Councillor says he's prepared to change position on Taco Bell modification request

Saved by the bell? Developer looks likely to win Bathurst access fight

IT appears that the developer of a Bathurst Taco Bell restaurant will get their wish for a second exit from the site.

A request to delete a condition of consent for the development application, limiting egress from the site onto Stewart Street only, created an uproar when it came before councillors last month.

In a narrow five-four vote on August 19, council resolved to refuse consent for the request, however mayor Bobby Bourke and councillors Alex Christian and Monica Morse lodged a rescission motion the following day.

A further report on the Taco Bell development application will come to this Wednesday's council meeting for determination, and it's likely the outcome will fall in favour of the developer.

Cr Jess Jennings, who last month voted to refuse consent, may be unable to attend the meeting and therefore can't participate in the vote.

If every other councillor voted the same way they did last month, it would be up to the mayor to break the tie, which would almost certainly see consent granted for the second exit point onto Howick Street.

But it may not have to come down to a tie break vote if Cr Jennings is present.

After further consultation with the developer, he is prepared to change his vote.

"I've been in further discussions with Taco Bell and they have come back to me with my specific questions, providing further detail and justification for the cash-flow impacts," he said.

"I'm not 100 per cent convinced by the modelling and the assumptions that they're making on the cash-flow, but be that as it may, there's another factor at play here which will determine my ultimate position on that, which is that if we knock it back again it will very likely go to the Land and Environment Court."

Cr Jennings said that council would "not have a leg to stand on" in this case, as Transport for NSW deemed it acceptable for traffic to exit the site via Howick Street.

Although willing to change his vote, he is still concerned about road safety and thinks council will need to look at the intersection of Stewart and Howick streets in the near future, separate to this development.

"We need to keep an eye on it in the future, particularly if there is going to be significant increases in traffic movements," he said.

In addition to dealing with a rescission motion on Wednesday, council will also consider a separate modification request relating to the Taco Bell development.

This request addresses matters to do with signage, noise, odour and footpaths.

Fry confirms plans to vote on Taco Bell

IT was councillor John Fry's vote at the last council meeting that prompted some of his colleagues to lodge a rescission motion on a decision relating to Taco Bell, but he has no intention of sitting out the next vote.

At the last meeting, Cr Fry declared a non-pecuniary interest as he has a relative that lives in close proximity to Taco Bell's chosen site.

He remained in the chamber and cast a vote, but some councillors felt he couldn't be impartial.

Despite this, he intends to do the same when the rescission motion is dealt with on Wednesday.

"I've issued a statement to the general manager which will be tabled at Wednesday's meeting and then that will be written in the public record after Wednesday's meeting," Cr Fry said.

"Essentially, my statement says that I believe I've complied with the code of conduct in every way and I won't be changing the way I vote."