MINUTES of GENERAL MEETING Sunday 16th of September 2018

PRESENT: John Mebberson, Barbara Mebberson, Paul Tuckerman, Murray Jones, Ray Smith, Ted Owen, Annette Jones, Jane Bunting, Helen Gibson, Erin Bunting, Lynne Parker, Kay Smith, Steven Dillon, Gail Chapman, Ken Clunas, Kelly Carey, Peter Spencer

APOLOGIES:  Judy Bourke,  Christine Hill, Ian Hill, Martin Gorrick, Susannah Cavill,  Ross Dearden, Yvonne Whitesmith, Catherine Philps, Linda Cortie, Bob Glynn, Tony Horneman, Steven Kennard, Catherine Stone, 

Meeting opened at 4.05 pm.  Minutes of the previous General Meeting of 8th of July 2018 had been distributed by email and were accepted as read.

Secretary’s report

Wollongong City Council advised that the Wollongong Local Planning Panel (WLPP)  refused the development at 178/180 Lawrence Hargrave Drive and determined that;

1. The proposal is out of character with the surrounding locality
2. Would set an undesirable precedent
3. Fails to demonstrate consistency with 5 clauses of State Legislation
4. Fails to Demonstrate Consistency with 4 clauses of local planning policy
5. Fails to demonstrate that the site is suitable for development.

Stephen Young advised that he had not received any news regarding the determination of the DA  for Lot 29 Woodland Avenue.  This development application is currently before the Land and Environment Court and called for the house to be projected out  over the cliff above McCauleys Beach.

Murray wrote to Joe Steller, the Anglicare representative inquiring as to their plans for the Retirement Home development directly south of McCauley Beach Estate.  Joe advised that he anticipates that the Tramway Creek Bridge would be built in the initial stages of the development.  Joe also advised that Anglicare did not intend to apply for any changes to the the zoning of land.  The residential section is  currently R2, which is the same as the most prevalent zoning around Thirroul. 

(With an R1 rating, the "R" refers to residential, while the "1" indicates the limitation of one home or structure. It normally follows that an R2 rating allows for two residential dwellings, typically in the form of a duplex, while an R3 permits multi-family units such as apartments or condominiums.)

The Secretary reported on the Executive Meeting on 29th August.  In attendance were Murray Jones, Ray Smith & Paul Tuckerman. Martin Gorrick and Paul Tuckerman offered their apologies.  The meeting was called to discuss changes to State Planning Legislation that came into effect on July 1 this year. 

The Wollongong Local Planning Panel (WLPP) now having final consent authority for all development Applications (DA) instead of WCC Planning Staff.   Decisions of the WLPP are final and supposedly, cannot be disputed in the Land and Environment Court.  Councillors are no longer the final authority on what is built in this City.  The legislation allows a proponents of developments to suggest variations to the planning legislation which will produce “better” outcomes.

The Secretary has observed that virtually every sizeable development application for the Thirroul area now includes requests for variations to the normal planning rules.  The WLPP can now rule on these variations on a case by case basis.  The meeting specifically agreed to object to variations in development Applications for 178/180 LHD, 13 Pass Avenue and 5 Ocean Street.


Presentation by Kelly Carey representing the Coal Coast Brewing Company.

Kelly, a local resident, spoke of the intention of operating a Pop Up Brewery at various coastal locations in the Northern Illawarra and sought our feedback.

The Brewery pop up site would sell food and beer as brewed by her company at any one of several location from Thursday through to Sunday, then fold up and be packed away.  These events would be licenced outdoor events under State Legislation. With Council approval, these would occur 6 to 8 times a year.  Opening times are envisaged to be 12 to 8.30pm.  These events are not designed to replicate a pub on the beach, but rather a lifestyle event, often in conjunction with associated events.

The beer would be labelled and marketed by respectfully using elements of the local mining history.  

Members raised concerns about alcohol on the Beach and the events relationship with families and other beach picnickers.

Bulli Showground Master Plan

WCC have stated their intention to develop a Bulli Showground (BSG) Master Plan and called for submissions from the public on the possible future uses for this Community asset.  From comments in the press by the Lord Mayor, it does appear that Council recognise BSG as WCC’s largest asset of its type with unparalleled parking and crowd carrying capacity.  Thus it does appear that there is no intention to close this facility, but rather try to determine its future usage and adjust its aging structural assets accordingly. Members were encouraged to make a submission online.

It was announced that James Flynn, WCC Planning Officer will be speaking on this subject at the Neighbourhood Forum Three meeting next Tuesday Evening at 7pm at the Thirroul Community Center.

Anglicare Site Development

Murray read part of the email from Catherine Boyatzis which reported that Anglicare have submitted development plans to NSW Department of Planning.  These plans will be put on display shortly.  

Catherine spoke of several shortcomings. The primary concern was that the original plan called for passive residents, ie retirees with minimal vehicle and pedestrian movements.  Catherine felt that 57 Town houses will lead to an increase in road and pedestrian traffic over an above the original design loads for the estate.

It was agreed that there is a need for a second road out of Thirroul as provided by this development, thus no further action would be taken on this issue until the DA is put on exhibition.

Changes to local planning laws

The secretary previously described changes to the local planning laws and called for volunteers to help in preparing a response to the changes.  Stephen Dillon, Jane Bunting, Ray Smith  and Annette Jones all offered to contribute their time.   A meeting would be organised by email.   

The secretary reported on the advent of planningalerts.org.au Planning alerts.  This website will advise you by email of all DA’s within a set radius of a specific address.

General Business

Concerns were raised over the short term letting of properties and Strata Units in the area.  The practice of letting premises for short term periods has boomed with the advent of specialist websites such as AirBnB.com, Stayz.com, Bookings.com etc.  There has been some abuses observed, specifically, party houses and there are no guiding Council Rules.  No decision was reached.

Closure of the Bulli Lookout Walking Track and development of an alternative track via Giant Fig Tree was was discussed.  No decision was reached.

Next meeting will be November 11 at 4pm.  

Meeting closed 5.30

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