Approval recommended for refreshment rooms
Gosford Council staff have recommended approval of a proposal that would see three "refreshment rooms" with alfresco dining built at the Empire Bay service station.
The recommendation has been made despite eight submissions objecting to the development and the fact that it would not be allowed under the Draft Local Environment Plan 2009, which has yet to be finalised.
In making the recommendation, staff acknowledged that consent conditions applying to the service station had not been met.
"Council has commenced action to have the bushland regeneration completed in accordance the consent conditions applicable to the service station approval," according to a staff report about the application.
The report also stated that a final occupation certificate had not been issued for the service station.
"A private certifier for the service station development issued an interim occupation certificate prior to the service station commencing trading."
According to staff, the lack of a final certificate did not "preclude determination of the current application".
Staff responded similarly to an objection that the application should be rejected because court orders placed on the site were not being upheld.
"There is no nexus between the consent issued by the Land and Environment Court for the existing service station and this development application.
"This application has been assessed on its merits."
The report stated that the application was consistent with planning provisions and council policies for the site.
The Roads and Traffic Authority and the Rural Fire Service had supported the application, subject to conditions, the report said.
The report stated that the development would not encroach on bushland buffers required with the service station approval.
The car parking provided would exceed requirements by seven spaces.
"The proposal will result in a development that will achieve a satisfactory level of transition between the conservation and urban areas."
It would "result in a development that is sympathetic to the aesthetic and scenic quality of the land and its environmental character" and "in keeping with the rural-residential amenity of the locality".
Council will consider the staff recommendation tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 6.