Fight over development of leased public land in Gerringong continues

The 1.8m glass partition, shown in blue on this northern elevation, will block off the leased area from the rest of the public land

Opponents of the Noble Brothers’ plans to incorporate leased public land into the development of their property in Gerringong CBD have collected 1200 signatures on a petition against the move.

As reported in The Bugle’s last edition, the Nobles have a 98 year lease with Council for the land, as the result of helping implement a community developed plan for the village (called a Charrette).

Initially the South Precinct urged Council to rescind its owner’s consent, but this proved not to be possible as the DA had already been lodged and accepted.

The Precinct’s committee has since focused its energy on getting submissions lodged before the expiry of the public exhibition period. It is understood a number of submissions were lodged by individuals, as well as one from the Precinct.

In his submission, former councillor Howard Jones said, amongst other things, “It is highly arguable that the ‘public benefit’ derived from the lease (already minimal at $1 per year for use of the land), is totally negated by the area of Lot 52 [the leased land] being totally incorporated within the 98 Fern Street business for a period of 98 years.

“There is a strong argument that the Council should be insisting on a much better return to the community from the lease of Lot 52.”

In its submission, the Precinct says “the proposal completely ignores the 1995 Charrette findings of protecting ‘the best view in town for public use’ created on a new ‘public plaza’.

“The DA offers only the patrons of the café this experience, therefore excluding the general community and tourists.”

The Precinct believes that the clause in the lease that states ‘all tables and chairs be removed at the end of each day’ is crucial to the situation, as it supports the idea of a public plaza after hours. The proposed blocked access denies this purpose. A website gives their case: savewerriviews.happenings.id.au

It is expected that the DA will not come before Council until its November meeting at the earliest.

 

 

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