Picton motel application rejected

Wollondilly councillors have rejected a planning proposal for a motel in Picton because of its location.

Corbett Constructions Pty Ltd wanted to build a 19-room motel, manager’s residence and onsite parking in Stargard Crescent.

At Monday night’s council meeting, councillors commended John Corbett for the initiative but said the location was unsuitable.

Councillor Michael Banasik was primarily concerned with the potential traffic congestion, noise pollution and flood risk.

“There are several other locations where the applicant could build a motel and I hope he considers those options,” Cr Banasik said.

Mr Corbett was disappointed with the outcome of the council’s decision but did not want to elaborate further than to say: “The council has no understanding of the Picton market and is bereft of a plan to combat its demise.”

Councillor Landow said he sympathised with the applicant.

“A motel like the one proposed is desperately needed,” he said. “This is just not the right site and I encourage him to look elsewhere.”

Councillor Blair Briggs said he would have liked the proposal to include conference centres and access for people with limited mobility.

Councillor Matthew Deeth said the shire “severely lacked” accommodation and he hoped this issue would be addressed in the council’s tourism strategy.

The council received 30 submissions, all objecting to the proposal.

Sacha McKimm and several residents in Stargard Estate and neighbouring streets were pleased with the council’s decision.

“I am really happy the council read and considered our submissions,” she said.

“There were four houses that would have been significantly affected had this proposal gone ahead.”

Several of the residents’ concerns were addressed in the council’s report.

The report detailed 10 major concerns which the application did not adequately address.

The report said the proposal would not complement the character of the natural landscape.

It stated the proposed entry to the site from Observatory Street would cause traffic congestion on Bakers Lodge Road and Stargard Crescent.

The council was concerned the motel would cause “unwanted” and “inappropriate” noise activity outside normal business hours for neighbours.

The report also had environmental concerns – stating the motel would cause runoff to sediment in Stonequarry Creek.

The council was unsatisfied with the applicant’s plans for sewage disposal, stormwater management, possible contamination and bushfire risk mitigation.