A battle royal is set to break out after a proposed new Woolworths Metro store in Mosman was rejected with several options now open to the big retail group.
Andrew Loveday, Woolworths Head of Property Development said “We believe we’ve put forward a proposal that is consistent with the planning framework. This was reflected in Mosman Council’s recommendation to approve the project”
“While we’re disappointed with the result we’ll review the reasons for the Panel’s decision and explore our options”.
Mosman residents are now facing having to pay a million dollar plus legal bill after plans for a proposed small Woolworths Metro store in the affluent suburb was rejected this morning with the matter now tipped to head to the Land & Environment Court.
The last time the Mosman Local Planning Panel rejected a Woolworths application for a Woolworth owned Dan Murphy outlet it cost the Council over $600,000 in legal fees alone.
The Dan Murphy store is now one of the most popular retail locations in Mosman with none of the objectors claimed problems coming to fruition.
Insiders are tipping that Woolworths will win their case in the Land & Environment Court after an independent report found that the proposed store met planning guidelines and that there was no real reason for the plans to be rejected.
Despite a day of presentations yesterday the Woolworths development application was refused unanimously this morning by the Mosman Local Planning Panel.
Protest Group who call themselves the Mosman Village Community which includes former Mosman Mayor Peter Abelson have mounted a major campaign against the proposal.
Many in this group are the same people who objected to the Dan Murphy store which cost ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, with money being allocated by the Council to fight questionable legal cases Vs the money being invested in child care.
ChannelNews understands that Council officals were expecting the proposal to be approved.
The Panel Chaired by Justice Stein voted unanimously to reject the Development on the following grounds:.
1. The application fails to satisfy the Aims of the Mosman Local Environmental Plan 2012 in particular Clauses 1.2(2)(i) and (j).
2. The application fails to satisfy the Aims of the Business Centres Development Control Plan 2012 in particular Clauses 1.5(e), (g) and (i).
3. The application fails to provide adequate car parking for retail customers, staff, and service vehicles. In particular, the proposed car parking fails to comply with the requirements of Clause 6.11 of the Business Centres Development Control Plan 2012 and fails to comply with the requirements of the RMS Guide to Traffic Generating Developments.
4. Access to and from the carpark from Lennon Lane is inadequate and will create traffic conflicts for users of the carpark, including delivery vehicles. In particular, the lane is narrow and the access to the carpark is also narrow. The application seeks to create a section of lane, where two vehicles cannot pass, behind the Mosman Club which will result in traffic queuing and congestion.
5. The proposed entry and exit from the carpark and adjacent lane poses adverse outcomes for pedestrian safety.
6. Lennon Lane itself is inadequate for access to the carpark and the proposed development.
7. The proposed development is unsuitable for the site having regard to Section 4.15(1)(c) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
8. The proposed development is contrary to the public interest having regard to the above reasons for refusal and the overwhelming number of submissions from the public opposing the application (Section 4.15(1)(d) and (e) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).
This comes after objectors questioned demand for the late-night shopping, with resident Nicholas Calfas saying: “I doubt anyone on the applicant’s substantial team have been in Mosman past 6pm – the joy of this neighbourhood is that after 9pm it’s quiet.”
The planning panel found the development was permitted in the B2 Local Centre zoning of the site and there was no evidence the store would impact property prices or block views across Sydney Harbour.
In a statement, prior to the decision the retailer said it was “committed to delivering a Woolworths Metro to the Mosman community.”
“We’ve listened closely to the community throughout the development of our plans and we’re pleased the development application has been recommended for approval by the council,” a spokeswoman said.
“We believe we’ve put forward a proposal that is consistent with the planning framework and we look forward to a determination at the local planning panel.”
More to follow…