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.
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.
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.