Council says sorry, it's a no to medical centre expansion
AN APPLICATION to extend the medical centre at 17 Tanby Rd has been refused by Livingstone Shire Council.
Deputy Mayor Nigel Hutton said it was never enjoyable to tell someone who wanted to invest in the area their application could not be approved.
"But on this occasion and in this location it can't be supported," he said.
The applicant proposed an 83.38sqm extension to the existing building for three consultation rooms, an open assessment room, reception area and two additional carparks.
Council officers recommended the application be refused due to technical issues with carparking and because it did not comply with the planning scheme, issues the applicant was aware of.
The executive director of infrastructure, Dan Toon, told yesterday's general council meeting that officers had been transparent and identified the deficiencies, but the applicant was entitled to see the process through to the end.
The current medical centre is in a converted house and Mr Toon said the planning scheme allowed the reuse or recycling of existing buildings but not for expansion.
Councillor Jan Kelly told the meeting she was sorry the applicant would not get the outcome he hoped for but she couldn't vote against the officers' recommendation.
"I'm all for development and people taking a punt to bring commercial ventures to our shire, but we need them to be planned," she said.
"If we go against the recommendations of qualified officers it will bring myriad problems; it's foolishness.
"I'm not happy about this decision, but we are elected to make decisions, not to be the nice guy.
"There are times you have to make decisions that are not palatable."
Cr Kelly's sentiments were shared by others at the table including Cr Hutton, who encouraged the developer to look for other sites in the Yeppoon CBD without the issues with the current application.
He said he understood the applicant had seen a gap in the market and wanted to expand and grow his business, but the town plan and the site did not support it.
"Town planning is about where infrastructure is needed into the future," he said.
Mayor Bill Ludwig told councillors it was possible to extend the time for a decision but that would require them to draft reasons why they would go against the officers' recommendations.
He said any contrary recommendation would need to be based on town planning reasons.
The application was eventually refused 5-2 with councillors Tom Wyatt and Adam Belot voting against the motion.