General Manager of Richmond Valley Council Brian Wilkinson at the corner of Richmond and Centre street in Casino, where the Land and Environment Council have decided there is no need for a roundabout.
General Manager of Richmond Valley Council Brian Wilkinson at the corner of Richmond and Centre street in Casino, where the Land and Environment Council have decided there is no need for a roundabout. Emma O'Neill

Council loses Casino roundabout battle

CASINO residents are being warned to expect more traffic congestion and an increased risk of accidents after an ALDI supermarket is built.

This prediction was made by Richmond Valley Council general manager Brian Wilkinson after the NSW Land and Environment Court determined ALDI would not be required to construct a roundabout at the corner of Richmond and Centre streets in Casino.

"Should that occur then council has concerns there will be ongoing traffic issues at the Richmond/Centre streets intersection, and also other traffic impacts in the Casino CBD," he said.

The roundabout had been a consent condition for the supermarket's construction after the RTA determined a roundabout would be necessary to accommodate the increased number of people using the roads.

However, ALDI refused to pay the entire $1 million bill for the roundabout.

In the months of negotiations that followed, Richmond Valley Council and ALDI agreed - and made extensive representations to the RTA and State Government - that they would both contribute funding to the roundabout, considering it would benefit local residents and future ALDI customers.

However, this proposal was rejected by the RTA, which refused to contribute funds.

The stalemate forced the matter to be taken to the Land and Environment Court, which concluded that the requirement for a roundabout be excluded from the consent conditions.

A representative for the RTA said that while the development would impact on traffic flow, the RTA did not fund any roadworks needed as a result of a private development.

The representative also said the RTA had not identified a need, in the short to medium term, to upgrade the intersection in the absence of the ALDI supermarket or a similar proposal.

Mr Wilkinson said Richmond Valley Council could appeal the decision, but said it was unlikely because the expert evidence it had gathered substantiating the need for a roundabout came from the RTA.

However, mayor Charlie Cox said council would not let the issue rest.


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