READING your article (SCR, March 28) makes one wonder why council pays for professional planning staff since the majority of the attending councillors are willing to overthrow their recommendations again and again (only councillors Fergusson and Findlay consistently support community submissions and staff).
In a meeting between three Valley residents, then mayor Greg Watson and head of planning (since retired) Ernie Royston in early 2008, on a matter unrelated to the LEP, we were told by Cr Watson that we should not worry about the LEP because “there is little change for Kangaroo Valley”.
What absolute rubbish this advice was! Rural buildings up to 11 metres high, helipads in the village, loss of important environmental protections, spot rezoning … the list could fill your paper.
I have sat through many of the current round of Special Development Committee meetings and they are not very special at all. Of all the issues highlighted in your article, that of the spot rezonings and subdivisions submitted as part of the draft LEP exhibition process, is the worst.
Some lucky residents stand to make windfall profits from subdivision in areas where general manager Russ Pigg advised councillors there was no strategic necessity for same.
Why are these ad hoc decisions being made? Why are 33 of them presented by just three major local consultancy firms? Why are these requests not being dealt with under the normal process of notification to neighbours; compliance with the various planning documents including the South Coast Regional Strategy, the Nowra-Bomaderry Structure Plan and others?
Unfortunately, when no answers or explanations are forthcoming the community tends to fill in the answers itself. Perhaps ICAC needs to ask the questions.
Every one of those who made a submission (all 3000 plus) should take heed – your submissions are, generally, being ignored.