OUTGOING Corangamite Shire mayor Matt Makin said it was illogical for council to alter its planning scheme because businesses were experiencing financial pressure.
The comment was made during debate over a proposed sign for an automotive business in Terang at the council meeting in Lismore last Tuesday night.
Councillor Chris O’Connor recommended council go against the planning report for a 1.8-square-metre sign on Estcourt Street. The sign would be visible from the Estcourt Street and High Street intersection.
Cr O’Connor said there were a number of signs in the area and the proposal would not affect the amenity of the area.
He said the applicant had taken on a new business and it was seen as the most effective and economic way to promote it.
“We need to realise all retail and commercial businesses are under enormous pressure,” he said.
Cr Geoff Smith said the sign would not destroy the amenity of the area at all.
He said the council spent a lot of time trying to attract businesses but the most important ones were the businesses they already had.
But Cr Makin disagreed and said the decision was a no-brainer and council was given clear-cut advice to help with their decision making. “There is no ambiguity,” he said.
He said Cr O’Connor’s argument was that because businesses were under financial pressure the council should alter the planning scheme.
He said if a business was doing really well would they say no to the proposal. “The argument is quite illogical,” he said.
Cr Makin said councillors were kidding themselves if they thought a sign would determine a business’ success or failure.
“If we approve this and get taken to VCAT we’ll be booted out in 15 seconds,” he said.
But Cr Makin was a lone voice with the rest of the council supporting Cr O’Connor’s recommendation.