Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held 15 April 2021, 7:30pm at the Berry School of Arts

Note: Due to COVID restrictions capacity was set at 100 persons.
Present: 96 people, including Cllrs Patricia White, Nina Digiglio and Kaye Gartner

Welcome and Introduction (David Carter – Chairman)
Minutes of the meeting held 13 Feb 2020 were approved.

Protecting Berry’s Character
Residents shared their views on the following topics –

  • Tourism growth – infrastructure impacts
  • Growth in Airbnbs
  • Lack of availability of long-term rental properties
  • Rapid growth in dual occupancy development

Those attending did not want to see Berry become another Byron Bay. The Forum was seen as supporting those who otherwise might not have a voice.

Status of controversial DAs and developments
A status was provided on the following developments –

  • 52 Parker Crescent
  • 23 Parker Crescent
  • 57 Victoria St,
  • 8 Homestead Lane (Mananga),
  • 40 Queen Street
  • 260 Mount Hay Road
  • 275 Bong Bong Rd
  • 23 Sunnymede Lane
  • 599 Coolangatta Rd

A number of those attending asked why residents who are fighting inappropriate DAs are forced to do costly and time-consuming research and then present it back to Council. The meeting attendees expressed their appreciation for the knowledge, time and commitment that Stuart has provided to the community in his role as Secretary of the Forum.

Planning Provision Updates
Information updates were provided on the following provisions –

  • Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) Policy – New rules that will apply from November
  • Draft LEP Local Character Clause for Berry – Council’s submission recommends that DAs explicitly address the Local Character Clause through a statement of consistency.
  • Proposed new Heritage Conservation Areas for Queen St and Berry Showground will help ensure future developments are sympathetic to the surrounding areas.
  • Proposed NSW Planning changes to boost farm businesses and regional tourism – potentially dire consequences relating to wide-scale exempt and complying development that would permit function centres on most rural properties. 

Correspondence – Available on Forum website and published in regular newsletters

General Business-
Clr Patricia White provided an update on STRA and other planning provision issues.
Madeira Vine – Ian Parker from Landcare made a presentation about the invasive weed.

Meeting Closed 9:20 pm   Next Meeting: 10 June