The Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel has released its decision that the planning proposal to rezone land in Golden Valley Rd in Jamberoo to residential should proceed for a Gateway determination. The full decision is available from this page.
The Panel said the proposal demonstrated strategic and site specific merit.
The Panel’s review was initiated by the landholders, Branko and Tiana Simicic, following Council’s decision to reject their proposal to rezone a 4.6ha block on the eastern outskirts of Jamberoo from RU2 (Rural Landscape) to R2 (Low Density Residential).
The proposal will now go to the Department of Planning & Environment, who will assess the proposal on its merits, and decide if Gateway determination should be issued.
Mayor Mark Honey, one of the eight councillors who voted to reject the proposal, says he was not surprised by the outcome.
“They strongly related their decision back to the Kiama Urban Strategy which has identified the land for future subdivision.
“Emotion doesn’t play a big part in a lot of these decisions. It is a case that needs to be argued under planning laws.
“When I first got on Council I asked planning staff: can I reject something because I don’t like it? They said no. You have to have a clear planning reason to reject it.”
If a Gateway Determination is made by the Department, Council is likely to take on the role of the Relevant Planning Authority. In this role, it will consult with the public, undertake enquiries required by the Department and produce the necessary amendments to the Local Environment Plan for Council’s endorsement.
Jamberoo resident Graham Pike, who has been active in campaigning against the proposal, is disappointed the proposal wasn’t knocked on the head.
“Getting a Gateway will start the whole process again, with the community more involved.
“I think it is extremely unlikely the people of Jamberoo are going to change their mind, particularly with what they see as the tipping point that will probably put the death knell on Jamberoo as a village.
“The stakes are pretty high for the community, and we’ll be lobbying for councillors to reject it again.
“There are things going on behind the scenes at Council with regard to development that are concerning people.
“The Mayor can’t come out and admonish the community in the way he did in his latest column in The Bugle when clearly there are serious problems.”
The Panel heard from those for and against the proposal, including from three councillors.