"Lithgow needs to grow."
"Lithgow needs to move forward."
"We have to start somewhere."
These were some of the words used to push through a Development Application (DA) for multi-dwelling housing on Tweed Road, at Lithgow City Council's ordinary meeting on Monday, September 28.
The development, located in Bowenfels will be on vacant land, adjacent to existing residential development and accessed from Tweed Road near its intersection with Caroline Avenue via an eight metre wide access handle.
A site inspection was held on Friday, August 15 at the property with the applicant's representatives, councillors, council staff and nearby residents.
A number of issues were raised and discussed including traffic, a sewer pump station, restrictions, right of carriageway and trees.
Cr Steve Ring said people who raised issues were satisfied with the responses and the issues resolved.
"Tangent Road was also discussed and the issue was put to bed," he said.
"The concern of the upgrade of the pumping station was also discussed and was satisfied with individuals," he said.
Cr Ring said Council had done a "good job" and he believed the development met all legal requirements.
"The access is eight metres wide, there is room within that eight metres for pedestrian access and for two lanes of vehicles going through."
At the August Council meeting, Cr Wayne McAndrew moved the matter to be deferred until the site inspection took place and he was also satisfied.
"That's the beauty and benefit of site inspections for councillors, to have a hands on look at what's being proposed," he said.
Cr Maree Statham was also for the development but for one reason only - bushfires.
"There is an enormous amount of fuel on this vacant land. I'm very concerned the amount of time that block of land has been uncleared and probably not kept extremely well," she said.
Cr Statham said she felt for the residents and understood how some might not want progress at times but this was the right decision.
"It's not an easy decision when perhaps some of the councillors know many of the people that are objecting due to feelings of worry and concern.
"However I've got to simply think about what is best for progress and prosperity in Lithgow and there is an enormous lot of fuel there and after the recent bushfires I feel clearly that this area needs to be developed," she said.
"I think it's time that we have to really think about where we are going and how we can progress this place."
While the impression is that all concerns are satisfied councillors Cassandra Coleman and Stephen Lesslie were against the proposal.
"I will not be supporting the DA, it's still concerning, there's no public footpath planned I would like the developer to investigate a proper road access into the site," Cr Coleman said.
"Other councillors expressed their concerns were elated at the recent meeting but I didn't get that impression I didn't feel as though the residents were satisfied by the report and the very small access to the site, as a result I will be voting against this motion," Cr Lesslie said.
With seven votes for and two against, the motion was carried.
"This is a style of housing that we do need in this community," Cr Ring said.
"It's small scale, it's low density, it's not going to over power the environment in that area, it'll be very suitable and give some use to that land which has been sitting there for a long time," he said.
"Lithgow needs to move forward and we have to start somewhere."