Car was go-ahead - Federation Council

October 25, 2017

A development application for a car wash on the corner of Bow Street and John Street Corowa has been strongly endorsed by Federation Council, subject to conditions, despite 43 submissions raising concerns and objections, and two councillors speaking strongly against the development.

The car wash will have three self-wash bays, one auto-wash bay, three vacuum bays, one dog-wash area and a plant room building.

The 1022sqm private property has remained undeveloped since a dwelling was demolished about 15 years ago.

In recommending approval subject to 24 conditions, Federation Council's Director Infrastructure and Environment Peter Gall said: "The proposed car wash will provide a business opportunity and a service for some members of the community and may adversely affect some others, particularly those living closest to the development.

"The development application meets all the requirements of the zone. The applications meet the structural requirements and it's in a safe location."

Reasons for objections by nearby residents included traffic, lights, noise, water sprays, social and safety, and there already being a car wash in town.

Mr Gall said his recommendation for the development "contained a raft of conditions" which can address concerns by objectors.

But one change to those conditions, at Cr Paul Miegel's instigation, was entry via John Street and exit by Bow Street, as Bow Street is the much busier street, particularly with home-coming Rivalea traffic.

Cr Fred Longmire led the charge against the development expressing his concern at the large number of objections. "On my time on council I've never seen so many objections," he said. "This is a pristine area from the RSL Club to the chocolate factory. Why do we need it in that area? There are plenty of other options. It doesn't fit that area."

Cr Gail Law expressed her dissatisfaction with the location. "With the skatepark built in the late 1980s, we've just moved (a motion) for $333,000 to be spent in that area," she said. "It's a beautiful pristine area, frequented mostly by young people.

"Being open 24 hours, seven days a week, unattended, it will light up the area and could attract undesirables throughout the night.

"I know in business competition is healthy but this is a beautiful green area in the centre of town people can come to."

In supporting the application, Cr Andrew Kennedy referred to investment for Corowa and the list of stringent conditions attached to the approval.

He mentioned the service station (which includes Marshall Batteries) opposite the subject site and the old train line. "I (the development) could get the area going again," he said. "I deal with development applications all the time."

Cr Norm Wales acknowledged the large number of submissions "but it's another business for town". "It would blend in with Marshall Batteries."

Cr Longmire fired questions to Mr Gall regarding specific prohibition to Business 2 zone of water recycling and water treatment facilities.

"We expect businesses to remove grease, oil and silt from site discharges prior to discharge to council's sewerage system," Mr Gall responded. "It's standard practice for many businesses."

Prohibited facilities referred to in the LEP are larger scale facilities such as council's water treatment plant and sewerage treatment plant.

In answer to concerns with water sprays, especially in windy situations, Cr David Longley referred to the proposed blank wall which would be a deterrent to potentially wayward sprays.

Cr Miegel said there are "pros and cons" about the development, with some concerns with increased vehicular traffic so close to the skatepark but added that council must always consider developments if the town is to move ahead.

Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke told the Free Press he would have voted in favour of the development, which would make it a 6-2 vote for the development. Cr Shaun Whitechurch declared a pecuniary interest.

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