The National Trust believes the latest development application for the former Dairy Farmers site in Bathurst is even worse than the development application previously approved for the site.

Chairperson of the Bathurst and District Branch of the trust, Iain McPherson said the previously approved application at least dealt with the site in its entirety.

“The current development application is predicated on a subdivision which will create a series of lots, each of them likely to be subject to separate development applications,” Mr McPherson said.

He said the result is likely to be a series of buildings which will not relate easily to each other or to the importance of this site.

Of particular concern to the trust are the proposed lots on Bentinck Street.

According to Mr McPherson the subdivision proposal essentially leaves the remnant heritage structures isolated and obscured.

“The National Trust has on many occasions argued that this site is among a few landmark sites in Bathurst city and should be subject to special planning controls,” he said.

“The current development application shows again the poor quality results our community gets by the failure to adequately respond to the particular needs and characteristics of landmarks sites in our heritage city.

“Once again, we are in danger of losing the opportunity to be proactive. Council and citizens should not be at the mercy of vested commercial interests which override broader community interests.

“Once again, we are faced with a situation whereby a previously approved development application was approved and involved the demolition of heritage items but the approved development was not further proceeded with,” Mr McPherson said.

He said in this case, the previously approved five-storey building is taken as the starting point for a new development application. “We also note that this development application is predicated upon a subdivision of the site,” Mr McPherson said.

“What was once a significant site with the opportunity for a high quality integrated development is now proposed as a series of commercial sites with no relationship to each other,” he said.

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