Court backs accommodation plan

FORMER Warwick Shire councillor Sean Hegarty has won a legal challenge against his plan to turn a house at the southern end of Albion Street into short-term tourist accommodation.

As reported in March, neighbour Ken Ryan commenced court action to stop the plan for 104 Albion Street, citing noisy guests and an increase in cars as two of his main objections.

He also claimed it would have been the first such facility of its kind in Warwick to be run without an on-site manager.

Four other households also objected to the Hegarty plan when it was first lodged with the council, but only Mr Ryan chose to take court action against its approval.

He said it was the only part of Albion Street that was quiet and a lot of elderly people lived there because it was close to town.

He also said if out-of-town visitors using the accommodation became “troublesome” it could disrupt local peace and quiet.

But the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland has disagreed, rejecting Mr Ryan’s submissions and giving Mr Hegarty and his wife Janine the green light to go ahead with their plan.

Mr Hegarty said he was pleased with the outcome but acknowledged that as a local resident Mr Ryan had the “legal right” to challenge the approval of his plan by the Southern Downs Regional Council.

Mr Hegarty had previously stressed the proposal was not for a bed-and-breakfast but for visitors to Warwick who wanted a furnished house to rent for several days while attending events here, as opposed to staying in a motel.

Mr Ryan was not able to be contacted for comment.



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