Councillor Richie Williamson at the Grafton Council Chambers.
Councillor Richie Williamson at the Grafton Council Chambers. Caitlan Charles

Traffic lights cause congestion in council

UPGRADING the intersection of Treelands Drive and Yamba Rd has been on the cards for seventeen years according to one councillor.

The proposal for a service station at the intersection came before council's Environment, Planning and Community Committee on Tuesday night after councillors took a trip to Yamba to view the site and were met with community backlash.

Community members made submissions about the service station and traffic lights, saying they would disrupt the mostly residential area.

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Richie Williamson said in April of 2000, a traffic study in Yamba found that there would be a significant increase of traffic in that area by 2019.

He said at the time it was recommended traffic signals or a roundabout be put in place to help with traffic flow.

"There has been 17 years of healthy discussion around traffic lights versus roundabouts. Council has not made the final decision on that," he said.

"The issue of traffic lights or a round about pre-dates Clarence Valley Council and has been in the planning words for many years."

Mayor Jim Simmons took issue with the service station proposal, believing the proposed opening hours of 5am to midnight would be disruptive to the community.

"Normally I would vote in favour of this DA, but we need to listen to what people are saying," he said.

"The thing that concerns me is the time frame, I'm not comfortable with the service station being open till midnight in that area which borders on residential zones and houses.

"I'm not sure what the correct opening hours should be... but I think 5am to midnight is pushing the envelope a bit."

Cr Andrew Baker said he didn't feel as though they had heard a good enough reason to deny the development application.

Cr Baker and Williams voted for the application to go through to the full council meeting next week. Cr Greg Clancy and Simmons voted against the motion and Cr Baker used his casting vote to move the application through.

Cr Peter Ellem left the chamber after signing a petition against the DA before deciding to run for council.



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