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Collapse Issue 518:<br />3 May 2021<br />_____________Issue 518:
3 May 2021
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Council plans to sell Peninsula land
Tesch speaks against carpark sale
GUST welcomes consultation on park sale plans
Council budgets $13 million for the Peninsula
Government announces public inquiry into council
NSW Opposition calls for 'broad inquiry' into council
Council inquiry terms of reference released
Vietnam Vets join impromptu march to memorial
Local Member at Anzac ceremonies
Biscuit theme for Anzac Day
Search and rescue training for the Bays brigade
More bike storage needed at station, says Tesch
Bike paths should 'go all the way', says user group
Safety needed to walk or cycle to school, says Tesch
Bingo at Ettalong on Wednesdays
Umina CWA wins cookery trophy
CWA branch makes bereavement bags
Storm debris clean-up continues
Dunes planted with 2000 new plants
Guides hear of importance of speaking up
Lions accept entries for tea cosy show
Second driest April in 16 years
Application to modify three-storey Blackwall Rd plan
Two more townhouse proposals for Warrah St
Council sets strategic planning priorities
Panel appointments extended
Invalid application
Memorial Ave land provides significant habitat
Trees and cool open space are of more public benefit
Outrageous that local park sale is on agenda again
Contentment of ad hoc Anzac march
Leave wooded block intact for a hotter future
Bush parkland was reason for buying in Blackwall
'Improved planning outcome' test may still be subjective
Democracy should never be put on hold
Distress at sale of land and other council assets
Sell-off should be paused for much deeper inquiry
Aged care providers jointly call for government action
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Folk club holds house concert
Patchwork group completes many projects
Variety Night performances to be held over two nights
School opens gates to parents for student pick-up
Annabelle wins four Australia athletics medals
Students congratulated on Anzac speeches
Catafalque party at Anzac assembly
Geography students study coastal processes
Secondary students investigate global warming
Umina starts enrolments for next year's kindergarten
Life membership for former childcare employee
Shadow Minister meets parents' groups
Ettalong Eagles firsts lead in pennant season
Umina pennant bowls results
Boxing starts again at PCYC
Bridge club holds special events
Bridge lessons for beginners
Diggers' Day at bowls clubs
Netball draw updated
Softball club to hold annual meeting
Goalkeeper training starts for Umina United
Coaches wanted for junior touch
The Lakes proved too strong for the Lions
Defeated in all grades
Netball association splits Junior Blue grade
Trial game at Woy Woy
Bowling clubs to vote on unification proposal


'Improved planning outcome' test may still be subjective

Norm Harris asks whether approvals of non-compliant developments create a precedent under which similar non-complying developments are deemed acceptable ("Precedents take over from planning provisions", PN 517).

In fact, SEPP1 says that this applies where "the development standard has been virtually abandoned or destroyed by the council's own actions in granting consents departing from the standard", so, although SEPP1 has been rescinded, the principle seems to be in place.

What is important now is that the Minister is considering an amendment to clause 4.6 of the Standard LEP that would change the basis for approving a non-complying development, and it is crucial that any such change reflect best practice and protect community interests.

At present, the test for a non-complying development is that it "achieve the underlying purpose", even though it does not meet a specific standard in the LEP.

Of course, this is a completely subjective judgement, and there are no fixed criteria by which an application can be measured against the "underlying purpose".

It appears that most applications just make a platitudinous statement that the development meets the requirement (often, it seems, just boilerplate text from a computer template), and the outcome depends on the bargaining strength of the applicant.

Anecdotally, it appears that developers have little trouble in getting consents, where ordinary ratepayers can be refused requests for relatively trivial variations.

The minister is now proposing that clause 4.6 be changed to require that an application will bring about an "improved planning outcome", before it can be approved.

On face, this sounds like a significant strengthening of the provision, but, without specific guidelines as to what would constitute an "improvement", it is doubtful that it gets us much beyond where we now stand.

It is just as easy for a developer to say that a project will bring about an improvement as it is to say that it meets the underlying purpose, and whose opinion will prevail in this situation?

Given the record of the kinds of projects that have been approved in the past, who could have much confidence that the community's interests will be any better served by the change in wording?

Anyone who is concerned about the development standards being applied to projects on the Peninsula needs to let his views be known to the Minister, while the amendment is under consideration.

We need to ensure that any change incorporates protections against arbitrary decision-making of the kind we see to date and that transparent processes are built into the system, to satisfy the community that all factors have been taken into account in issuing an approval.

Silence gives consent, so failure to voice an opinion will allow the present wording to go through unreviewed.

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