Cecilia Christlo - 28 August 2018
Cecilia Christlo addressed council regarding comprehensive planning and community consultation of the Oaks Ranch development at the Ordinary Council Meeting 28 August 2018.
Public access session 28 August 2018
SUBJECT: Community Consultation in Relation to Oaks Ranch.
I speak as a long-term resident of The Estuary Estate in Mossy Point. Along with so many other Estuary Estate residents, I am experiencing frustration and anger at what Council is allowing to happen with regard to Development in our community.
Earlier this year Council approved a new public road into Oaks Ranch from the Estuary after a shambolic process where the purpose and design of the road, along with the potential for large scale residential, recreation, and tourism development were made available to the Council but not the community.
The community has genuine and well-founded concerns about the credibility of traffic data provided by the Developer in their supportive documentation which differs markedly from figures provided by the Council. Traffic increase in the Estuary from the Oaks Ranch modifications to tourist/recreation facilities is stated to increase by 4.5% .However, Councils own assessment identified an increase of 16% - quite a difference! Note, traffic for the new Oaks Ranch residential dwellings not included in these figures..
The community now understands that permission for 90 residential dwellings was granted by Council in 2012, with consent. This is a significant and unusual concession granted to a Developer by Council. A major concession without notifying the public through a proper consultation process. This has the ultimate effect of advancing the Developer's original plans, that were rejected in 2010 by the NSW Minister for Planning.
The 2010 plans were for a total of 276 dwellings. In the absence of any new information which outlines the Developers current intentions, we can only assume that the Developer still wants to eventually obtain Council permission for another 186 dwellings who would use the Estuary Estate roads for vehicular access resulting in a significant manyfold increase in through traffic.
Such a Development would be incongruous with the nature of the Estuary Estate and would have a significant negative impact on the amenity of the local area. There are reasonable design alternatives available which will not negatively impact on community members who carefully selected their properties in the knowledge that the Estuary Estate did not have the potential for through traffic.
The intended future development at the Oaks Ranch has not been set out in a comprehensive Planning Proposal that details the whole plan for the entire site. Development at the Oaks Ranch should not be allowed to proceed on a piecemeal basis that limits the ability of Council and the community to see the full picture. Should a Planning Proposal be submitted in the future, it must clearly and transparently demonstrate the effect of further development for the members of our community that reside in the Estuary Estate.
Any Development Proposal for the Oaks Ranch must look at social and environmental aspects and must not be approved before a proper independent assessment of key issues including loss of amenity, infrastructure, traffic, bushfire hazards and flora and fauna have been undertaken.
Development is a necessary part of society, but it must be the right development, in the right way, with transparency and proper community engagement. Allowing developers to pursue design options principally for their own financial benefit and total disregard for the amenity of the local area is not acceptable.
How can the community have confidence that council won't allow the destruction of their chosen lifestyle in the future simply for the financial gain of a Developer?