Main street development meeting canned
A MEETING to decide the future of a controversial $8.9M redevelopment of a prominent commercial site in Bellingen's main street has been cancelled.
The cancellation of the January 24 meeting of the Northern Regional Planning Panel is due to a legal requirement for the advertising of contaminated land remediation works within a Heritage Conservation Area.
The proposal for a retail strip with underground parking and 15 apartments along the top is on the site of a former garage.
A statement issued by Bellingen Shire Council on Wednesday afternoon outlined the 'minor procedural issue':
"Development Application 2018/DA-0025 which proposes to redevelop the Carl Foster Service Station site in Bellingen is to be re-advertised for public comment by Bellingen Shire Council. A final review of the application by Council staff has identified a minor procedural issue with the advertising of the application that needs to be rectified before the application can be determined.
"Specifically, although the Development Application was advertised for 21 days in accordance with Council policy, there is a separate requirement in a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) that prescribes a minimum advertising period of 30 days for remediation works within a Heritage Conservation Area.
"The remediation of the land is a minor and ancillary component of the overall development proposal, however council's legal advisors have confirmed that it is essential that the procedural requirements of the SEPP are observed to ensure that any determination made in respect of the application is legally valid."
Council has been in contact with the applicants and the planning panel, to advise them of the need to readvertise the application, and the need to postpone the determination meeting.
"Council acknowledges the inconvenience that this has caused various parties however it is essential for all parties concerned that any determination made in respect of this matter is legally valid, which leaves it with no choice but to proceed with re-advertisement."
According to council a number of minor changes have been made to the proposal during the course of the assessment so the re-advertisement will give the public an opportunity to review the changes and an additional opportunity to provide input into the significant proposal.
All submissions that have been made to date will continue to be considered and there is no need to re-submit but if people wish to make further submissions, these will also be considered.
Similarly, any person who has made a submission to date will receive further advice regarding the postponement of the meeting that was scheduled for January 24 and the date of any future meeting scheduled by the Northern Regional Planning Panel to determine the DA.
Council will proceed with the re-advertising of the application as soon as is possible.