Coffs Coast Business, Local

Two Tails ongoing DA saga – The cost so far.

Coffs Coast Outlook (CCO) has for some time now been running articles on the ongoing saga around the development application (DA) that Two Tails Winery in Nana Glen lodged with the Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) firstly in 2017 and then again in an amended form in early 2019.

By The Editor*

Essentially Two Tails have asked for the ability to seat more restaurant customers on their deck so as to be able to expand their business in what they argue is an environmentally sustainable matter. The previous limit was twenty customers which Two Tails argues is uneconomic.

Two Tails deck looking out over the nana Glen landscape. Photo: Weekend Notes. See; https://www.weekendnotes.com/two-tails-winery/

In addition Two Tails (TT) have also asked as part of the DA that customers also be able to have a picnic style experience on the grass area surrounding the restaurant using ‘bean bags’ or similar.

In the amended 2019 DA Two Tails stressed that they were not asking to play live music or to do a re-run of their successful Music in the Vines concert of some years earlier.

Council, allegedly responding to a number of objectors to this DA, has put a large number of what Two Tails believes to be unreasonable and expensive “barriers” in place that must be met in order for a DA to be granted by their Planning Department.

The DA was scheduled to be heard by Council 0n 12 March this year to consider the following recommendation from the CHCC Planning Department;

“That the application be refused”. 

This recommendation is in spite of the CHCC’s DA Evaluation Report, attached to the 12 March Council minutes, as being  “not considered being contrary to the public interest”.

After pubic submissions in favour of the Two Tails DA, one which was given by myself, Council was then advised that they should make no decision as the matter had been taken to the Land and Environment Court for mediation.

What Council asked for

Council listed 59 items relating to a wide range of matters they wanted addressed prior to approving a DA. 

Matters such as extra parking, amended access, sound barrier erections, water, toilet and sewerage changes (which had already been done by TT), limits on the number of customers to a table, issues pertaining to a liquor license (something which Council has not authority over – it is a state government jurisdictional matter), opening and closing hours, restrictions on dining on the lawn area, goods delivery limitations and restrictions on the landing of helicopters near the restaurant to name a few.

The last issue caused some mirth among Nana Glen locals as the only time a helicopter had landed at the restaurant itself was when rally drivers, various luminaries and Council ‘big wigs’ had alighted from one to celebrate the launch of the Rally World Championship at TT a few years earlier!

Helicopters do land right next to TT though.  But only as part of fire fighting operations as the Nana Glen RFS which is adjacent to TT.

This happened during the bushfires in the Orara Valley in November last year.

The last time a chopper landed at Two Tails was to fery in celebreties and CHCC ‘big wigs’ to launch the Australian leg of the RWC in Coffs Harbour

CCO asked Two Tails to estimate an approximate cost of what the 59 matters would, in their opinion, amount to. 

Two Tails answered that they believed that they would get very little change out of $1 million.

How much has it cost so far?

Additionally  CCO asked Two Tails how much legal costs dealing with the DA up until today had cost them. 

Two Tails replied that the cost was “just north of $500,000”

CCO understands that Two Tails will not be able to claim any of these legal costs even if they successfully win the case against Council that they have taken to the Land and Environment Court.

Those of you reading this might now be wondering why it seems Council have been so obstinate in regards to this DA.

In a following instalment of this story we intend to look into just that question and suggest one possible reason at least.

In another instalment we also will look at whether the CHCC notified only genuinely adjoining and affected landowners for a period of 14 days after the lodgement of the readjusted 2019 DA 0160/19 as stated in the 12 March 2020 CHCC council meeting agenda.

*I gave a presentation in support of TT to Council on 26 March as both a ratepayer and as also as an academic representing only myself with expertise in tourism and regional development via my work for Southern Cross University (SCU). I did not represent SCU.  

The 12 March 2020 CHCC agenda can be found here; https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Open/2020/02/CO_20200227_AGN_2212_AT_WEB.htm

My report on that CHCC meeting can be found here.

  • Details about CCO Editor can be found at the About Us/FAQ link at the top left of the CCO home page.

6 Comments

  1. Duke de Richelieu

    It’s very well known that Coffs Harbour City Council and the master of its helm, has an unusually strong disposition toward litigation. From seeing the comparisons between neighbouring Councils’ attendances at court (particularly the Land & Environment Court), why are we not surprised about what’s going on between Two Tails and the Council’s General Manager? It’s plain bastardry over decency in my opinion. And it appears the GM is not happy unless he has at least one court case in play at any given time? Perhaps it’s just for the thrill or for ego?
    As far as Two Tails is concerned, it’s not hard to imagine there’s possibly an intrusion into the Criminal Code Act. Criminality takes different forms. If thorough investigations continue into the facts behind the reasons why Coffs Council is proceeding with its extreme demands, there’s potentially a realistic case for lawyers to consider improper conduct?
    The expense of a half million dollars by Two Tails, speaks volumes about the cruelty of Coffs Harbour Council in my opinion. But in particular about the General Manger who appears to be spending more money on lawyers than any of his predecessors.
    Is there not a single Councillor with the spine to come to the aid of Two Tails? Another massive shame.

  2. Anne Batchelor

    Two Tails needs to be kept going. It is worth the travel and cost of fine dining. However, the vacant paddock next to it would be fabulous as an overnight camping site for those who enjoyed a wine or two in the evening The road out there is not safe even if one was the designated driver. While the vacant paddock is not used, it is a fire risk

  3. Greg McLoughlin-Wilden

    Thank you CCO for following up on this story and publishing it. I will look forward to any updates you have.
    As a Nana Glen local and business owner I can only say that the Winery is an asset to our local community. The ability take clients to a fine restaurant, or share times there with friends is a credit to the owners.

    It concerns me greatly that our council is this unfriendly to business, and business development. They spend tens thousand to help local Coramba business develop market days (which is great) and then put incredible barrierers to the winery who want to expand, and provide for some tea on scones on the lawns.

    The council needs to be very forthcoming with its reasoning here as I don’t see it been applied to other businesses, and I think that is the point. No council can single one business out and apply draconian conditions on it, that are not applied to others.

    Keep up the good coverage

  4. Let’s be honest “in layman’s terms” that’s all a load of bullshit if you ask me (no is asking lol) it’s discrimination and about 20 other words what the Coffs Harbour council is doing in relation to this matter, even though many people would very much enjoy it.
    I hope you guys can get your vision 🙏🏼
    I think when things happen like this you need to bring in the big guns RAY HADLEY!!!!

  5. Coffs Harbour council should be ashamed of themselves for what they are putting Two Tails Winery through. I thought they were always wanting to promote and help local business. I can only guess that it doesn’t benefit the heads of CHCC financially, or business wise. Maybe it would affect one of them or their friends negatively. There’s got to surely be another reason that they are being singled out.

  6. Kelly McLoughlin-Wilden

    My husband and co-business owner has commented above and I second, third and fourth his comments.
    Of course TT should be able to expand their customer limit (in non-Covid restricted times) beyond twenty. How on earth can they run a business otherwise?
    Naturally they should be approved to seat diners on the grass. Why shouldn’t TT capitalise on the vista and atmosphere? Bring on the beanbags.
    I also question TT not being approved to occasionally run events such as Day on the Green. These would bring many benefits to Nana Glen.
    Looking at the barrage of changes required by CHCC, I find it difficult to support the argument that TT is being treated in a fair, non-biased and legal manner. Issues pertaining to a liquor license? This has nothing to do with CHCC. Nor is this treatment concomitant with a business-friendly council.
    Frankly, CHCC should be giving TT a parade in their honour, not attempting to badger and bankrupt them out of business. Nor should they be doing this at ratepayer expense.
    I look forward to CCO’s next article which purports to examine the motives behind CHCC’s actions. It seems to me that this left the realm of responsible decision-making long ago. This is a vendetta, pure and simple.

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