COUNCIL recently considered a development application for 24-hour trading of the drive-thru facility at McDonald's at Morisset.
Council has previously considered similar applications across the city, which have been opposed by local residents due to their concerns regarding potential noise and traffic impacts as well as concerns about litter.
McDonald's at Glendale, Warners Bay, Charlestown, and Toronto all have 24-hour licences for part or all of their operations.
These types of applications may require a social impact assessment, acoustic assessment, and plans of management to address issues such as litter, lighting, anti-social behaviour, and noise.
One of the approaches council has taken is to approve trial periods for 24-hour operations.
Trial periods provide an opportunity for the business operator to demonstrate that they can implement their plan of management in an effective and responsible manner, and for further acoustic measuring and incident reporting to occur before anything permanent is put in place.
Councillors want to be sure that we are responding to the concerns of residents and working with the business community to achieve acceptable outcomes.
Councillors will further consider the Morisset application next Monday pending additional information requested being available.
On another matter, owners of land in the century-old paper subdivisions are being asked to comment on a draft to unlock these parcels of land so that they may finally be able to legally build a home or sell their land for development.
('Paper subdivision' is a term used to describe land containing lots that only have recognition on paper and, in most cases, have no formed roads, drainage, reticulated water, sewer or electricity.)
Most paper subdivisions have been in existence for many years, some originating as long ago as the late 1800s .
Lake Macquarie has several paper subdivisions including at Wyee, Wyee Point, and Buttaba and they present very real problems as to how services and infrastructure for them can be provided.
Hopefully this proposal will provide a path forward.
Documents are available at planning.nsw.gov.au and submissions close on Friday, March 30, 2012.
* Greg Piper is mayor of Lake Macquarie.