Kiama Council has gone on the front foot to campaign against the State Government’s new medium density planning code (covered in our last issue).
Mayor Mark Honey has written to the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, to ask for a permanent exemption to the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code to protect Kiama’s character and amenity.
The Code, which will allow more developments to by-pass Council approval and be approved by certifiers as complying developments, overrides Local Environment Plans and Development Control Plans that have been established to reflect community wishes.
“The Code seems to be counter to a recent direction the Department of Planning has sent out asking councils to be aware of urban design and character issues,” says Mayor Honey.
Councillor Honey says that the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation of four councils is also formally voicing its concerns, and he expects that the upcoming annual Country Mayors
Association meeting will be vocal in its opposition.
“They are trying to use a one size fits all solution across the state for what is largely a metropolitan problem,” he says. “It just isn’t appropriate.”
The Mayor is also encouraging the various precinct groups representing their communities to voice their concerns to Mr Ward. He urges individuals to also join the protest.
Linda Davis, Director of Environmental Services, is continuing to liaise with the Department to highlight her concerns.
“There was a round of consultation three years ago, and it is my understanding that a lot of the issues that are being raised now were raised back then.”
Mr Ward has told The Bugle he has written to the Minister on behalf of the Council, adding, “I would remind Council that they should ensure their own planning controls reflect community expectations to ensure sensible and sustainable development.”
The Code begins 6 July.