A bid to stop an Ulverstone adult store was made to appease concerned residents, says a councillor.
The adult store, Ooh La La for Adulte’s [sic] was officially denied development approval as it did not comply with the provision of parking.
However, Councillor Tony van Rooyen said he raised the motion to refuse the application, which was carried by four councillors, due to the “amount of correspondence against the proposal”.
On Monday, an appeal to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT) on the basis that there are adequate parking facilities surrounding the premise and other businesses operate with an exemption, was upheld.
Twenty-three representations were made to council opposing the development, the vast majority of which expressed moral opposition.
“I believe it is my duty to represent the people and there was a lot for concern in the town,” Cr van Rooyen said.
In its reasons for decision document, RMPAT reported that “moral judgements are beyond the scope of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.”
Cr van Rooyen said morals can’t be taken into account under planning grounds.
“They fell short on parking provisions and the length of the wall and that was the only thing we could vote against the proposal on,” he said.
“We are their [the public] voice and the only opportunity they had of expressing their disapproval was through us.”
Cr van Rooyen said he believed the majority of the people who were against the development, would also be against the council making planning variations.
Store owner, Marcia Goldsworthy, said she was “ecstatic” about the decision after the six month process.
Cr van Rooyen said he was not opposed to the idea of the shop in general, but its central location.
“I have designed it [the shop] like a parent. It is locked off and you can’t see anything from the outside,” Ms Goldworthy said.
Ms Goldsworthy said she believed opposition to the adult novelty and clothes hire shop was not indicative most Ulverstone residents’ views.
Ms Goldworthy has been paying rent on the closed shop.
“It has put huge financial pressure on me and my children,” she said.
“I am just happy to have the doors open.”
Ms Goldworthy said she was undecided whether to pursue the council for costs.
The shop can commence operation within ten days.