ADDITIONS and alterations to a dwelling in Bathurst's heritage conservation area can be made, despite an attempt to rescind consent at Wednesday night’s council meeting.
A development application for 6 Stanley Street was approved at the June 20 meeting of Bathurst Regional Council, going against the recommendation to refuse it from director of Environmental Planning and Building Services, Neil Southorn.
He said that the proposed development was "inappropriate in terms of its bulk, size and detailing given its location" and would negatively impact the streetscape.
In his report, Mr Southorn said that the initial proposal raised concerns and the applicant was invited to amend the plans to "soften the impact on the street", but this never occurred.
After considering the proposal further, councillors Monica Morse, Jacqui Rudge and mayor Graeme Hanger signed a rescission motion the following day.
The rescission motion went before councillors at Wednesday night's ordinary meeting, where it was lost following discussion.
During discussion, Cr Morse said a DA shouldn’t get approval against the recommendations of highly knowledgeable council staff.
“My feeling was that it was a great shame that councillors didn’t acknowledge that advice and refuse the DA,” she said.
She noted that councillors were told at the June 20 meeting that there were no submissions on the DA, but there was a reason why that was the case.
“Of course there weren’t submissions, because the heritage groups in Bathurst were completely in agreement with the planning director’s report that refused the development application,” she said.
“They were frankly delighted and so there was absolutely no need to put in objections to a DA refusal that they agreed with.
“Since then, and since council resolved to approve the DA, there have been several submissions.”
Cr Morse said the historical significance of the Stanley Street site was substantial and anything proposed for the heritage conservation area had to be considered carefully, as mistakes have been made in the past.
Her key argument was that, taking all council’s key planning strategies into account, this development shouldn’t have been approved.
“We've gone against the housing strategy, the heritage strategy and the brand strategy, so that is why I brought the rescission motion,” Cr Morse said.
Cr John Fry acknowledged that he originally voted to approve the DA, but he was now “in two minds” about it.
“Apart from the aquatic centre, this block stands alone as single-storey development,” he said.
“If this one is approved, it opens the floodgates for double-storey all the way around the whole block.”
He added that a new development control plan (DCP) may soon prohibit this kind of development, therefore it was “risky” to give approval to this DA.
According to the report by Mr Southorn, the DA proposes a partial demolition, extending the ground floor dining, laundry and kitchen areas, and adding a two-storey component to create four additional bedrooms, kitchenette, family room, bathroom and veranda.