A $1.3 million townhouse development on the former Charles Sturt University site and closeby the historic Adamshurst residence has been refused by Albury Council.
Cr David Thurley spearheaded overturning the staff recommendation for approval of the four two-storey apartments fronting David Street when he successfully argued the proposal varied too much from council's own planning rules.
He was backed by deputy mayor Amanda Cohn, mayor Kevin Mack and Cr Henk van de Ven with Cr John Stuchbery, Cr Darren Cameron and Cr Murray King voting in support of the staff recommendation.
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Cr Graham Docksey, who lives nearby the proposed development, declared a conflict of interest, but exercised his right to stay inside the chamber and listen to the debate and not vote.
Cr Cohn unsuccessfully argued a no vote from Cr Docksey be recorded both during and after debate on the matter.
Cr Thurley said the application sought exemption from a "significant number of conditions" within coiuncil's development control plan.
"As a result I feel it's not an appropriate development in its current form on that site," he said.
"I fully accept infill development is something that is critical to Albury and will continue to become more and more a matter for council.
"You only have to look around the city to see older houses on very large blocks and they will always be the target for developers who wish to purchase and build better quality dwellings.
"But we need to get it right and we need to set a standard and adhere to the controls we have."
Cr Stuchbery said the development was "no better or worse" than any proposal brought before council in recent times.
"I'm happy to go with the staff on this one," he said.
Cr Cohn said she supported medium density housing in central Albury, but council had to abide by its own planning rules.
"Otherwise what is the point of having them," she said
"It is heartening to see some councillors take their own regulations so seriously," Father Macleod-Miller said.
"But it is disturbing to see the little regard that some of the other councillors have for the safeguards in place because once something is built it is very difficult to get it addressed."
Cr Docksey confirmed he knew all the objectors and lived adjacent to the proposed development.
Cr Cameron said Cr Cohn's persistence in having a no vote from Cr Docksey recorded was "damn close in my view to committing an act of disorder".