THE Black Uhlans bikie club bombed out in its first
bid to convert its Townsend Street headquarters in Albury to a function
centre on Monday night.
Albury Council's planning and development
committee rejected a staff recommendation for approval of the function
centre proposal on a 5-3 vote.
If, as expected, council endorses the
recommendation at its next meeting the scene could be set for a legal
challenge in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
The major point of conjecture towards the
proposal was a concession on the number of parking spots as required under
council's planning rules.
The 46 parking spaces needed was reduced
to 32 due to the majority of people attending the function centre will be
riding bikes and not driving cars, the facility will be used exclusively by
the Black Uhlans and the serving of alcohol reduced the numbers riding or
driving to the venue.
Also, ample on-street parking will be
available in Townsend Street when the function is operating between 5pm and
Mayor Kevin Mack led the opposition
towards the function centre based on the reduced requirement on parking and
also the condition of being able to open seven days a week.
"I really do believe the departure from
parking in this instance is not justified," he said.
"It puts us in jeopardy of creating
"Our development control plan loses its
power and strength."The number of people attending the proposed function
centre was capped at 48, but the Black Uhlans submitted plans for two major
events including its annual "Poker Run" when 150 people would be present.
They would require separate
"temporary event" consent with a neighbouring property owner prepared to
accommodate additional bikes associated with these events.
The council's planning and development
director Michael Keys said there was ample parking options to support
a function centre.
Also, its hours of use and activities
being predominantly on weekends didn't place the Black Uhlans in conflict
with nearby businesses.
Cr David Thurley, who along with Cr John
Stuchbery and Cr Henk van de Ven backed the proposal, played down any noise
"I could name a number of establishments
where it would be of great benefit to neighbouring properties if people left
in a quiet and orderly fashion," Cr Thurley said.
"I do hope the people who leave this one
leave in a quiet and orderly fashion at low revs on their Harley Davidson."
Cr Mack, Cr Murray King, Cr Alice Glachan,
Cr Graham Docksey and Cr Amanda Cohn voted against the function centre.
Members of the Black Uhlans were present
at the meeting on Monday.