A NEW turning lane installed on Rankin Street this week has been put in without approval, but Bathurst Regional Council plans to do nothing about it.
Nanjing Night Net

Rankin Street residents and business owners are up in arms about new parking and traffic arrangements on lower Rankin, introduced to accommodate the new IGA supermarket development.

Line markings for the new turning lane were painted on the road on Tuesday afternoon, effectively cutting the width of the road.

That means angle parking along the side of the road had been converted to parallel parking, reducing the number of spaces in an area where businesses and residents say parking is already at a premium.

But a council spokesperson has admitted to the Western Advocate that the site developers installed the new turning lane before it had been approved by council’s traffic committee.

However, the spokesperson said council had no plan to remove the turning bay.

“The construction company was premature in making the changes,” the spokesperson said. “[But] it is impractical to remove the paint on the road as this will damage the road surface.”

Confirmation that the work was done without approval will not please local businesses.

Business owners – including Geoff Fry, David Fuller and Dr George Corones – told the Western Advocate on Thursday that they have been kept in the dark about the changes, a view echoed by Rankin Street Animal Hospital vet Skye O’Hehir.

“If council are saying that they consulted with us, it’s untrue,” she said. “The first time we heard anything from council was when Paul Kendrick, the forward planning officer for the council, came down at 3pm Wednesday and spoke to George [Corones, Ms O’Hehir’s colleague] and I.”

Ms O’Hehir said she was frustrated council was willing to leave some unauthorised work in place when, in most cases, they would be quick to have anything not approved taken down.

“It sets a precedent because council are basically saying that if want something done, you should do it overnight,” she said.

“It’s a double standard, though, because if I built a house without a DA they would tell me to pull it down or built a retaining wall without council permission they would tell me to get rid of it.”

The council spokesperson said there would be further consultation with businesses and residents and a full report on parking in the area would come before the traffic committee.

“Council understands the situation has created some confusion and frustration for residents and local businesses and is working to resolve the issues quickly and effectively,” she said.

NOT HAPPY: Business owners Dave Fuller, Dr George Corones, Angela Morris and Geoff and Lorraine Fry say they were kept in the dark about a new turning lane which was installed in Rankin Street before being approved by Bathurst Regional Council.

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