Owner Jack McIntosh has plans for the hotel.
Owner Jack McIntosh has plans for the hotel.

Yamba hotel's $13.6m upgrade

PLANS to redevelop Yamba’s iconic Pacific Hotel were nearly shelved last year after five years of battling with the NSW Department of Planning to have a development application accepted.

But changes to the way developments of more than $10 million on private land and subdivisions of more than 250 lots or more than five lots in the coastal zone are processed through Joint Regional Planning Panels, gave the Pacific’s owner Jack McIntosh the incentive to try again.

“After years of to-ing and fro-ing to the planning department in Sydney, and spending a ridiculously large amount of money on the DA, I was about to give up,” Mr McIntosh said.

He withdrew the DA from the Planning Department and re-submitted it to the newly formed Joint Regional Planning Panel, which aims to give more powers back to local councils in large-scale and coastal-zone developments.

“In five years the DA was never accepted by the department,” he said.

A fresh DA was submitted a month ago to council and was on display until last week.

Only eight submissions were received; five against the development and three in favour.

The $13.6 million project will expand the hotel’s existing four-level building by another four levels consisting 24 luxury hotel rooms, eight strata units, pool, gym and sauna below the existing building.

The plans, if passed will allow for the existing low-cost accommodation to remain and little disruption to the restaurant and bar, with an expected building commencement date of around the beginning of 2012.

“A decision could be made by July, or August, and I would say that a feasible start date for construction would be 18 months after that,” Mr McIntosh said.

Council staff will now assess the DA before sending it to the Joint Regional Planning Panel who will meet locally, giving the community the opportunity to make deputations.

The Pacific Hotel and the Lawrence subdivision are the first developments in the Clar- ence Valley to be processed by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

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