Valley Shire Council has rejected an application from the owner of the Hotel Australasia in Eden to amend his development application to allow staged development of the site.
The owner, Great Southern Developments Pty Ltd, applied to modify an earlier development consent that was issued by the Land and Environment Court of NSW for the demolition of the Hotel Australasia and construction of a retail development.
The modification sought approval to stage the works with Stage 1 being the demolition works and Stage 2 the construction and operation of the retail development.
Mayor, Michael Britten said that while the proposed modification did not alter the approved floor plan of the development, it provided for the staging of the development.
He said that under the existing consent the applicant is required to pay the Section 94 car parking contribution of $453,100 to Council prior to any work commencing.
“The proposed staged modification would have resulted in the developer having no obligation to pay the Section 94 commitment prior to any demolition works commencing,” he said.
“While the Land and Environment Court order was a conciliated position between both parties, Council was still fundamentally opposed to the development.
“The conciliated position was only agreed to by Council after receiving legal advice and based on the structure of the draft consent which included the payment of a Section 94 car parking contribution prior to any demolition works commencing.
“A staged development could result in a vacant lot within the streetscape of Eden’s CBD with no commitment for future development which would impact on the economic viability, visual amenity and confidence of the town.
“The proposed staging was not in the public interest, and it posed a significant risk to the future growth of a town currently experiencing positive change through the Eden Port project and CBD improvements,” Cr Britten said.
Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the application for a staged development but to amend a number of minor conditions.