Draft Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held 17 March 2022, 7:30pm at the Berry School of Arts
Present: 88 people, including our four Ward 1 councillors (Serena Copley, Tonia Gray, Matthew Norris & John Wells) and Patricia White. Our Federal member Fiona Philips and Coalition candidate Andrew Constance also attended
Welcome and Introduction: Ian Hendry (Chair)
– Minutes from the AGM held on 11th November 2021 were approved.
– Correspondence can be found on the Forum Website
The Councillors were informed that the presentation would provide them with an in-depth briefing on the issues and priorities of the Berry Community.
Shoalhaven Road Maintenance
The severity of the impact of the recent heavy rainfall was discussed with reference to the subsidence on Wattamolla Rd, close to the intersection with Woodhill Mountain Rd.
Clr Tonia Gray spoke to the following proposal she made that was supported by Council –
- Council to develop a strategic 5 yr plan to bring 95% of roads up to required standard. Identify grants / other funding.
- Upgrade Council website to provide more information on condition and maintenance of roads, with planned repairs and time frames.
- Create a website page for public to report potholes or repair requirements
DPE Agritourism Proposal
Amendments will be made to the Standard Instrument LEP that will allow fast track approval pathways via either Exempt (no approvals required) or Complying (private certifier) development.
The Forum submission to the DPE, which was supported by 86 individual submissions, raised the following concerns –
- Allows construction of a function centre with 200sqm floor area or multiple buildings up to 500sqm with no Council involvement
- Limits on numbers of events and guests will be ignored
- Circumvents LEP Clause 2.8 judgement that prohibits adverse impacts from temporary function centres
- 20 people camping anywhere on farmland will not be ”minor and low impact’.
Tourist & Visitor Accommodation (TVA) Development
- A brief background was provided on the planning loopholes in the SLEP and SDCP and the Forum’s attempts to get them removed.
- The Forum will be proposing that Council use SLEP Part 7 to manage TVA adverse impacts on communities in the Berry and Kangaroo Valley areas.
- The proposal will request consistent treatment of all forms of cabins and also include controls on function centres.
Preserving Berry’s Character
The State Government’s Complying Development Code and private certification processes are facilitating construction of a plethora of two-storey semi-detached dual occupancies that are rapidly eroding the historic character of Berry. Councillors were asked to support the Forum’s request that Council prioritise work on the proposed additional Heritage Conservation Area, and a Development Control Plan for Berry.
DPE New Approach to Rezoning Proposals
Proponents would control their own rezoning proposal and Council would take over assessments for the DPE, eliminating the need for a Gateway approval.
Council planning staff are concerned about the radical changes proposed with significant implications.
Review of Refusal – DA for Primitive Camping at Mt Hay Rd
Councillors were asked to support the Forum’s request that Council confirm its previous refusal and vigorously defend any appeal at the Land & Environment Court.
- Parking impacts from Boongaree– Phillip Thorniley spoke to the need for Council to prioritise provision of more parking spaces.
- Long-vehicle parking site issues – Concerns were raised about pedestrian safety and the loss of residents’ view
- Albert St carpark entry/exit arrangement – potential options for suggested alternative arrangements were presented.
- Pedestrian crossings update – proposed changes to Council’s plan are currently being reviewed by TfNSW who are funding the work with a grant.
- Huntingdale Park Reserve – the Concept Plan, which is on public exhibition, was presented. A link to the Council plan is available on the Forum website.
Meeting closed: 9;05pm
Next Forum Meeting: 12 May 2022 at Berry School of Arts 7:30pm