Geoff Helisma |
Many of the people who live in the immediate vicinity of the Harwood slipway were (and remain) opposed to expansion of the company’s footprint and that area’s rezoning to IN4 Working Waterfront in 2014.
Some residents have alleged that Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has failed to adequately inform them about a development application (DA) currently being considered by councillors.
In 2014, councillors endorsed expanding the working waterfront-zoned land from 5.9hectares to 24.7ha; significantly less than the original 52ha application in 2012, and the subsequent 38.6ha expansion sought in 2014.
However, the 2014 decision regarding the zoning included “consideration of further staged expansion if it can be demonstrated a need exists and constraints in those areas can be managed”.
This, too, is a contentious issue for nearby residents.
At last week’s Environment, Planning & Community Committee meeting, councillors considered the first development application for the expanded site: “filling of land and shed for boat storage, Harwood slipway, 60 Careys Lane.”
The development, if approved (councillors will make a final decision at next week’s council meeting), will require an estimated “377 laden truck movements (and 377 un-laden trucks) … by a truck and dog trailer to transport the [7,535m3] of fill”.
The report to yesterday’s committee meeting told councillors that the “application was notified and advertised in accordance with Council’s Development in Industrial Zones DCP, to all relevant persons and stakeholders and in accordance with Council’s resolution”.
The DA for the shed was lodged on September 1, 2017 “and notified to adjoining neighbours and additional approximately 25 nearby land owners”, the report stated.
Extra DA information was lodged with CVC in mid September and on November 10.
“On receipt of the additional information [after November 10] the information was renotified to previous persons notified and those persons who had made a submission,” the report stated.
This aspect of the report has been challenged by six nearby residents.
“Can the council please explain why we were not advised of this application when the application was originally lodged,” one resident wrote in their submission to the latest amendment.
“In fact, there appears to be an intentional disregard for our very existence,” wrote another.
A man, who said he had to get the information from his neighbours wrote: “I expect the respect from CVC that I deserve and … ask that you send me formally all details so I can participate fully in this development proposal.”
Another man wrote: “I am also very concerned that CVC once again has not been transparent, honest or open and have kept some affected residents in the dark about what is going on at their front door; I have only found out by word of mouth recently (a week ago).”
These criticisms preceded the residents’ specific concerns raised in their submissions.
There were 20 submissions to the DA, four of which were kept confidential at the submitters’ requests.
Issues raised included timing of placing the fill and associated traffic movements, use of the shed, noise and dust pollution, acid sulphate soils and stormwater control; or, as council staff put it, “the ongoing environmental and amenity impacts as the precinct is developed”.
Establishing the route from the highway to the site, however, was the most contentious issue.
Council staff advocated Option 1, which staff advised “will be progressively upgraded to a higher standard in accordance with the anticipated traffic impacts of future developments”.
“[The] Option 1 road will progressively be bitumen sealed along its entire length,” the report stated.
“The proposed upgrades required for this development are considered to be reasonable and have been generally agreed by the developer.”
Council staff recommended the DA for approval.