‘Box like’ hotel approved by Cessnock Council

For some interesting quotes on this development it is worth reading the comments under the Newcastle Herald story here

For example:

Get rid of the greens & old backward farts from council. This brings jobs & more money into Cessnock LGA! Submitted via iPhone App. Posted by Wrighty

and this one

Why do they not understand that as councillors, they can be progressive for the city and tourist areas by declining to approve a “box” and telling the applicant to come back with a better more sympathetic design for the site?
Posted by Op,

It has always been hard in Cessnock to have Councillors who understand that there can be good development and poor development. In particular the ALP  (and quite a few independents as well) have a track record of getting behind anything that moves, chanting ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’  without thinking of the long term costs to the community. Hence we have the Dross plant, HEZ and the Greta Train Maintenance facility.

The ‘box like’  hotel will be placed in from of the fantastic Airport Hangar which doubles as a function venue – pictured.

James Ryan

‘Box like’ hotel approved by Cessnock Council

Cessnock Councillors refused to take the advice of an independent planning and design consultant and approved a massive hotel  which some councillors described as a ‘box’, at the entrance way to the vineyards.

The developer has been trying to have the development approved for 7 years. The developer had been consistently informed by Council planners that the large ‘box’ was not a suitable design for such a prominent location.  Councillors were told that the design had not changed in those seven years.

The Council assessment was very straightforward.  It said the recommendation for refusal was….

………essentially the only reasonable conclusion to reach regarding the development…………


and says the Hotel is   …….of unacceptable proportions and one that detracts from the landscape setting and scenic amenity of the locality.

‘This Hotel is not hidden away behind a hill.’ said Councillor Ryan. ‘This is in a prominent location in Wine Country tourist area’

‘This is a case where all development is not good development.  Hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation are part and parcel of the vineyards. However approving this  development is accepting a second class standard for Wine Country.’  said Clr Ryan. ‘Wine Country is running the risk of becoming tired, ugly and predictable.’

‘It is a great shame that the development did not change after 7 years  and the developer has simply kept submitting it until there was a group of Councillors prepared to approve this great big box.’ said Clr Olsen.

Councillors Ryan, Parker and Olsen have moved that this development be debated again at the next Council meeting on August 1st. We will be letting tourism operators and wineries know of this development being approved by a majority of Councillors. Most will be unaware Council has adopted such a low bar.’ said Councillor Ryan.

‘Tourism is the biggest employer in the Cessnock area. it is important that the Council makes decisions which maintain the integrity of Wine Country as a destination of choice for Australian and International visitors alike.’

‘We are calling on all Cessnock Councillors to lift their game and deliver high quality development for Wine Country.’

James Ryan 0414 922 591
Ian Olsen   0408 333 583

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