Sims Rd planning proposal FAQ
Published on 20 July 2021
Media Statement- Sims Road Gerringong - updated 21 July 2021
Council is aware of several community concerns related to the proposal for land located at 5 Sims Rd Gerringong.
We are aware that there have been questions asked and concerns raised about this proposal by the community.
We understand that the planning process can be complex for residents and want to provide answers and confirm the requirements that we as a Council must follow.
UPDATE: 21 July 2021
At the Council meeting on Tuesday 20 July 2021, the following points were resolved:
- Council support the proponent led Planning Proposal on Lot 40 DP 1230679, 5 Sims Road Gerringong, proceeding to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for Gateway Determination (the next step in the planning proposal process) as it satisfies the strategic merit and site specific merit test.
- Prior to proceeding for a Gateway Determination, request that the proponent update the Planning Proposal so that it seeks to amend the Kiama Local Environmental Plan (KLEP) 2011 to include the site in Schedule 1 and list general industries and landscaping material supplies as additional permitted uses on the site.
- Following receipt of the amended Planning Proposal, request a Gateway Determination from DPIE and provide advice that Council’s preference for the proposed change to KLEP 2011 is to amend Schedule 1. This option allows for the retention of the existing RU1 Primary Production zone.
- Council provide further detailed communication to the community about the process that is to be followed for all planning proposals and the future further engagement that is required to occur for this process under legislation.
Can a landholder submit a planning proposal at any time?
Yes, a planning proposal can be submitted by a landholder at any time. This proposal must follow Council’s Planning Proposal Guidelines and be submitted to Council in a particular format and contain required information.
How quickly does Council have to assess this Planning Proposal?
Council must assess this planning proposal within 90 days. Staff must prepare a report to the elected Council and the elected Council must determine if they support or reject the proposal
When is the community consulted about a Planning Proposal?
In Kiama we want community feedback at the very beginning of the Planning Proposal process, therefore we undertake consultation with the community whenever a proposal for a project not identified by the Kiama Local Strategic Planning Statement is received by Council to assess. This first step allows for the community to provide submissions on the information provided to Council by the applicant. Some councils do not include this step and only open proposals for community consultation once they have been approved by the State Government, however in Kiama we recognise the important role that community plays in this process.
This consultation is only the first step in the process, with opportunities for further community comment and involvement if the process continues to the next stage.
What was decided at the July 2021 Council meeting?
Council decided to support the Planning Proposal at its meeting in June 2021. This was based on the proposal’s ability to meet the required criteria for a change in use of the land.
Since this decision, the State Government asked for further details from Council and the applicant to provide more specific details of the proposed use of the site. The report to the Council meeting in July resolved this (see update above) prior to providing the information back to the State Government for consideration.
Why did staff provide options to Council?
Staff often provide options to Councillors to consider so they have the information available to make an informed decision and to outline the implications of the options they may choose. This occurs in reports relating to planning matters, but also for other types of Council reports.
Why was it provided to the July Council meeting?
As the application was not withdrawn and the matter was returned from Gateway, a decision was required. Due to the upcoming council elections, after 7 August, Council cannot make any decisions of this nature which have attracted more than 25 community submissions. Therefore Council needed to clarify its decision in the July meeting before caretaker mode begins.
Was this the last chance for me to have my say on Sims Rd?
No, there will be further opportunities for members of the community to have their say on this proposal, including a formal and detailed consultation process, which will occur if this proposal proceeds to the next stage. The outcomes of this consultation process will then be provided back to Council for consideration.
Now the proposal has passed Council, does that mean the development is guaranteed?
No, the process must include further consultation and investigation. It will be required to be reported to the new Council for consideration later this year or early next year. If the change is made to the zone and/or uses allowed on the land a further process is also required for any development to occur. This includes a development application process which will outline the exact use of the land, any buildings proposed, car parking, landscaping etc. These details are then further assessed and also provided to the community for comment.
Why hasn’t the proposal outlined the exact use of the site?
The simple answer is that the proponent did not include it in their documentation. Points 2 and 3 of the above resolution instruct the proponent to provide clarity of the exact use of the site in the proposal. The updated proposal will then be forwarded to the State Government.
Are there further details going to be provided about environmental impacts or other concerns I may have?
If the proposal is accepted by the State Government, they will provide several requirements that must be completed by the applicant and assessed by Council and a number of State Government Departments. These may include, economic analysis, environmental studies, and several other investigations. The information contained in these reports will be provided to the community during the consultation process and will be available for further comment.
How did this Proposal meet the strategic merit test?
It is considered that this Proposal will support new economic enterprises for the Municipality and therefore gives effect to Objective 4 of the Regional Plan.
While it is acknowledged that the action to identify land and propose appropriate zoning for small scale service industrial uses has not yet occurred, the site is considered to be suitable for small scale service industrial uses due to its adjacency to the Princes Highway and its degraded state.
Amending Schedule 1 of the Kiama LEP gives effect to the action listed above and its associated Planning Priority to foster economic diversity, while not undermining the need to undertake the Municipal wide identification process.
Where was information about the Proposal listed?
The Proposal was listed in The Bugle, KMC Website and social media on 28 April. Direct correspondence was sent to the Gerringong South Precinct Committee and to surrounding landholders.