$80,000 later, pet motel turned down
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
THERE were tears of joy from Tyagarah residents on Tuesday when Byron Shire Council refused to approve plans for a pet motel near their homes.
However, behind the scenes, Alstonville couple Jenny and Dick Gowen were shedding tears of their own.
The applicants for the proposed development have spent about $80,000 over the past year on noise, sewerage, traffic and building experts, which they now feel has been wasted.
Mr Gowen said he was devastated councillors unanimously voted against approving the facility in Kennedys Lane.
"People have a preconceived idea of what boarding kennels might be like, but what we had proposed was very unique. It wasn't a case of little tin sheds," he said.
"We're also upset council staff let it get this far. The issues they identified in their report to councillors should have been identified 12 months ago when we sat down in our development assessment meeting.
"If they told us these issues existed then we wouldn't have done all this work and spent so much money. We would've looked for a different site."
Cr Peter Westheimer moved to follow a council staff recommendation not to approve the development primarily because of noise and the close proximity to neighbours.
"There is a need for a facility like this in the shire," he said.
"But this is the wrong place. The property isn't big enough."
The Gowens said they were considering what their next step would be.