Bermagui Woolworths deferred by Bega council

COMMENTS DIVIDED ON DEVELOPMENT

THE process of discussing a potential Woolworths development for Bermagui will drag on for yet a little longer.

At Wednesday’s Bega Valley Shire Council meeting, councillors voted to defer the matter for a further staff report dealing with issues raised during public depositions.

Those speaking to the council on Wednesday were Frances Perkins from the Far South Coast National Trust, local residents Geoff Steel and Nadine Hills, and No W in Bermagui community group spokesman Paul Payten.

They all had issues and concerns about the development proposal and urged councillors to consider carefully the plans on show before making a final decision.

The BVSC is considering a second proposal by Fabcot for a Woolworths development  comprising 1542sqm of retail space, a specialty retail shop, liquor store and parking for 87 cars and two motorbikes.

Fabcot has incorporated a number of changes from an already approved application that is currently the subject of a deferred Land and Environment Court hearing (BDN, 30/8/13).

Dr Perkins said the new proposal “achieved much of what council hoped, but there are still major deficiencies”.

Her main issue was the façade is now proposed to be “beige metal cladding” rather than the timber recommended by well-known architect Philip Cox.

There was also no provision of a formal link from the proposed supermarket  to the existing business on Lamont St.

“We are looking for ways existing businesses can not only survive, but thrive,” Dr Perkins said.

Mr Steel also had suggestions to reduce the development’s impact somewhat on residents and possibly assist local businesses.

He said if councillors were of a mind to approve the DA, they should consider making the car park exit “left turn only” to reduce traffic on residential streets, sending all vehicles to Lamont St.

He also raised a concern that projected traffic movements of 250,000-400,000 a year were “overly optimistic” or, if correct, “traffic impact will be extreme”.

The lack of footpaths, meaning pedestrians would be sharing the roads with this swollen traffic flow, was also raised as a worry.

Ms Hills focused more on the potential “damage to the social fabric” of Bermagui in her deposition, while Mr Payten’s concerns are covered in more detail in a separate story.

BVSC group manager of planning and environment Andrew Woodley said, on reflection of the issues and suggestions presented at Wednesday’s meeting, staff would like to prepare a further report.

Cr Russell Fitzpatrick moved a motion to defer the matter, which passed unanimously (Cr Michael Britten was absent).

Cr Tony Allen seconded the motion to defer, but added he was not against the proposal.

He said this second incarnation of the Woolworths DA was a much better option than the first and that there would now be a concern if it is rejected or withdrawn, the already approved first DA could be back on the table depending on the court decision.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Comment below or email ben.smyth@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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