Wagga has continued its move towards allowing more high density living after councillors approved a retail and residential building up to six storeys high in the central business district.
During discussion on the $10 million Blake Street development application at Monday night's meeting, councillors debated the amenity of existing businesses and residents versus an overall plan to have more people living in and around the city centre.
Ryan Dent, the owner of The Pot 'n' Kettle Coffee House next door to the proposed development, told the meeting he feared for the future of his business if its outdoor seating was overshadowed by plans for a 19-metre wall.
"My cafe is quite well known for its sunny ambiance ... and we rely heavily on generating our income from the courtyard area as there is only a small amount of seating inside," he said.
"We feel that this building is just going to tower over us and completely put us in the shade. Customers will not get the experience that they come for." Mr Dent said he had been in negotiations with their landlord and Cr Kerry Pascoe, who was behind the development through his company Pascoe Constructions, on how they could move forward.
Warwick Horsfall, the director of Albury firm Habitat Planning, told the meeting more high density living would make Wagga "more sophisticated".
"It will be a landmark building ... the 16 apartments will cater for those seeking a more busy and urbane environment," he said.
The application called for a new five or six storey 'mixed use' development at 12 Blake Street, including first floor car parks, a ground floor for retail and businesses, and apartments on the top floors.
Mr Horsfall said more people living centrally would "keep the CBD alive outside business hours" and avoid creating a "dead space" for businesses.
The application was approved by all councillors present, except for Crs Pascoe and Rod Kendall, who vacated the chamber due to their significant interests in the matter.
Some councillors expressed concerns about supporting development applications in the future if there were too many impacts.
In earlier version of this article, an error was made when summarising debate between councillors in relation to a $10 million apartment block on Blake Street in Wagga.
Cr Dan Hayes' outlook on future high density residential development within the central business district, a concept he is in favour of, was not accurately represented in the article.
The Daily Advertiser apologises for the error.