Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held 14 September 2023 7.30pm at the Uniting Church hall

Present: 60 people attended, including Councillors Serena Copley, Mathew Norris, Tonia Gray, John Wells, Patricia White and Director Carey McIntyre

Welcome and IntroductionLaurie Watson (Chair)
Minutes 0f the meeting held on 8th June 2023: Approved

Two long-standing Committee members, Heather Macdonald and Geoff Armstrong, stood down and were thanked for their service to the community. Three new Committee members were elected – Cassandra Harris, John Jeston and Peter Saul.
Office bearers elected were: Chair Ian Hendry, Secretary Stuart Coughlan, Treasurer Laurie Watson.

Prioritising the Princess Street HCA and DCP for Berry
The background to the following motion, proposed by Cllrs John Wells and Patricia White and approved by councillors, was explained –

  1. Give priority to the finalisation of the Princess Street Heritage Conservation Area (HCA), and the completion of a draft Development Control Plan (DCP) for ‘old’ Berry
  2. Incorporate this work in the new program for the Shoalhaven Land Use Planning Scheme

Stuart Coughlan explained the relative importance of the LEP and DCP and their interdependence.

Clr Tonia Gray explained the background to the amendment to the motion she had proposed and later withdrew. Director McIntyre provided detail and answered questions. Clr John Wells then spoke to the motion he had proposed and the following additional component of the motion that was approved –
Council refer the current Strategic Planning Works Program to the Strategic Planning Working Party for a review of priorities, with a report back to Council in October with amendments that would enable works on the Berry DCP to proceed as a priority matter.

Community Achievements Over last 12 months
Residents spoke to the issues they had faced, how they garnered support from other residents, the assistance they received from the Forum and councillors and the support they received from the community sending submissions to Council. The following achievements were celebrated –

  • 24/7 convenience store/service station development proposal withdrawn
  • DA for Mount Hay Road ‘function centre’ refused
  • DA for 23 Parker Crescent multiple dwellings refused
  • Boongaree long vehicle parking site removed from Master Plan to protect pedestrians
  • Victoria Street crossing floodlights to be removed
  • Queen Street multiple traffic calming structures stopped
  • Stationmaster’s residence saved and renovated.

Boongaree Parking Status
Stuart provided a status update.

General Business
A resident presented a case for a 40km/h speed limit across Berry. John Jeston proposed that the community should be provided with an informed view covering both positive and negative aspects of the proposal and then be given an opportunity to vote. His proposal was endorsed by the meeting.

Meeting Closed 9:25 pm      Next Forum Meeting: 7 December