Parking promise disappears

Some of the parking that disappeared due to construction works.
Some of the parking that disappeared due to construction works.

The success of any broader solutions for Merimbula’s parking problems over the summer may come down to a battle over dates between council and developer, Gerald Rawson of Merimbula Nominees who is building the new Woolworths supermarket.

Following the parking forum organised by the Merimbula Chamber of Commerce a list of ideas was produced and on Wednesday, September 13 the chamber met with council to discuss any potential respite for Merimbula’s parking problems over summer.

Many of the ideas relied on the philosophy that the developer should compensate the town because of the delays and the loss of the 127 car parking spaces that the site originally provided.

Back in October 2016 after a request from Mr Rawson to have Condition 15 of his DA removed, which specified that the 127 spaces should be available throughout construction, council agreed to a new condition.

The amendment to Condition 15 stated:

a) That provision shall be made for the parking of 127 vehicles on-site within 12 months of the commencement of construction to satisfy the restriction on title to provide parking for the Merimbula RSL   development.

That prior to the issue of a Construction Certificate by the Principal Certifying Authority for commencement of any works on-site the developer shall submit a Construction Works Program to council meeting the requirement to provide 127 spaces within 12 months of commencement of construction.

b) That construction works on site shall not commence prior to February 2014.

But now Mr Rawson is claiming that they didn't start construction work on the site until February 2017. This means he is not obliged to provide the car parking spaces until February 2018.

Chamber president Leigh Louey-Gong said that “it was clear that council wants to get the problem solved” after meeting with council on Wednesday but added that he would not be putting out a report to members until council had further discussion on certain issues.