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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Where are the planners and the statisticians

Eurobodalla is in evolution. There is no doubt. Our population has surged and as a result our supportive infrastructure is under pressure. Primary and Ancillary medical services, education resources, labour availability, housing availability.... the list continues. There was an adage that "If you build it they will come". But for Eurobodalla and the South east THEY came before it was built. Somewhere, in a room with very large tables littered with plans, colouring pencils, maps and shuttles one imagines town planners and statisticians working on how to best move forward.

The latest development proposal in Dalmeny comes to mind. 39 units on land near the local shops. This sounds fine. The land has long been vacant, is zoned for multiple housing and is nearby the shops and beach. Lovely. But this development will be adding to the proposed development just over the hill of another 200 houses. Preparation is underway on a masterplan for the Dalmeny land release area, which incorporates 40 hectares of land Eurobodalla Council sold to a developer in September.

In December the Council sought input from Dalmeny residents to "help guide the masterplan and a development control plan for three privately-owned lots, which together total about 100 hectares".

Council says "The plans will set out which sections can be developed, what must be retained, building styles, transport routes and connections, landscaping requirements, recreational areas, land release staging, and more". But there is no mention of shops. There is no mention of schools. In all, in just a few years from now there will be 240 new houses or more in Dalmeny. And that is in addition to the other developments already happening in the town. One might speculate on the resultant of this. Will house prices go down in Dalmeny based on Supply or will they continue to climb, as would be desirable for the developers? How many of the houses would be "affordable"? The answer to that is clear. Council is not setting any constraint on developers to set aside cheaper blocks to accommodate cheaper houses. The land will be sold at a price that maximises profit. If you want an affordable house then the onus is on the buyer to build a small house within their budget. A Minimum house size will apply. Who are all these people? Downsizers, empty nesters? sea changers? lifestyle changers? Young, old? Each and all of them will need services. Plumbers, carpenters, painters, doctors, nurses, dentists, groceries, fuel. Many might also need jobs and, if they are new families they will need education, transport and all of the support mechanisms required. Town Planners of yesteryear coloured maps with pink and blue and green identifying areas for commercial growth, living and recreation. In the north of the shire we are now seeing rapid infill around Batemans Bay as the tendrils of expansion make their way south along the coast. Sunshine Bay, Lilli Pilli, Malua Bay, Tomakin and Broulee. Soon it will be the turn of Moruya, possibly Tuross and most definitely Dalmeny. The question to ask is "Is anyone actually in charge?" The councillors are as much in the dark as the community. "So who is in charge? What contingencies do they have in place? What is their vision and how do they plan to provide the necessary service infrastructure to ensure the ever increasing demand are met?


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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