PLANS for women’s shelter were refused by Hawkesbury Council at the March 14 meeting.
The facility, to be run by not-for-profit organisations One80TC and Christ Mission Possible, would have provided 12 beds for women trying to escape domestic violence, and to help them beat alcohol and drug addiction while trying to get their lives back on track.
The plans (DA0472/16) were ultimately refused because of concern about whether the facility was allowedin RU1 rural primary production zone.
Boarding houses are allowable in the zoning, however, several councillors were of the opinion that it was a rehabilitation facility, something that is not allowed.
Several neighbours, protested the plans at Council and said they had concerns for their safety, with recovering drug addicts living next door.
One80TC chief executive Mark Hill would not comment on the organisation’s next move.
Council’s director of city planning Matthew Owens repeatedly told councillors that the site could be considered a boarding house.
However, Greens councillor Danielle Wheeler said in her opinion the site was clearly a rehabilitation centre.
Mr Owens said Council’s report noted the word rehabilitation once, but Cr Wheeler objected, saying a document circulated to all councillors by One80TC was littered with the word rehabilitation.
One80TC’s website, describes the facility as a “Women’s Rehabilitation Centre” located in the lower Blue Mountains.