A yes to Dan Murphy in spite of opposition

THE controversial Dan Murphy’s development will almost certainly go ahead, pending the result of a contamination report.

The Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) met yesterday morning to determine the fate of the development application, but was forced to defer its decision after it found soil testing results would not be known until next month.

The application, lodged by Tamworth Property and Development Investments, seeks consent for the demolition of existing park structures and construction and fit-out of an $18 million shopping centre comprising a Woolworth’s supermarket and Dan Murphy’s liquor store bordering Peel, Murray and Roderick streets and Byrnes Ave.

Part of the proposed site once housed fuel tanks, which have subsequently been removed.

“We must not consent unless consideration has been given to whether the land is contaminated,” JRPP chairman Garry West said. 

“Unless the report has been received and considered by council we are not in a position to make a final determination.”

However, all other signs indicated the proposal would be given the green light.

Several members of the public fronted the meeting to address their concerns.

David Spong slammed the development saying it would lead to traffic “chaos”, limit the choice available to shoppers and impact negatively on “non-conglomerate” shops.

“Tamworth does not need more grog shops, another Woolies or more traffic,” he told the panel.

He said the DA went directly against council’s “aggressive” and well-documented efforts to drive down alcohol-fuelled violence and crime. 

“It does not fit at all,” Mr Spong said. 

Bob McDonald echoed many of Mr Spong’s sentiments. 

“We’ve got child and spouse abuse and drunkenness all over the bloody place,” he said.

An impassioned Mr McDonald said he was “quite shocked” council had not informed the community “in any shape or form” about the sale of Prince of Wales Park.

“Council is supposed to represent the people,” he said.

 “I’m not totally opposed to the project, it’s just the way they’ve gone about it that is a real worry for me.”

Council’s submission regarding the proposed design of the building’s Peel St frontage was also raised. 

It was determined the deferral period would be used to make requests to improve the street appeal, including adding a commemorative panel to signify the historical significance of the site.

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