McDonald's DA approved
LESS than 24 hours after an emotionally-charged Clarence Valley Council meeting, the approval of the Yamba McDonald’s development application was sinking in on the streets of the town yesterday.
The DA was approved 5-2 in a sometimes fiery meeting in Maclean on Tuesday night.
Deputy Mayor Jim Simmons, who chaired the debate, said council had no option other to approve the development.
“The professional advice from a planning officer was to recommend the development. I highly doubt that a rejection would be sustained in the Land and Environment Court,” Cr Simmons said.
One of the two councillors who voted to reject the application, Sue Hughes, said she was disappointed with the decision.
Cr Hughes said she had tried to support the community’s wishes.
“I am disappointed with the decision, as I believed there was a good case for ‘not in the public’s interest’.
“Whilst I respect the decision made by my fellow councillors, I am very disappointed,” she said. “The community spoke out against it and I listened.
“My decision was based on the fact that it wasn’t about McDonald’s per se, it’s about viability, listening to our community, protecting a sustainable economic framework and keeping a community functioning on an economic level.”
Yamba Chamber of Commerce vice-president Tania Williams had been very vocal throughout the entire process, and was obviously bitterly disappointed with Tuesday night’s outcome.
“Councillor Ian Tiley used his experience in local government to represent the wishes of the community. He presented a sustained argument and I am disappointed that other councillors did not take what he had to say on board,” she said.
“Even though the majority of the councillors who voted on the submission acknowledged that the majority of the community did not want McDonald’s, they voted for approval.”
Ballina-based McDonald’s franchisee Scott Campbell, who will own and operate the Yamba store, was unavailable for comment yesterday.