ABOVE: An artist’s impression of what the proposed service centre at New Italy would look like. Photo: Contributed
The proposal for a highway service centre at New Italy has been refused by Richmond Valley Council’s Development Assessment Panel.
The proposal required consent from Transport for NSW to create a new access for the proposed highway service centre.
Transport for NSW was unable to grant that consent as the location of the service centre was contrary to the planning minister’s direction for commercial and retail development along the Pacific Highway.
The proposed development lodged by New Italy Holdings Pty Ltd included a service station, heavy vehicle refuelling area, truck wash facility, shower, gym, laundry facilities for truck drivers, four separate cafes and restaurants including two with drive-through facilities.
The proposal as a whole was characterised as a highway service centre which is not permissible in the zone.
The application was put on public exhibition for 28 days last year and received 56 individual submissions in response to the notification. The majority of the submissions opposed the proposal.
Council’s development assessment panel found the application failed to demonstrate the potential traffic implications for the Pacific Motorway including local traffic accessing Swan Bay New Italy Road and the impact of performing U-turns especially by 26-metre long trucks.
It was also concerning that all cars from the proposed highway service centre were required to exit into Swan Bay New Italy Road. The proposal failed to demonstrate the suitability of the road to accommodate the traffic volume.
The proposal included clearing of vegetation and was accompanied by a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report. The subject report was not considered satisfactory by the Biodiversity and Conservation Division of Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
General manager Vaughan Macdonald said as with all development applications received by the council, the New Italy proposal underwent a full professional and technical assessment to ensure it met relevant NSW Government legislation and planning controls.
“In its current form, New Italy Holdings Pty Ltd’s application fails to minimise the risk of harm to the community through the appropriate management of the development and land use,” he said.
Mr Macdonald said a number of other issues were identified, such as stormwater and sewage, earthworks and noise impacts.