DRAFT Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held 13 October 2022, 7:30pm at the Berry School of Arts

Present: 55 people attended including Councilors Serena Copley, Mathew Norris, and Patricia White.  Apologies: Tonia Gray and John Wells

Welcome and IntroductionDavid Carter (Chair)
Minutes from meeting held 21 July 2022 – Approved

Recovery into Resilience Project
A presentation was given by Vince Di Pietro, the project coordinator (and former CEO of Lockheed Martin and Commander of the Fleet Air Arm). The presentation is available on the Forum website.

Hitchcocks Lane Subdivision
Peter Chittenden of Woodhill Estate Agents and representatives of Horizon Properties spoke about their intention to work with the Berry community, partnering with local builders to deliver housing options for the 118 lots that complement Berry and its surrounds.

Boongaree Parking – A breakdown in trust 
Following a Council resolution that further ongoing community consultation should be held in respect of potentially accelerating Stage 5 parking and the location for long vehicle (LV) parking, on 5 October, James Robinson and Stuart Coughlan met onsite with Director Jane Lewis and three of her staff. Unfortunately, the meeting was approached with an entrenched position that neither staging flexibility nor the community’s concerns about the location of LV parking would be considered. Subsequently our concerns were raised in a letter sent to the CEO and all councillors.

Planning Priorities
Alarming changes in planning provisions announced by the Department of Planning (DPE) and State Government were discussed. Whereas in the draft issued by the DPE to councils for a response in March, the stated objective of Agritourism was to supplement income earned from primary production, it will now be permissible to earn more from an Agritourism business than from primary production.
In March, we were successful in working with councillors to have the new Agritourism land uses of Farm experience premises (code for ‘function centres’) and Farm gate premises listed as Prohibited in rural zones in the SLEP. However, since then, tourism body Destination Sydney Surrounds South have lobbied the Planning Minister to make inclusion of the new Agritourism land uses compulsory. Council staff are seeking an urgent meeting with the DPE to discuss the reforms, and Local Government NSW has written to the Planning Minister outlining its serious concerns with what is occurring.

Preserving Berry’s Character
Councillors and planning staff are meeting on Saturday 12 November to discuss the strategic planning work plan. We have requested that our proposed additional Heritage Conservation Area, Development Control Plan for Berry and Tourist & Visitor Accommodation proposed SLEP amendments be discussed. 

DA for Primitive Camping at Mt Hay Rd
The Land & Environment Court conciliation conference scheduled for 19 October was deferred.

General Business: None
Meeting closed at 9:05 pm
Next Forum Meeting – 8 December 2022