At its 19 December 2011 meeting, Council once again overrode staff advice on two significant developments.
Staff had recommended refusal of a DA for 16 new villas at the Salamander Haven complex on Deimars Rd because the applicant had failed to comply with environmental assessment requirements. Council has instructed its planners to hire a consultant to try to find a way around these requirements. While TRRA is sympathetic to the cause of more retirement units on the peninsula, all developers must be held to the same process standards – Council’s decision could mean more unnecessary expense while the DA could still be knocked back by the State Government.
Council also overrode its planners’ advice to refuse a DA for a 229 site ‘caravan park’ on rural land at Anna Bay (north of Nelson Bay Rd). Decisions like this make a mockery of sensible planning strategies to manage future growth sustainably, and also deliver arbitrary ‘windfall’ profits to owners of rural land without having gone through a proper re-zoning process.
TRRA cannot understand why Council repeatedly ignores sound planning advice, creating unhelpful precedents and exposing itself to yet more legal challenges in future.