The Land and Environment Court of NSW has today determined that a proposal for a highway service centre, including takeaway food and drink premises and two anciliary shops on the New England Highway is lawful and upheld the Development Application appeal.
This ruling comes despite resident’s strong objections to the development based on the site being a high hazard floodway and the fact it is located at the intersection of Bridgman Road and the New England Highway which is already subject to significant traffic congestion and is a major pedestrian thoroughfare.
Singleton Council refused the Development Application on April 10, 2017 on the basis of flooding; inconsistencies with zone objectives; traffic impacts; and because the project was inconsistent with the Community Strategic Plan (CSP).
The Development Application appeal was commenced as a Conciliation Conference on February 7, 2018, which was terminated as the issues in dispute could not be resolved without further information from the Applicant.
The parties contended that with the provision of additional information together with proposed Conditions of Consent, the issues raised by Council and the residents could all be resolved.
At the hearing of the Development Application appeal on June 27, 2018, Commissioner Bish heard submissions from both parties on the contesteddraft Conditions of Consent, and the legal basis for the submissions. The Court also heard from a number of objectors.
In handing down her decision, Commissioner Bish accepted that traffic and flooding issues had been resolved, however was reliant on effective implementation of Conditions of Consent and flood management plans.
The Traffic and Pedestrian Management Plan, specifically sought to ensure traffic and pedestrian safety and therefore resolved the issues raised by the residents and Council, and satisfied the requirements of the Roads and Maritime Services.
Furthermore, the proposed development with relevant draft Conditions of Consent sought to protect human and environmental health, and satisfy Council’s Local Environmental Plan.
Based on concerns from residents about adverse impacts of light from the 24-hour operation of the development, the Commissioner imposed an additional requirement to the Landscape Plan to provide adequate screening from light and glare to dwellings located to the south of the site.
Council will review the Judgment with its Solicitors before making any further comment on the decision.