Minutes of the Berry Forum Meeting
Held on 9 June at 7.30pm in the Pavilion Hall at the Showground.

Present: 67 attendees, including Clrs Lynne Kearney & Patricia White.
Apologies: Clrs John Wells. Committee: David Carter, John Underwood, Hania Norman, Mary Beare.

Welcome and Introduction (James Robinson – Chair)

Berry Bypass progress (Shannon Chisholm – Fulton Hogan)
Shannon provided an update on progress and upcoming changes, including significant work around and under Kangaroo Valley Road Bridge.

Strategic Plan Update (James Robinson)
The focus is now on prioritizing the content of the key theme groupings. The Community Planning Workshop on Sunday 19 June will provide residents with the opportunity to identify which areas they consider to be the most important.

In terms of setting expectations, it was emphasized that we are aiming to establish strategic priorities, not develop implementation plans.

LEP Loophole – a Threat to Berry (Bill Rice)

  • The Mt Hay appeal at the Land & Environment Court had been upheld and councilors’ refusal of the DA had been overturned. Committee members who attended the hearing believed this occurred because Council’s lawyer did not provide the Court with critical photographic evidence. The lawyer had also appeared unprepared and confused.
  • A local planning firm is using a generic description ‘tourist and visitor accommodation’ to obtain LEP land use permissibility for two DAs. The genuine land use is farm stay, which requires the income from tourist accommodation to be secondary to farm income. However, neither DA would qualify as farm stay and the generic description is being used as a loophole to circumvent the LEP provisions.
  • The Committee has written to the Planning Minister, raising the matter as a statewide issue.

Administrative Matters (Stuart Coughlan – Secretary)
– Minutes of the Forum Meeting held on 14th April were approved.
– Council is waiving tipping disposal costs for green waste (trees and branches) that has resulted from the recent storm until 20 June.

General Business

  • Council staff spoke to the Recycling and Waste Facilities Review being undertaken. The operations at seven recycling and waste transfer facilities, including Berry, are being assessed. Council is seeking the community’s views on the provision of services in each local area. Online Survey can be accessed here
  • The revised schematic for the Berry District Park Master Plan, including the addition of a Criterium cycle track, toilets, and long vehicle parking will go back on public exhibition. Concern was expressed about the cycle track and potential restrictions on public access to the park.
  • A Forum sub-committee to coordinate communications for the District Park is proposed.
  • The Committee has asked Council to install more kerb ramps at road intersections around Berry. Residents are asked to email the Forum with suggestions for suitable locations.
  • Elections for Shoalhaven City Council will take place on 10 September.

Meeting closed 8:55pm
Next Meeting is Thursday 11th August 7.30pm in the Pavilion hall at the Showground.