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Report: Don't Spoil Batemans Bay Meeting at Soldiers Club Thursday 9th May

The Beagle Editor, Some of your "Beagle" readers following the proposed Hanging Rock development may find this of interest. Last Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:30pm a panel meeting was held at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Beach Road, Batemans Bay to hear submissions to a proposed development at Hanging Rock. The following are notes taken of the proceedings. These are general notes.

Please Note that the proceedings of the meeting were fully recorded & will be posted onto the Eurobodalla Council's web site within 7 days.

The Meeting was well attended. Over one hundred people, mostly Hanging Rock locals, filed into the small auditorium at the Soldiers Club to witness the presentations to the Independent State Panel.

This Panel, chaired by Alice McCabe, will apply due diligence to the project data over the next two months or so before handing down a decision regarding the Development Application of the applicants who will then apply again to ESC for DA approval.

Above: Alice McCabe Chair opens meeting re. Coach House site DA for 49 Beach Rd Batemans Bay - photo Peter Coggan Other Panel members present were R Brookes & John Griffin.It is understood that Panel Members visited the site before the meeting and that they also met face to face with some of the local presenters at a hotel room in Moruya. Of concern to many at the public meeting was the understanding that the independent Panel Members held a meeting with a senior Eurobodalla Shire Council staff member and an ex-mayor in Moruya with those attending asking amoung themselves if this presented a conflict of interest.

It is understood that the council is looking to ''pick up'' in the order of $1 million per year in rates should the development go ahead.

Twenty four speakers registered to present to the panel & two more were added at the end of the two hour meeting. Twenty three spoke against the development. "On the positive side, money is attractive. Potentially $1milion will be collected each year in rates alone if it is approved. In addition, it offers locals much-needed jobs during construction & more importantly well into the future with the promise of 100 permanent positions. It promises to add much-needed commerce & vitality to the CBD. "On the negative side, the DA will change the local precinct forever. The plans may not comply with the building codes for development on delicate tidal sandy flood-prone sites. Locals argue that the Plans must comply with existing building codes. They also say huge traffic issues will occur on Beach Road as there is only one way in & out of the development that promises to double the population that already lives in the 90 "Hanging Rock" residences. The impact on existing amenity & environment is predicted by the protesters to be catastrophic." Peter Coggan Speakers appeared in the order that they registered. Each speaker was allowed 2 minutes except one who was given 10 because he represented a group of residents.

Some notes from presenters:

1. Safety issue regarding a 15,000 cubic litre storage tank. It is potentially lethal i.e. if it explodes it will take out the Marine Rescue building.

2. A real estate identity spoke in favour of the development of 20 buildings 210 self-care apartments & 150 wellness units. a) empty shops in CBD b) the resort needs upgrading c) aged care is needed d) medical clinic on site e) after hours chemist on site f) tallest building only 4 storeys g) brings a new group of residents who will contribute to the economic viability of the town

3. Consultant: a) the 2018 submission lacked detail eg. the DA Certificate was limited

eg. the clinic is an independent stand-alone medical centre. It will not be ancillary to Seniors b) the concept needs revision. Applicants need a new site certificate. It can't proceed in its current form.

4. Solicitor: a) the Seniors accommodation is not "of the kind". It does not comply to fit the conditions of the Certificate issued. b) height exceedance is a major concern Max should be 11.5 metres. An additional 3.4 metres has been added. c) geotechnical survey the high water table poses problems especially with 1.8-metre excavation in the sand with 1 to 2 metre depth to the water table

Speaker JW: a) one road in one road out equals huge traffic problems

Past President of Chamber of Commerce: a)Town needs the $200million but b) development must meet planning codes )Urge you (PANEL) to look at MIDDLE GROUND seriously.

A representative of Tourism Group: a) Town is desperate for development Needs the money. b) let the 2 levels of Government deal with & apply the building codes & address any concerns c) Why do people come to Batemans Bay? Shopping & Dining are priorities. d) Batemans Bay has alarming unemployment of 13.7% plus the worst figures in the state for young people d) 100 new on-going jobs will be generated in the completed development. e) other building sites will come online soon

Local lived here since 1987: a) Consider the human impact. The scale is enormous The Population of Hanging Rock will be more than doubled! b)the traffic problems horrendous c) no footpaths d) people with disabilities have to be considered e) garages under 4 storey buildings in sand equals problems e) Impact on the environment a potential disaster.

The Ten Minuteman: a) Impact on amenity devastating. Hanging Rock community has been shocked by this announcement. b) Loss of wildlife corridor significant c) refer to ESC's policy p.113 Planning Objective policy breached d) 500 plus tourist beds will be lost

SB: a) No social or economic benefit to locals b) inadequate info on how it will impact locals? c) No social studies evident shows arrogance of developers. Community need PRIMARY & SECONDARY DATA to validate the developers and council's claims . d) Access off Beach Rd. is a huge safety issue

WW a) it's my front yard. Bought here only 2 years ago & Not notified then. It's a game changer. I've invested here because of the amenity & environment. My Views will be taken. There's no sense of staggered construction. Kingston Foreshore development in Canberra is fast becoming an apartment ghetto! We don't want BB going the same way!

RH solicitor: local for 25 years a) Environmental impact is huge This will be a fundamental change. Eurobodalla Council is pushing the development. The community is ANGRY. Views will be lost .there is a 2 storey limit to buildings on Beach Rd. These are the rules the code states that clearly. This will change forever to allow other similar DAs.It is an inappropriate development on an inappropriate site.

Errol: a) Height is a major factor 11.5 metres is the code but to add an additional 3.4 metres is absurd, breaches the code. b) Need an amendment to "The Strategic Planning Statement & "Greater BB Structure Plan 2019 to 2031" c) tall buildings & shadows equals no solar panels

Local for 55 years: a) it's only an economic project. Local people don't count. I live in a cul de sac but with this development, I will get traffic passing to 210 units!

GW: a) oppose section 4.22 of docs. b) Access is a huge problem. Underground parking is inappropriate. Easier to park on the streets creating congestion. c) Dangerous traffic conditions will be created eg. right turns has no turning lane & left turn into Beach Rd driver has no sight of oncoming traffic. We have dangerous traffic conditions there now.

Avalon St.resident : a) Animal corridor will be reduced by 50% b) 4 storey high apartment building only 6 or 7 metres from my boundary. Privacy goes, shadows come no sunshine equals no solar. c) a massive increase in through traffic means its unsafe for children who are used to enjoying the outdoors with safe access to the beach. This freedom will be taken from families who bought property there for the lifestyle.

Last speaker: a) Council seems to create conflict with any issue that it deals with

b) consultation tends to be too little too late c) local people are adversely impacted with this DA & their investment & lifestyle is not valued on the same scale as the developer. Council with community consultation should consider zoning a number of sites suitable for high rise development & place them on 5, 10, 20 years Master Plans available to the community to alleviate all the anger, angst & hurried shock announcements that catch an unprepared community. It's a no for this development in this magnitude this site.

The Panel Chair, Alice McCabe, stated in closing that they would most likely take the Middle Ground with this DA. One can only wonder what that means & if that was the done deal at the concerning secret meeting in Moruya! Given that FRIENDS OF HANGING ROCK INCORPORATED have presented a formidable case to the panel plus attracted more than 500 signatures to its petition to Council in 10 days I would say Eurobodalla Council has a huge dilemma in this explosive development.

NB Council has prepared reports on this development & has submitted them to the Panel. Council Staff provided the admin for the meeting. The State Government selects the Panel via a Project Officer who accesses the Panel Pool list at the website:

Council may select 2 independent members to be on the Panel of 5.

(The full recording of this meeting will be available soon on ESC's web site.) Peter Coggan

#Opinion #Council #BatemansBay