A planning proposal to rezone agricultural land on the southern border of Gerringong is meeting opposition given it is not listed in the Kiama Local Environment Plan (LEP) [which now incorporates the Kiama Urban Strategy] as an area for expansion.
Council has consistently reinstated its policy of only supporting the rezoning of land listed in the LEP.
The 71.46 hectares (176 acre) site is currently zoned RU2 Rural Landscape, and the planning proposal estimates a yield of approximately 317 residential lots could be developed in a number of stages.
The PP seeks to amend the LEP and to extend the Gerringong residential zone from Campbell Street to align with the southern extent of the adjacent Elambra Estate.
The proposal says it ‘forms a logical extension of the existing Gerringong township with planned connections into existing road system’.
Former councillor and current South Precinct member, Howard Jones, will be urging Council to reject the proposal on a number of grounds, including planning priorities in the recently endorsed Local Strategic Planning Statement to protect viable agricultural and agricultural lands and protect scenic rural lands.
“All of the land in the West Elambra Planning Proposal is classified as Prime Crop and Pasture,” he says.
“Viable agricultural activities will only be possible if the agricultural land is preserved as such and does not become a future residential land bank which inhibits agricultural investment and diversification.”
Mr Jones is also concerned that one of the reasons the Southern Regional Planning Panel gave for approving a gateway process for rezoning a large parcel of land in South Kiama (between Weir St and Saddleback Mountain Road) that Council had rejected “at this time”, was that Gerringong land was not in the LEP and ‘rezoning does not appear to be imminent’.
“By focussing as it does rather myopically on the ‘demand’ for lots in Gerringong, the Planning Proposal forgets that we must view these decisions through a ‘whole of LGA’ strategic approach,” he says.
“There will always be demand for lots in Gerringong but at some point a line must be drawn which protects the very things that have created the demand.”
If Council rejects supporting the Planning Proposal, the developer can lodge it independently with the Department of Planning for assessment.