BATHURST Grange Distillery has the potential to bring tourists to the region from all over Australia, but for now the business can't allow even a minibus through its front gates.
To operate as a commercial entity, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) requires Grange owners Toby and Sue Jones to upgrade the O'Connell Road entrance to their property to include a passing slip lane, large enough to allow coaches to enter, despite the fact the distillery can only house 20 people.
Mr Jones said they have spent the past two years trying to find a solution and have already undertaken a costly upgrade to the entrance of the property.
"We are a small operation seeking to create a new tourist destination in the Bathurst region," he said.
"Our destination has great potential in attracting tourists.
"... However, before we can even open in a small way to test the market and get started we are required to undertake a significant and disproportionally costly over-sized road widening for our start-up business.
"The RMS entry requirement would be large enough to allow coaches to enter yet our cellar door facility can only take 20 patrons."
Mr Jones said the business only wants to operate on weekends and allow, at most, a minibus through the front gate.
As it stands the business is turning away requests from people wanting to visit the distillery at an alarming rate.
Mr and Mrs Jones have now initiated a petition at change.org to try and garner public support for their bid to trade on weekends.
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Mr Jones said the government talked about supporting and encouraging regional development, yet the regulations he has had to navigate had made it almost impossible for him.
"We are not against the condition required by the RMS but let us begin with weekend trade rather than penalise us further with delays and expense," he said.
Mr Jones said quotations for the entry upgrade were in excess of $200,000 - triple of what the work should cost as contractors aren't interested in such a small job.
Transport for NSW director (west) Alistair Lunn said his organisation was supportive of local businesses but also had a responsibility to ensure that access to new developments from the public road network was safe.
"A condition of the cellar door development, accepted by Mr Jones, was to provide safe access to the property," Mr Lunn said.
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