Albion Park pharmacy under scrutiny

An Albion Park Rail pharmacy allegedly operating contrary to its development consent has found itself in hot water with Shellharbour City Council after being dobbed in by its competitors.

Shellharbour City Council received a number of complaints from pharmacies in the area after the Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse began trading from its Princes Highway address in November, 2011.

The operator, Altz Pty Ltd, was accused of selling large quantities of goods which fell outside its authorised use as a "bulky goods retail building".

Council has since taken the matter to the NSW Land and Environment Court, claiming the operation is in breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

Altz has since had a small win after it was granted an adjournment in May to pursue a new development application seeking permission from council to use part of the premises as a "neighbourhood shop".

The application is yet to be determined.

During the proceedings the court heard Shellharbour City Council authorised a "bulky goods retail building" to be erected on the site in January 2001.

Later that year it consented for Unit 2 of that building to sell paints and wallpapers, which continued until 2009 when the unit was then leased to a furniture retailer.

When the furniture retail operation wound up in 2011, Altz contacted council to find out whether development consent was needed to sell bulky home health care equipment like wheelchairs and walking frames, as well as personal care products, from the unit.

The council responded no consent was needed because it was a "type of continuing use".

However, Altz began trading as Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse around November 2011, stocking and displaying less bulky items than it outlined to council.

The move prompted competitors to dob them in to council, who eventually inspected the business in June, 2012, and concluded the business was "operating as a shop which is not permitted by the zone".

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