A proposal to convert a residential building to a dental clinic in the Bowral Conservation Area in Bowral Street was given the green light.
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The decision was made at the Ordinary Meeting of Wingecarribee Shire Council on October 14, 2020.
Originally, the application contained components which did not respect the character of the Bowral Conservation Area.
Several amended plans were subsequently submitted by the applicant to improve the proposed development.
Councillor Graham McLaughlin proposed a motion to refuse the development on the grounds of traffic, prohibited in the Local Environment Plan (LEP), amenity and the destruction of the Bowral Conservation Area.
It was seconded by Councillor Larry Whipper.
"The majority of people would not know that the State Environment Policy overrides our LEP to put commercial operations in residential areas," he said.
"I think we need to make a stand.
"This is a medical centre that should be in a commercial area.
"It destroys our conservation areas in Bowral. Where does it stop?
"We need to make a stand [and say] do not destroy our heritage and conservation areas where residents enjoy a certain amenity."
Councillor Garry Turland said he would support the development.
"They are a benefit to our community at large," he said.
"[The developer] can provide parking on-site, it's in the hours approved by council and basically I see no problem with this at all.
"The streetscape hasn't changed, it looks like the original house and therefore I can't see a concern at all. Almost more than half of the properties from the hospital to Bong Bong street are commercially used now."
Councillor Larry Whipper spoke in favour of the motion to refuse the application.
"On principle, I support the motion," he said.
"I think it gets to a tipping point where once we lose the heritage amenity of the area, it becomes just another commercial zone.
"I think we need to take a stand. Incrementally, what is happening is that we are losing our heritage in our precincts.
"It's really important on principle to support this recommendation and fight it as far as we can.
"If our heritage isn't worth it, nothing is. I support the motion whole-heartedly."
Councillor Ian Scandrett spoke against the motion.
"This is a response to a demand of dental services," he said.
"You can't put dental services in Bowral CBD because there's no parking.
"This is about our aging population and a provision of services. I think it satisfies the streetscape."
In his right of reply, Cr McLaughlin read a letter from a neighbouring resident.
"This proposal is commercial in nature. The proposed development should be in commercial areas not in established residential areas," he read.
"A private resident is unable to subdivide their land and yet multiple clinics are being approved.
"It is unfortunate that the State Government's SEP permits such a development in a residential zone two."
The motion was put to a vote.
Councillors McLaughlin and Whipper voted for the motion.
Councillors Turland, Scandrett, Peter Nelson, Grahame Andrews, Ken Halstead and Duncan Gair voted against it.
Cr Turland moved a foreshadowed motion to approve the development application. It was seconded by Cr Scandrett.
Councillors Turland Scandrett, Nelson, Andrews, Halstead and Gair voted to approve the application.
The proposed dental clinic was approved.
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