Rocky entertainment venue gets council tick of approval
UPDATE: ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has approved a development application by Lazy Acres after a lengthy debate in the planning and regulatory committee last week.
The application was approved during the full council meeting this morning.
Councillor Ellen Smith said the issues raised in the committee meeting were covered by the conditions on the development approval.
"It's a great development and a good thing for our area," she said.
Councillor Cherie Rutherford said the decision was a tough one, but council would continue to work with the owners of Lazy Acres to ensure all conditions were complied with.
It's understood the venue won't be able to host functions until some compliance issues are resolved.
TUESDAY, MAY 17: THE future of Lazy Acres is still in the hands of Rockhampton Regional Council, after a lengthy discussion over a development application in planning and regulatory committee today.
Councillors considered an application for a material change of use for the rural entertainment and function facility at South Yaamba.
Lazy Acres intends to operate as a function venue for weddings and events, as well as hosting spectator sports like rodeos and barrel racing.
A report presented to council stated the site had been operating since May 2, 2015 and had been subject to a council compliance investigation since May 13.
In this time, Lazy Acres has hosted at least eight weddings and functions, with at least six of these hosting less than 70 people and two accommodating 160 people.
The site also hosted two barrel racing events, as well as a "large-scale New Year's Eve event" which accommodated 80 and 150 people respectively.
In a statement to The Morning Bulletin following the meeting, a spokesperson explained council contacted the owners after being made aware of the site's function.
The development application presented today is part of rectifying compliance issues.
However, there remain outstanding compliance issues associated with building works, plumbing and drainage.
The proposal includes an outdoor covered function area, two accommodation buildings, a gazebo, barbecue hut, large spectator arena and small camping area.
During the public notification period between January 11 and February 1, six submissions were made to council raising issues including road safety, dust creation, noise and light emission, development precedent and the potential for increased crime.
In considering the proposal, council officers addressed each of the issues.
If approved, the developers will be required to pay an annual road maintenance fee and organise the installation of specified road signage.
Dust mitigation measures must also be used before and after any events held at the site, although councillors were told at this stage there was only a short-term solution available.
During the meeting, Councillor Neil Fisher questioned how this compliance measure could be policed, with councillor officers not working weekends when events were most likely to be held.
Although council was told officers could be made available, Cr Fisher said this additional expense would be incurred by ratepayers.
Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow said whether or not the conditions would be met shouldn't influence council's eventual decision on the approval.
She said council had to believe any conditions would be complied with.
Cr Strelow moved the motion to approve the development, subject to conditions.
Cr Ellen Smith and Cr Strelow voted in favour of the motion, while Cr Fisher and Cr Drew Wickerson voted against.
A final decision will be made at the full council meeting on May 24.