Raworth tennis tourist expansion proposal upsets local residents

Deferred: Cr Brian Burke was among the Maitland councillors who acknowledged the development plan had affected residents. Picture: Marina Neil

Deferred: Cr Brian Burke was among the Maitland councillors who acknowledged the development plan had affected residents. Picture: Marina Neil

A Raworth couple left last week’s Maitland City Council meeting in tears following a debate over planned additions to a tourist  facility near their home.

Paula Goodwin choked back tears as she addressed councillors on the impact the proposal would have on her home and lifestyle.

Ms Goodwin struggled to get through her address and had to take a moment to compose herself before she proceeded in public access.

Councillors voted to defer making a decision on the matter and called for an onsite inspection to meet with both neighbours and the owner of the property.

Hill Top Planners has made application to council on behalf of Park and Shop Pty Ltd.

The plan is to construct a carport, laundry, storage shed, gym and portico at 28 Raworth Avenue, Raworth.

Ms Goodwin told councillors the proposed shed would be larger than her house. She said the development would affect her quality of life and she would lose privacy.

A gentleman sitting next to Ms Goodwin in the gallery appeared to weep after councillors deferred the matter.

A council report said the proposed developments are ancillary additions to the existing and approved recreation facility and tourist and visitor accommodation on the site, operated by Taylors Tennis Academy, approved under a number of concurrent consents.

The report said the proposal is likely to result in some impact within the locality, including visual privacy, landscaping and vegetation and light spill from the existing onsite tennis facility during night time operations.

Council planners had recommended the application for approval.

Cr Steve Procter moved to defer the matter pending an onsite inspection. He said the development appears to have already had a tremendous impact on residents.

Cr Brian Burke said he was upset to see the residents upset.

Cr Robert Aitchison said council should encourage developers to go around and talk to their neighbours.

The council report said the site is on about  1.7 hectares and is not clearly visible from any public road.

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