Friday, 14 November 2014

NSW Shire Councillors give draft LEP the nod


Shire Councillors give draft LEP the nod


THE third and final version of the draft Sutherland Shire local environmental plan 2013 will go to Planning Minister Pru Goward for final consideration after this week’s council meeting debated changes down to the line.
The latest version of the draft LEP includes two significant changes.
There is a request for proposed zoning controls for Merton Street, Sutherland, to be downsized from 40 metres to 20 metres.
There was also a  request that a proposal to rezone the eastern side of University Road, Miranda, for eight storeys be deferred for further consultation on its potential effects on Miranda Public School’s sensory playground for special needs students.
Cr Steve Simpson spoke in support of this proposal being deferred.
‘‘Up until last week I was in favour of the big picture,’’ he said.
‘‘But we still need to look at individual cases and adjust the big picture.
‘‘Yes, other schools have high-rise next to them but this is a special case. 
‘‘I think it is valid we put the big picture on hold for these special cases.
‘‘These kids need us to look out for their best interests. They can’t look out for themselves.’’
Cr Phil Blight said the council was talking about special needs children who need a withdrawn playground next to an area it was going to rezone. 
‘‘The picture is irrelevant in this case,’’ Cr Blight said.
"We are talking about kids with severe problems. They are withdrawn. They become bothered by noise. Someone sitting on a balcony eight metres up could put these kids totally off.
"If you can't defer this then you have a moral problem."
Mayor Kent Johns said that having low-density housing next to the school would bring no benefit and any development would have very little negative effect.
A single dwelling has a six-metre setback while flats would have a nine-metre setback.
"The best [outcome] is to have a development that gives them a barrier of nine metres," he said.
What councillors said:
■ Cr Tracy Cook, a school teacher, said she inspected the playground and could not see anything beyond the fence-line that could cause concerns to children.
■ Cr Bruce Walton said there was no guarantee that low-density housing would be any safer.
■ Cr Carmelo Pesce said a lower density would bring the barrier of the property close to the school, resulting in greater impact on the children. "If it was up to 15 councillors it is more than likely we would leave it as it is, but the state government wants it," he said.
■ Cr Johns said he was pleased and relieved that the council had voted to approve the draft LEP.
"We have a document that is a compromise in places but sets a strategic plan for the next 10 years to provide for the housing needs of the shire," he said.
The council hopes the LEP will be gazetted by year's end.
Community responds to new plan
Sutherland Shire Council received 1350 submissions on draft LEP 3 when it was exhibited for 28 days in September.
Some submissions raised valid concerns which justify an amendment to the draft LEP, but to enact the changes would require re-exhibition, the final report on the LEP by council staff said.
‘‘Given that the preparation of the new LEP has been very protracted, exhibited three times and been subject to an independent review, it is not in the public interest to further delay the plan,’’ it said.
The council’s final report recommended that the draft Sutherland Shire LEP 2013 be submitted to NSW Department of Planning and Environment for gazettal.
The two most frequently raised concerns were use of the former Scout land at Bundeena, (298 submissions) and  higher-density rezoning of large parts of Gymea Bay and Yowie Bay (211 submissions).