Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held 15 February 2018 7:30pm at the School of Arts Berry
Present: 105 attendees including Clr Nina Cheyne and Liliana Hutchinson, Council’s social infrastructure planner.
Welcome and Introduction (David Carter – Chairman)
Meeting held on December 14 2017 – There was overwhelming support for confirmation of the minutes.
- Huntingdale Park – Following withdrawal of the original application, the developers are now reviewing the flora and fauna report and will soon lodge a revised application, which they wish to explain so that the community can make an informed assessment. If necessary, we will arrange a separate Forum meeting for a presentation to take place.
- Bangalee Motel – Council has received amended plans and will notify neighbouring properties and those who made submissions. We have reminded Council that if the application proceeds, the community wants a public meeting.
- A request from Council for comments on a draft DCP amendment on Streetscape Design for Town Centres.
- A letter was received from Mr Robert McDonald alleging minutes were inaccurate.
- Three letters were received from a Sydney law firm about the conduct of the Committee
- Email received from Jim Jefferis, Chairman of Berry Landcare, offering to do a presentation at the next Forum meeting regarding Landcare activities.
Co-working space for Small Business (Kate Dezarnaulds)
Kate presented to the Forum on the benefits of co-working in regional areas. She explained the concept of co-working and the operating model behind the establishment of Worklife in Berry.
Berry District Park (Liliana Hutchinson)
Liliana provided a status on progress towards detailed design of the Park. Various groups in the Shoalhaven have been informed about the Park and have been invited to comment. A Children’s Consultation event is being arranged at the Park on Sunday 25 March from 10am to 12pm. Fundraising for the Park will be ongoing.
Council DCP re Streetscape Design for Town Centres (John Underwood)
Council’s aims are to promote and guide the revitalization of town centres in the region and to provide attractive, safe, sustainable and active townships which are sympathetic to existing character and to ensure designs of streetscapes are developed in a coordinated manner.
These aims apply to new developments only, nothing in retrospect. The Committee has asked Council to provide two pedestrian refuges on Queen St and the completion of footpaths with kerb ramps. Having the power lines put underground along Queen St would also greatly enhance the trees along the street. Attendees were invited to write to Council with any requests or concerns.
Complaints about the Forum Committee (David Carter)
David introduced this matter by clarifying the volunteer role and contributions of Committee members and the inherent difficulties with providing an efficient and unbiased conduit for information flowing between the Council and other bodies to the community. Following this introduction, Philip Thorniley asked for a vote of confidence in the Committee and his request was seconded by several attendees. An emphatic round of applause followed.
Proposed Approach to Voting at Forum Meetings (Stuart Coughlan)
Stuart explained how the Committee aims to facilitate informed discussion on issues and seek a consensus view. This entails significant preparation before meetings to provide context for voting on issues. The agenda is then emailed to around 1000 residents, allowing them time to consider whether they want to attend to vote on an issue important to them. The following proposal was approved by more than 90 votes to 7 –
“A request for a vote at a Forum meeting should be advised one week before the agenda is issued.”
Letters received from Sydney Law Firm
The Committee has drafted a response to the letters and all are available on the website. It was confirmed that no approach had been made to the Committee by Mr Cornish.
Windsor Drive Resident Concerns about Bypass Road Noise & Visual Impact
RMS has advised residents that “there will be no wall, just a hand rail, because if a wall is constructed that would mean there will be a space between the wall and your back fences which would encourage antisocial behaviour to occur there”. It was agreed that the Forum should again request Gareth Ward’s assistance on this matter.
- The Committee was asked about a recent DA for works at the Jaspers Brush airfield. It will be looked into.
- A new roof has been installed on the SoA, which had created some problems in the hall earlier in the month. There is some concern it may cause breathing difficulties.
- Views were expressed on merits and concerns regarding the closing off or one-way flow of traffic on Queen St.
- A question was asked about changing the speed limit along Queen St. It was explained that only RMS and not Council is authorized to consider a change.
Meeting closed 8:50pm