Is Planning Law Flawed? Meditation Group Forced to Withdraw Application

Daily News (Warwick, Australia), January 23, 2010 | Go to article overview

Is Planning Law Flawed? Meditation Group Forced to Withdraw Application


Byline: JULIAN LUKE

IN what Southern Downs Regional Mayor Ron Bellingham is describing as a potential flaw in the region's planning scheme, the not-for-profit and volunteer Warwick Mindfulness Meditation Group has had to withdraw an application to the council.

The group - which is not incorporated and has no legal structure - was gifted the use of a premises in West Warwick recently to use as a base, and as a result applied to council to formally change the usage of the building from the residential category.

While the application was approved at the November general meeting in Stanthorpe last year, there were a large number of conditions including upgrading the car park, which were simply too expensive for the group to meet.

Cr Bellingham said while he sympathised with the group, the current planning policy simply did not allow for much leeway in council's decision.

"A lot of the conditions that are put in place are for converting what is a residential residence to an alternate use," he said.

"It is designed primarily to protect the neighbours. It does come as a shock to the ordinary person when they do this sort of a development as to what the planning conditions will propose. …

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