Wayzgoose gets 185 submissions

One hundred and 85 submissions were received in response to a redevelopment plan for the historic Wayzgoose building in Leura Mall.

Grateful cafe: A blackboard sign outside the Wayzgoose Cafe in Leura.

Grateful cafe: A blackboard sign outside the Wayzgoose Cafe in Leura.

But none will be released.

The decision has angered Cr Kerry Brown, who said there was enormous public interest in the development of the council-owned building.

“I find it very disappointing that council has refused to exhibit submissions on the Wayzgoose building DA,” she said.

“This secrecy may be legal but that does not make it wise.

“This is not a private DA. It is a development application by council to itself about a building that council owns on behalf of the community.

“To insist that the community does not have the right to see the submissions to a public exhibition is alarming.”

The worst thing council can do ... is to continue behaving like a foreign ruling power managing an uppity colony - Cr Kerry Brown

A council spokeswoman told the Gazette: “Council received 185 written submissions as at close of public notification, including five petitions with a total of over 10,000 signatures.

“The submissions are not made publicly available.”

When asked if that was the usual practice, the spokeswoman said: “I confirm my earlier advice that the council report will identify when and how the DA was notified, how many submissions were received and summarise the issues raised.”

She said the DA remains under assessment with “submissions and other relevant matters to be reviewed”. 

The owner of the Wayzgoose Cafe, Mark Alchin, personally delivered 90 submissions made by his customers.

And the Friends of the Wayzgoose group delivered a further 15.

Cr Brown said a number of submissions had been sent directly to councillors. 

“All have opposed the DA.”

She said the Wayzgoose development had been “remarkably contentious”.

“Secrecy has not helped and will not help now… The worst thing council can do at this point is to continue  behaving like a foreign ruling power managing an uppity colony.”

Council initially considered the building in a confidential session. The Gazette had to apply through freedom of information laws to see the report upon which their decision to redevelop was based.

Direct delivery: Mark Alchin, owner of the Wayzgoose Cafe in Leura, delivered nearly 100 submissions and a petition to council chambers in Katoomba.

Direct delivery: Mark Alchin, owner of the Wayzgoose Cafe in Leura, delivered nearly 100 submissions and a petition to council chambers in Katoomba.

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