The development application was originally received by the City on February 15 last year, and on September 18 the application for the manual car wash was refused because of potential amenity problems for local residents.
This view was supported by a petition with more than 300 signatures spearheaded by resident John Foster, who was dismayed to learn that following a mediation hearing between Westfield and City lawyers, the SAT had invited the City to reconsider the application.
While a re-submitted application was passed by the Planning and Development Committee in a 4-3 vote, Cr Stephanie Proud immediately moved to refuse the application at last week’s ordinary council meeting after a passionate address during public question time from Mr Foster.
Cr Proud said the applicants had not done enough to address the potential amenity issues surrounding the car wash and that it would still impact on local access roads.
Cr Sharon Cooke argued the car wash would only service existing shoppers during business hours. But Cr Proud said that residents had been impacted by seven-day trading and deserved a break.
Cr Proud’s motion to refuse the recommendation of SAT, which was passed by council 8-4, means the development will be sent back to the SAT for a directions hearing in the coming weeks.
While normally officers would represent the City at SAT, the fact that council voted against the officers’ recommendation means the City’s planning consultants, Greg Rowe and Associates, will again represent the City.
Their representation at the mediation hearing has already cost $8000, and City approvals manager Andre Gillot confirmed that cost would go up.
‘Should the matter progress to SAT, the City will be required to engage legal representatives and planning consultants and the costs will likely be in excess of $20,000,’ he said.