Camden Council officially approved plans to turn Camden’s old milk factory into a restaurant precinct at last night’s meeting.
The $8 million Camden Vale milk factory development has come before the council several times in the past.
The development application for the site was resubmitted in March after the building’s proposed design, height and scale from the original application was widely criticised.
The approved development is set to include five new food premises and a function centre, car parking spaces, landscaping and signage.
Site development manager Michael Viscovich said the owner-operator of the site, Costa Meitanis, wanted to create something the community would enjoy.
“This is an exciting development for the community,” he said.
“It is a chance to bring a beautiful heritage building back to life.
“[Mr Meitanis] is passionate about the heritage building.
“We are hoping to provide for the local economy and create a lovely building for the area.”
Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said she would hate to see the site sitting idle and decaying for the next 10 years.
“That gateway property is an eyesore, given the complexity of the site I am not surprised that nothing has come before council until this development,” she said.
“I think [the proposed plans] are a much better outcome for the site.
“The heritage building will be restored and filled with historical information about the buildings previous use.”
Councillor Paul Farrow said he was happy to see investment in Camden and hoped it could be complemented with more ‘nightlife’.
“I keep asking myself, ‘if not this, then what?” he said.
“Something has to be done with the site.
“The way I see it Camden is the jewel in the crown of our local government area but it is being overshadowed by the development happening around us.
“If this development brings more employment and more people into Camden, I welcome the investment.”
Despite the approval, councillor Eva Campbell raised concerns about the potential for flood damage at the location.
“Although it has been 25 years since the last serious flood in Camden, there is still a danger,” she said.
“I heard from a former resident of Edward Street who remembers boating down Edward Street.
“Look at what happened to Stonequarry Creek in Picton last year – that is what can happen in Camden.”