Here is an extract from the council development application meeting held on 10 June 2008.
Development Applications Committee Meeting held on Tuesday, 10 June 2008
ITEM-26 DA 06/1966 - 292 WHARF ROAD NEWCASTLE, DEMOLITION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS AND ERECTION OF A TWO-STOREY CAFÉ RESTAURANT
The Lord Mayor requested the Deputy Lord Mayor to assume the Chair having regard to his perceived conflict of interest in this matter.
The Lord Mayor stated that persons associated with the applicant and objectors had made contributions to the 2007 State Election campaign of which he was a candidate. On this basis, the Lord Mayor indicated that he was required by the Code of Conduct to note a perceived conflict of interest and provide an explanation as required.
The Lord Mayor retired from the Chamber at 10.08pm.
Councillor Scobie then assumed the Chair.
Councillor Gaudry then made the following statement and requested it be included in the minutes.I would just like to place on record in the minutes and I'd like it recorded in the minutes that it would have been really sensible if the Lord Mayor instead of resisting actually gave his reasons at the time as to why he was saying there could be a perception of a conflict of interest. It put Councillors in a very difficult position because we weren't sure if it impacted on us as well and it really was not following our Code of Conduct and a sensible way to proceed.
It would have been a simple thing to do. In an atmosphere of where due process by Council is being questioned it just added to the problem.
MOTION: (COUNCILLORS H O'NEILL/M OSBORNE)
The application be rejected and consideration be given by the developer for a proposal for a one-storey development.
The Group Manager Strategic Planning and Development indicated reasons for refusal were required.
During discussion Councillor Hornery gave notice of a foreshadowed motion that being the recommendation.
Councillor Gaudry outlined the following reasons for refusal:
• Size adversely impacts on residents in Boardwalk Apartments - restaurant too close (capacity)
• Too large to be located near residential development
• Noise generation on amenity
• Does not compliment residential amenity
Councillor Osborne asked the mover of the motion whether she would accept the reasons for refusal outline by Councillor Gaudry.
He also suggested consideration be given to:
• The proposal is too big for the particular site (site is narrow) - two storey development is not in keeping with the Foreshore Park (premier location)
• Public benefit of the development is not great enough to justify the parking deficit that comes with this development
Councillor O'Neill advised that she would accept the reasons outlined by Councillors Gaudry and Osborne for refusal.
Councillor Gaudry indicated that the motion proposed support for a one-storey development, however, she questioned whether it was possible to retain a two-storey development but one which addressed concerns relating to parking, noise, closeness to the apartments and the lack of compliment to an adjoining site.
The Group Manager Strategic Planning and Development informed the Committee that the consequences of its decision would likely lead to the Land and Environment Court for appeal or the Applicant taking on board Council's proposal to come back with an alternate plan.
Councillor Gaudry enquired whether it was relevant to ask the developer to consider a modified design that may address the problems Councillors had raised. She asked Councillor O'Neill whether she particularly sought a one-storey development.
Councillor O'Neill indicated that Councillors would probably favour a design of a more moderate size and design and advised that she would amend the motion in this regard.
Councillor Hornery enquired regarding the cost to ratepayers should the matter proceed to the Land and Environment Court.
The Group Manager Strategic Planning and Development indicated that an appeal of this nature would be in the order of $40,000 to $50,000 (base rate) and dependent on the issues and specialist evidence to be compiled.
Following further discussion the motion was put to the meeting and Councillor Osborne called for a division which resulted as follows:
For the motion Councillors M Eade, B Gaudry, H O'Neill, M Osborne and K Parsons.
Against the motion Councillors C Arnold, S Hornery, G Jackson, I McKenzie, P Scobie and B Scully.
The Deputy Lord Mayor declared the motion defeated on the division of five votes to six votes.
Councillor Hornery was then asked to move the foreshadowed motion.
MOTION: (COUNCILLORS S HORNERY/P SCOBIE)
The application to demolish existing structures and to construct a new 2-storey building for use as a café/restaurant (with ancillary take away food outlet) be approved and consent granted subject to compliance with the conditions set out in the Draft Schedule of Conditions at Appendix B.
Councillor McKenzie indicated that he had several amendments to make to the Conditions of Consent.
As the time was now passing 10.30pm, the Deputy Lord Mayor declared the meeting adjourned to 8.00pm on Tuesday 17 July 2008.
Note: The Committee had previously passed a resolution that if business was not completed by 10.30pm that the meeting be adjourned to the abovementioned date and time.