Subject: Removal of 77 Princess St, Berry from Land Sales Strategy Program

Recommendation: That Council:

  1. Direct Council staff to remove Lot 1 DP 209665 77 Princess Street, Berry from Council’s Land Sales Strategy and notify Berry Forum and Councils ‘Get Involve page’ of this resolution.
  2. Maintain 77 Princes Street, Berry as Special Purpose 2 (Car Park and Servicing) public car parking for Berry.
  3. Install appropriate public parking signage.
  4. Ensure this Council property is not provided for carparking use for any proposed private developments.
  5. Notate Council’s property file for 77 Princes Street Berry by the inclusion of this Notice of Motion and resulting resolution for further reference.

At the 8 April Ordinary meeting, the resolution (MIN24.89) for Item 10 to –

Commence investigation to rezone and/or reclassify (77 Princess St) identified within Table 4 ….with a further report brought to Council on the outcomes of this investigation”

was based on the information presented in CL24.89 Council’s Land Sale Strategy – Update which listed potential land sales, in which 77 Princess Street, Berry was categorised as an “Underperforming community facility”.

Parking Concerns
In response to the Mayor’s request “to hear from residents about any of the properties listed for sale to determine if they are suitable for sale,” many Berry residents strongly dispute the assertion that 77 Princess St is “underutilised and surplus to the needs of the community, based on current & potential use”.

The land was acquired by Council in 2014 to provide a new public carpark and one-way service lane for Queen St shops. The car park is well used, despite most residents being unaware that it is a public car park because there is no signage.

Community investigations undertaken have identified that the proposed sale is not consistent with Council’s Asset Management Policy, Asset Management Strategy or Asset Management Plans.

The lack of parking in Berry for residents and visitors is a serious concern, which will be exacerbated by the cancellation of the planned 180 car park spaces at Boongaree.

The onsite parking proposed in the Berry Hotel DA is grossly inadequate to cater for the projected 470 customers and staff and will result in substantial overflow on-road parking.

Significant relevant circumstances not disclosed in CL24.89 Report

  • 77 Princess St was rezoned Special Purpose 2 (Car Park and Servicing) in 2014 to provide key supporting infrastructure aligned with the Objectives of SDCP N2 Berry Town Centre, SDCP .
  • The car park is adjacent to a right of carriageway from Princess Street to the Berry Hotel.
  • The Hotel owners’ application (RA23/1002), which states “The proposed development also provides 17 sealed spaces on Council’s land at 77 Princess Street” is before the Southern Regional Planning Panel for determination and the subject of a referral to the LEC on the grounds of deemed refusal.
  • The inclusion of 77 Princess Street in a private sector DA has necessitated:
  • Referral of the assessment of the application to an external independent town planning consultant; and
  • A Council Conflict of Interest Management Statement on DA tracking.
  • Any enabling mechanism, such as a planning agreement, that may have been agreed to by Council to allow inclusion of 77 Princess Street in the Hotel DA has not been publicly notified or made available for inspection and comment.
  • 77 Princess Street was described as Lot 1 DP 209665 in the report to Council and was not identified as a car park, whereas –
    • four other car parks in the Land Sales Strategy Update were identified and reported to Council as car parks, and
    • other properties in Mundamia, Nowra and Berry, which are the subject of various Council actions, were specified in the Strategy Update with the Council actions explained. However, the report was silent about matters relating to 77 Princess Street.

Council’s Development and/or Disposal of Council Lands document

  • To ensure the public interest is uppermost and overrides any private interest of any party