Presentation Relating to QON19/003 by Brett Stevenson – Tuesday 12th March 2019
I wish to identify significant issues and seek further information regarding the development consent for DA508/17 NEW DWELLING LOT 63 DP1194047 GEORGE BASS DRIVE, MOSSY POINT. The subject land is highly constrained by a multitude of natural resource management, environmental and heritage issues. I will focus on the land use, acid sulphate soil, flooding and Aboriginal heritage aspects, but there are many other issues of great concern relevant this parcel of land and DA508/17.
First some brief background information extracted from Council’s own documents and relevant legislation :
1) The application was determined based on provisions of the 1987 Eurobodalla Rural LEP and associated DCP 156, since it was identified as a Deferred Matter under the 2012 LEP. Under the 1987 Eurobodalla Rural LEP, the subject land is zoned 1(c) Rural Small Holdings Zone, for which key objectives are :
to provide opportunities for small scale agricultural activity,
to provide residential opportunities while retaining the scenic quality and overall character of the land and the environmental quality of any adjoining waterways, wetlands, rainforest or other environmentally sensitive areas,
iii) to ensure that environmental impacts of development and the impact of development on land or activity in surrounding zones are fully considered in advance of any significant development,
2) Clause 17 (2)d of the 1987 Eurobodalla Rural LEP requires :
Before determining a development application for the subdivision of land to which this clause applies, the Council shall examine the risk of flooding
3) Eurobodalla Council’s current Acid Sulphate Soil (ASS) policy (approved on the 23rd April 2013) references the NSW Acid Sulphate Soil Manual as its principal methodology. Clause 3 of Council’s ASS Policy states :
Development consent must not be granted under this policy for the carrying out of works unless an acid sulfate soils management plan has been prepared for the proposed works in accordance with the Acid Sulfate Soils Manual and has been provided to the consent authority.
4) Clause 28A of the 1987 Eurobodalla Rural LEP requires :
Before granting consent for development that is likely to have an impact on a place of Aboriginal heritage significance or a potential place of Aboriginal heritage significance, or that will be carried out on an archaeological site of a relic that has Aboriginal heritage significance, the consent authority must:
(a) consider a heritage impact statement explaining how the proposed development would affect the conservation of the place or site and any relic known or reasonably likely to be located at the place or site, and
(b) except where the proposed development is integrated development, notify the local Aboriginal communities (in such way as it thinks appropriate) of its intention to do so and take into consideration any comments received in response within 21 days after the relevant notice is sent.
5) The attached table extracted from Council’s development consent summarises the studies taken into account in assessing DA508/17 :
6) It is now pertinent to explore Council’s development consent against the legislative and policy requirements outlined above. Specific questions for each issue are listed separately to assist preparation of responses to each enquiry.
Question 1 - Acid Sulphate Soils
Given that Council’s own policy, and the NSW Acid Sulphate Soil Manual, requires an ASS Management Plan to be prepared and considered before development consent can be granted, why has no study been prepared and submitted for consideration as part of the documents referenced in Council’s consent? (Note: the only reference in the development consent to ASS is for an assessment and management plan to be submitted prior to a construction certificate being considered. This is too late in the planning cycle to satisfy requirements of Council’s own policy and the mandated NSW Government ASS Manual).
Question 2 - Flooding
Given that Clause 17(2)d of the 1987 Eurobodalla Rural LEP requires Council to consider flooding before determining a development application, why is there no flood assessment included in the studies referenced in Council’s development consent? (Note: the only reference in the development consent to flooding is for building material documentation to be submitted prior to a construction certificate being considered. This is too late in the planning cycle to satisfy 1987 LEP legislative requirements).
Question 3 - Heritage Assessment
Given that Clause 28(A) of the 1987 Eurobodalla Rural LEP requires Council to both consider a heritage impact statement and consult with local Aboriginal communities before granting consent, why is there no relevant study or consultation included in the studies referenced in Council’s development consent? If relevant activities/studies have occurred, can Council provide copies of all relevant material and advice provided to communities (and any responses received)?
Question 4 – Land Use Objectives & Management
One of the primary stated objectives of Rural 1(c) zoning is to provide opportunities for small scale agricultural activity while retaining the scenic quality and overall character of the land and the environmental quality of any adjoining waterways, wetlands, rainforest or other environmentally sensitive areas. It also aims to ensure that environmental impacts of development and the impact of development on land or activity in surrounding zones are fully considered in advance of any significant development. In view of these requirements, can Council advise :
What small scale agricultural activities did Council assume the subject block would be used for?;
In what way is the proposed dwelling integral to these projected activities?; and
How the envisaged agricultural activities would impact the significant populations of threatened flora and fauna and intact native vegetation on the subject land?
Question 5 - Landuse Planning
Council’s DA Tracker has been offline for more than 3 months, and Council’s GIS facility is currently also offline. Can Council give an undertaking and make sure that both of these facilities are restored to full functionality and transparency with respect to planning matters as a matter of urgency?
Thank you for your attention. I look forward to Council’s responses to the questions outlined above.
B.Sc. (Hons 1), Ph.D. Science