Developer: we’ll appeal

Great Southern Developments has confirmed it will appeal against the failed development application (DA) for a supermarket on the site of the Australasia Hotel.

Bega Valley Shire Council last week rejected the controversial application to build a supermarket, liquor store and retail tenancy on the site of the 110-year-old building.

However, the developer will now refer the matter to the Land and Environment Court in coming weeks.

Director of Great Southern Developments Rodney Thompson told The Magnet last week he was disappointed with council’s decision and felt his company would have a strong case to mount an appeal.

“We will continue to push for a supermarket on the site,” Mr Thompson said.

“We are disappointed with the process and upset with council’s position towards the development.”

He said a town like Eden, with no major industries, needed this kind of development.

Bega Valley Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary John Richardson said he was not surprised at the move and he would be interested in the outcome of the appeal.

“I think he’s perfectly entitled to pursue that avenue. That’s part of the system that we have,” Mr Richardson said.

“I’m not surprised by the developer’s decision to do this.

“He’s invested a considerable amount of money in pursuing a development in the first place and I guess he wants to protect that.

“In saying that though, council gave very strong reasons for that rejection and we are supportive of those reasons.

“I guess all we can do now is wait and see what the Land and Environment Court says.”

Local opponent of the project, Peter Whiter, agreed with Mr Richardson that the developer was well within his rights to make an appeal.

“I don’t think anyone is happy with the direction that the whole thing took to get us to where we are now,” he said.

“I’m not surprised, nor am I disappointed in the developer for taking these steps, but I hope that there is a chance for at least the 1906 section of the building to remain.

“I’m aware that if he can retain the front section of that building with a development behind it, then that protects the building more-so than it does today [with a knock-down].

“However, I don’t believe there is a need for a third supermarket in Eden.”

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