Kiama Council has belatedly rejected a request to prepare a Planning Proposal to rezone 38ha of land on its western outskirts to yield 400 allotments.
As the matter had not been dealt with within the required 90 days, the developer had already appealed to the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel for a determination.
The land in question is adjoining Greyleigh Drive and Old Saddleback Mountain Road. It is beyond the ridgeline that denotes the edge of the town, and will see suburbia creeping into the Valley.
The proposal is to rezone the largely grazing land to a mix of residential zones, including low density, medium density, large lot residential and seniors living. There will also be environmental conservation zones and public open space.
In rejecting the request to prepare a proposal, Council’s planners on many grounds, including it being inconsistent with the Kiama Urban Strategy (KUS) and the position that Council declared in October 2017 that it would not support any new planning proposals outside of the identified town boundaries in KUS.
“The developer has misrepresented the need to have the land developed for Council to meet its housing requirements,” says the Chair of the Kiama Central Precinct, Peter O’Neill.
“Apart from it being outside the KUS, we can also see issues with flooding and traffic if the proposal were to be approved.”
Mr O’Neill says that within 10 years the Bombo Quarry site will be ready for development and it has more than enough capacity to provide more housing.
The Council report notes it is in the midst of developing a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS). This which will set out a 20 year vision for land use and managing growth and change to retain community identity and values.
“It would seem inappropriate and premature at this time to rezone sites that are not included in the KUS until Council has finalised its LSPS setting out an agreed strategic direction for the Municipality,” it says.
In 2015, an application to rezone a smaller parcel of the land into 32 lots was rejected along similar lines.