A proposal to turn the former Mardi Gras headquaretrs on Erskineville Rd, Newtown into a two-storey supermarket was dismissed by the Land & Environment Court on Tuesday.

The Commissioner found the proposal on the already congested road would create significant traffic impacts and erode the amenity and character of Erskineville village.

The unsuccessful appeal by developer Artro Management Pty Ltd follows the City of Sydney’s 2008 decision to refuse the same development application because of the proposal’s scale, intensity, traffic generation and adverse impact on the village.

The council received more than 260 letters of objection and a petition with 4500 signatures opposing the development.

Deputy Lord Mayor Marcelle Hoff called the court’s decision a win for residents who fought hard against the inappropriate development.

“The planning controls at Erskineville are designed to encourage smaller scale retail to service the local area and hence retain a village quality. A large supermarket would have changed the area’s character and generated significant traffic on the village’s already congested streets,” Hoff said.

Commissioner Bly found that while a supermarket is permissible on the site and may provide some benefit to the area, “these benefits are not sufficient to overcome the fundamental concerns in relation to car parking and the requirements of the Development Control Plan for small-scale shops in urban villages.

“Given that there will be a significant number of non-local customers who are highly likely to come to the supermarket by car, this must result in the erosion of the village character and result in a loss of amenity for residents.

“It is clear that a supermarket in the order of 2,000 square metres cannot be described as a small-scale shop. I have now been persuaded by the evidence that the proposed supermarket is too large and does not meet the planning intent . . . relating to shops that service the local population.”

The application sought consent to excavate and partially demolish an existing building at 21-23 Erskineville Rd, Newtown. The application proposed building a 2138 square metre supermarket with a specialty store, rear loading dock and 31 basement car parking spaces.

The site, known locally as -˜The Hive’, was used by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for nearly a decade for parade preparation and as office space.

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