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Open letter to the Mayor and Council from Friends of Hanging Rock

Dear Mayor, Councillors and Council Planning Staff of Eurobodalla Shire Council,

We the community deserve answers. We are now watching closely, watching this site of the Coachhouse Marina Resort, for the sole reason that through your actions, you our council, have made it clear that we have to.

For months the community and it’s representatives asked you, with politeness and respect, to listen to our valid concerns. - To do your job and correctly assess this manifestly inappropriate development proposal at the Coachhouse Marina Resort. - Assess it based on a wide range of valid environmental, planning and development breaches and your own informed communities input. You didn’t listen; you ignored us and wrote a “report” recommending approval for this monstrosity right on our beautiful coastal foreshore.

We are forever thankful for the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), the final decision maker and senior body, the voice of reason who actually listened to those same concerns that we raised with you the Council, on countless occasions but were simply ignored.

In case you missed it Council, the following is a list of just SOME of the things the JRPP have now required from the developer of the Coachhouse to do before it would even think about considering approval:

Reduce the density of the development Provide greater separation between buildings Reduce the extent of non-compliance (i.e. don’t breach so many standards) Provide greater landscaping Explore opportunity to reduce traffic Provide caravan and boat parking Review setbacks of building from the boardwalk Review the foreshore frontage of buildings and adjoining residential interface Reduce the massing and bulk of the aged care buildings Show the marine park boundary Provide a waste management strategy Provide an arborist report Provide new independent architect's drawings The list goes on….

Basically, the JRPP has looked at your recommendation of approval, torn it up, and told the developer to essentially start again with almost a complete redesign of the proposal from the ground up.

So how can Council be trusted to assess future development of this scale ? So we now have to ask:

a) Are you unqualified to do the job of assessing a large scale development,

b) or too easily influenced by developers to do the job of ensuring great development which is appropriate and to scale .

Whichever it is, the community of the Eurobodalla need it fixed now.

The community’s questions are now as follows:

Question 1) - How did Council in their assessment report miss this shopping list of breaches, inadequacies and non-compliances identified by the JRPP and listed above?

Question 2) – What measures will be taken to ensure that this situation never happens again? Just like the proposed Coachhouse development, does Council’s assessment process need to be redesigned from the ground up?

Question 3) – Finally and most importantly how is Council going to restore the community’s trust in you and your development assessment process?

Because unfortunately, as per the JRPP’s huge list of requirements (voiced community concerns) to be addressed makes clear, your approval recommendation was seriously flawed because you totally ignored your own community. This means, we your community/residents/ratepayers, faith in the concept of valid community consultation, an absolutely fundamental tenet of local government has been badly damaged.

I look forward to your reply.

Friends of Hanging Rock Inc.

All the Hanging Rock community

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