Australasia appeal date set

The developer of the Hotel Australasia site has confirmed that a petition against the refusal for development of the land will be heard in the Land and Environment Court on April 28.

Bega Valley Shire Council rejected a development application (DA) from Great Southern Developments in February, with the developer proposing to build a supermarket, liquor store and retail tenancy on the site of the 110-year-old building.

Council then passed a motion last month to include the building under Schedule 5 of the Comprehensive Local Environment Plan 2013 as a heritage item.

Great Southern Developments director Rodney Thompson said this news has done nothing to discourage his company, and believes he still has a strong case to take to the hearing.

“The fact that Council passed that motion has no significance on the case, other than that they have decided to set the wheels in motion to heritage list the building,” Mr Thompson said.

“That it’s happened after the fact (Council refusing the DA) means I doubt it will be looked at in a positive light by the court.

“It’s a little frustrating as a developer, coming in and buying a site and obviously the goal posts have been moved considerably.”

Mr Thompson said he currently has no plans to retain sections of the building alongside a supermarket development, should the situation come to that.

While many sections of the community have voiced their concerns about the impact of a third supermarket in Eden, Mr Thompson believes it is something the town needs due to its lack of a major industry.

“At this stage, we’re hoping to proceed with the planned demolition of the building that currently sits on the site,” he said.

“Our plans haven’t changed; this is an appeal against the rejection of everything in the development application that was refused by Council.

“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens on the 28th.”

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