TAMWORTH Regional Council has stopped a $6.25 million over-50s village from being built around the Longyard golf course.
Councillors voted unanimously to block the divisive development which had garnered a great deal of interest from golfers, nearby residents, real estate agents and former civic leaders alike.
The overarching concern among councillors and other naysayers was the proximity to the “nationally significant” AELEC and the developing Northern Inland Sporting Centre of Excellence.
Professionals Tamworth principal Michael Jackson said there was a demand for the type of accommodation proposed.
“I operate in five shires in all our businesses, and to be perfectly honest, Tamworth is the envy of all others,” Mr Jackson said.
“Other regional towns look at council and the people of Tamworth, and they'll be wondering what they could do.
“To knock this on the head would be a missed opportunity.”
Longyard resident Larissa Nelson wanted the development to go ahead and held fears about the viability of the area.
She said her property would lose value if the golf course closed as a result of having the development nixed which was met with small applause from the public gallery.
Meanwhile, another Longyard resident who spoke at the meeting, Paul Sullivan, said if the development went ahead it would “create a mockery of council’s planning”
He said it would mean there would be “no reliability or predictability with zoning” in the region.
Former mayor James Treloar made a return to the chambers to urge the councillors to dump the DA and amend the local environment plan to ensure no such development could go ahead.
He said the residential village would limit the sporting precinct’s possibilities.
“If you think there won’t be community pressure applied for some form of curfew, you are living in another world,” he said comparing it to restrictions faced by the SCG and Sydney airport.
Councillor Russell Webb said the decision would divide the community regardless of the outcome.
“Our region is growing and growing well, but we need to grow well in a way that’s well managed and well planned,” he said. He believed people in 20 year’s time would say they “made the right judgement on the night”.