At its Council meeting last week, Cabonne Council voted yes in approval of the DA for the demolition and erection of a new service station in Gaskill Street, Canowindra.
The proposal, for a service station at 19-23 Gaskill St, has created considerable debate in the Canowindra community over the past 6 months.
The site previously operated as a service station facility but has been abandoned for some time now, last operating as a service station in 1963.
All of the four local Canowindra councillors were in attendance, with Councillors Durkin and Newsom voting against the DA, Cr Weaver voting for the DA and Cr Walker declaring a pecuniary interest in this matter and abstaining from discussions and voting as he owns land near the site.
Cr Durkin and Newsom were both disappointed with the outcome as they had voted in support of the local ratepayers who had led a strong campaign of opposition to the DA being approved.
“Gaskill Street is in a heritage zoned area and was the focus of the community meetings held in Canowindra recently with it coming to the top of the list in terms of assets to the village,” Cr Newsom said.
“A large number of Canowindra residents who did their best to convince Cabonne Council to knock back the new Gaskill Street service station DA will be disappointed that it has been approved,” said Richard Statham.
“They can take some solace in that their objections were taken on board and the plans in the original DA were substantially modified in terms of visual impact, building size, lighting, advertising display, colour scheme and landscaping features. Unfortunately local resident’s objections on heritage, potential environmental risk and aesthetic grounds don’t count once council is convinced that all EPA and other NSW state legislation and regulations have been complied with,” continued Mr Staham.
“It is understood that if council refused the application, the developer would have been within its rights to sue council for refusing to approve a DA which might have been assessed by the NSW Land and Environment Court as valid according to zoning and all other regulations,” said Mr Statham.
“It is sad that only two of our four Canowindra resident Cabonne councillors voted against the proposal. They at least must have been well aware of the majority local sentiment but one would assume that other non-resident councillors without a personal attachment to Canowindra would not vote against it if they were convinced the DA was valid as above,” concluded Mr Statham.
Another concerned local resident of Canowindra who was against the DA, Jan Harrison said “The close proximity to the Belubula River and possible implications to groundwater and the eco system that this new development will cause are major.”
“Much of the watercourse goes through underground aquifers capable of self-watering several crops of Lucerne in a good year,” said Mrs Harrison.
“I cannot think of a petrol station currently sited on the edge of a river. Cleaning the site to a “blind sump to be serviced by a trade waste contractor” and general controls set out for Stormwater Capture despite best efforts at managing this regular maintenance, still gives cause for great concern,” said Jan Harrison.
“Another concern is, if a new development is approved within this Conservation Area of Canowindra what effect will this have on future applications and possible demolition of buildings,” concluded Mrs Harrison.