Minister rejects Iluka Reserve sale

The proposed subdivision and park improvements

Five years after Council’s Long Term Revenue Committee recommended proceeding with the selling off of nine residential lots on the northern edge of Iluka Reserve in Kiama Downs, the Minister of Planning has rejected the Planning Proposal which would allow this to happen.

Kiama Council’s General Manager Kerry McMurray says the proposed sale of the land would have netted Council $1 million, and resulted in the creation of a regional park on the site.

The Planning Proposal, approved by Council as part of a Gateway Determination, sought to reclassify part of Iluka Reserve from community to operational, and also rezone it to allow residential development.

It was submitted to the State Government for the Local Environment Plan to be changed in November 2017, as Council could not make the changes itself.

After three years, a letter from the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment has informed Council the Minister did not consider the proposal to be in the public interest.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring communities have access to parks and open spaces. As such I encourage Council to continue to review and further develop the delivery of improved public spaces for the local Kiama community,” says a letter from the Exeuctive Director of Local & Regional Planning, informing Council of the decision.

“I’m pleased the Minister does take notice of these things, and recognised it as a poor outcome for our community,” says Councillor Neil Reilly, who supported nearby residents in their opposition to the sale.

“It was never in the Kiama Urban Strategy.”

A mapping anomaly identified in the process, which classified the tennis court as R2 land instead of Public Recreation, is to be corrected.

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