Baker rises in support of Yamba development

A DEVELOPMENT application to demolish the Surf Hotel in Queen St Yamba and replace it with a 12-room boutique motel has tickled the fancy of Clarence Valley deputy mayor Andrew Baker.

At the Clarence Valley Council Environment, Planning and Community meeting on Tuesday Cr Baker fought a losing battle to have the development approved despite it not complying with five areas of the council's planning codes.

Cr Baker recognised the building didn't comply with planning codes but admitted to "personally liking" the plan.

He said none of the buildings in the street strictly adhered to planning guidelines and reflected a time when compliance was not an issue for builders.

"The buildings reflect a non-complying North Coast attitude," Cr Baker said.

"They have character because of their difference and because of non-compliance."

If I have the opportunity of looking over Main Beach at Yamba, I'm not going to be looking at the landscaping in front of a motel.

One of the major hurdles for the building is the required 6m setback from the road with plans revealing the building extends to the street.

Cr Baker noted this was also a feature of nearby motel, Craigmore.

"I stepped out the properties next door and none of them comply with the 6m setback," he said.

Cr Baker was also scornful of the developers' failure to comply with landscaping requirements.

"If I have the opportunity of looking over Main Beach at Yamba, I'm not going to be looking at the landscaping in front of a motel," he said.

The deputy mayor was however at odds with the rest of the committee and 26 residents who made their objections known to council.

Earlier Cr Sue Hughes moved to not recommend the building application, despite a staff recommendation for approval.

In her motion she noted the plans did not comply with regulations for setback, height of the building, landscaping and parking. She said it could also encourage non-compliance from other developers.

Mayor Richie Williamson said council could live with some of the areas of non-compliance but the lack of setback from the street and overshadowing of neighbours' properties needed to be solved before the development could be approved.



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