Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held on 20 April 2017 7:30pm at the School of Arts, Berry

Present: 80 attendees including Councilor Patricia White.

Welcome and Introduction (David Carter – Chair)
– Minutes from meeting held on 9 February – Approved

Berry Bypass progress (Shannon Chisholm – Fulton Hogan)
The Foxground bypass from Toolijooa Road to Austral Park Road has opened
Work on the Berry Bypass is being progressed as quickly as possible. Safety is a high priority

Berry District Park (Stuart Coughlan for James Robinson)
The District Park Review Group, chaired by the Forum in partnership with Council, was formed in response to growing tension within the community about the future uses planned for the Park site. Its aim was to seek input from community groups and prepare design solutions for the entire site.

A stakeholder workshop held on 4 April was successful in developing design solutions that would meet the majority of the needs of the key stakeholders and users of the site and that these uses can exist harmoniously together.

Rockfield Park, Land & Environment Court Appeal (Stuart Coughlan)
More than a hundred people, including a number of councillors, attended the Land and Environment Court onsite hearing on Monday, March 20. The hearing continued at the Court in Sydney on the following Tuesday and Wednesday, but was then adjourned until 26 April. If the appeal is upheld and the application is approved, it will set a precedent for developers to gain approval for function centres in zones where the legislation states they are prohibited.

Rates and Land Valuation Notices (Stuart Coughlan)

  • New land valuation notices have been issued to all property owners across NSW. These will be used by Council from July as the new rateable values.
  • For most properties in Berry township the land value has increased by 62%. Outside of town the increases vary considerably.
  • The impact of Council’s Special Rate Variance, if approved, will result in an additional increase of 13% from July.
  • The compound effect of the 62% land revaluation and 13% increase in the ‘Cents in the $ Rate’ would be an increase in rates payable of 83%.
  • However, the overall revenue from rates that Council can collect is constrained and the likely increase will be around 34%.
  • An estimate of your rates for 2016/17 can be obtained by using the Council’s rates Calculator.

New significant DAs for Berry (Stuart Coughlan)

  • Bangalee Motel – The application proposes the construction of two 2-storey buildings, each comprising eight units. The driveway will be extended and 16 new car parking spaces added. Concerns were raised during the meeting about potential negative impacts on the historic Pullman Street precinct.
  • Hitchcock’s Lane – The proposed development is situated on the corner of Huntingdale Park Road & Hitchcocks Lane on a site zoned for medium density development. The development consists of fifteen, 3-bedroom single occupancy dwellings in a classic country style in line with the Uniting Church site.

Strategic Plan Focus Areas (David Carter)
The three Review Groups have been meeting regularly and are making good progress in prioritising ideas and assigning responsibilities.

Other Business
Boomerang Bags Berry will hold their launch on World Environment Day, Monday 5 June. Mayor Amanda Findley will attend the launch at 10.30am.
Berry Landcare invite you to a fun weekend of tree planting and weed punishment on 6/7 May.

Meeting closed 8:45pm

Next Forum Meeting is on 8th June at the School of Arts at 7:30pm