MINUTES OF TVC MEETING SUNDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2019 AT 4PM
PRESENT: Paul Tuckerman, Murray Jones, Martin Gorrick, Jane Bunting, Erin Bunting, Ray Smith, Kay Smith, Annette Jones, Susannah Cavill, John Memberson, Barbara Memberson, Chris Hill, Bradon Ellem, Trish Donaldson, Jeremy Park, Gail Chapman, Ken Clunas, Tony Horneman, Yvonne Whitesmith, Nick Gartrell, Lynne Parker, John Creswick, Marie Langston, Bob GLynn, Steve Kennard, Susan Stolk, Judy Bourke (27)
APOLOGIES: Catherine Stone, George Stone, Kelly Carey, Ross Dearden, Peter Spencer, Shaun Prince, Linda Cortie, Catherine Philps (8)
Meeting opened at 4pm.
1. WELCOME BY THE PRESIDENT
The President of the TVC welcomed all present, noting the increased attendance at the meeting and noted that there were a lot of agenda items to get through in a short amount of time.
2. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
Minutes of previous meeting of 11 November 2018 had been distributed by email and accepted as read.
3. SECRETARY’S REPORT
The Secretary stated he is yet to write to the NSW Minister for Transport in relation to the transport issues previously raised. He stated that this would be done after this meeting and that there would be some additional issues raised in this letter as a result of the outcome from the Wollongong Local Planning Panel (WLPP) which was held on Tuesday 13 February 2019. The WLPP made recommendations regarding the traffic issues in Thirroul and requested follow up by Council (refer below).
The Secretary reported back on the outcome of the Illawarra Folk Festival. Although well attended the festival made a slight loss. The festival is run by volunteers. It takes 400 volunteers to run the festival. Most of the executive have been running the festival for many years, with some wanting to step back. A call was made for others to volunteer. Check the Illawarra Folk Festival web site for details –
The secretary reported that a subcommittee of TVC members had been busy with looking into the large number of Development Applications (DAs) that had recently been lodged on Council’s website. In the main the subcommittee looks at the DAs lodged for Thirroul to see if there are any exemptions noted, and what these are. In addition a call is made on the type of development to check that it is not considered overdevelopment. The subcommittee is concentrating its efforts around Thirroul only. No action is taken on those DAs that are compliant with the Wollongong Development Control Plan.
Since October 2018 there have been concerns about 4 DAs with the subcommittee taking action. These are:
178 Lawrence Hargrave Drive
28 George St
13 Pass Avenue
30 Hewitts Ave
In addition a response from the TVC was prepared and sent to the Land and Environment Court about the proposed Anglicare development.
There is also another DA that the subgroup is currently preparing for submission to Council – 7A Cochrane Road Thirroul. This is a resubmission by the developers of a previous submission which Council rejected.
The motion to accept the Secretary’s report was moved by Ray Smith and accepted by all present.
4. TREASURER’S REPORT
The TVC currently has $4,680 in its IMB account. There have been no added expenses or expenditures.
5. BUSINESS ON NOTICE
a. Update on Anglicare’s McCauley site
There was an earlier call for people to respond to the NSW Department of State Planning in relation to the plans for the Anglicare site. This has closed now and we await the report from State Planning.
b. Preparation for the Seaside Arts Festival
TVC has been invited by the Lions Club to host a stall at the 2019 Seaside Arts Festival at no cost. This is a good opportunity to let the local community know who we are and what we do. We have a promotional gazebo to work from and can update the posters we used previously. We need about 12 people from the TVC to staff the stall. The festival is to be held the weekend of April 6 and 7.
Please let Murray know if you can assist at the TVC stall and your preferred time.
c. Results on non standard Development in Thirroul
Annette spoke about the current approach taken by the subcommittee of the TVC in relation to non standard DAs. The process adopted by the subcommittee is as follows:
1. Weekly or bi weekly check of the Council website for newly submitted DAs. In addition notification is also obtained via the ‘Planning Alerts’ system - a free service provided by Open Australia Foundation.
2. Check of the DAs on exhibition to see if any mention of an exemption and review made of the DA to see if significant. If a notable exemption is lodged then a decision is made if it is appropriate to contact the neighbours about the DA. In some cases the neighbours have contacted us. It may be that the proposed development is large and considered inappropriate for the site and looked as overdevelopment.
3. Once the subcommittee is in agreement a flyer is produced, with an image of the proposed dwelling and a TVC contact name and number.
4. The flyer is distributed to the residents who live close to the development site.
5. The TVC then waits for contact by the residents.
6. Upon contact the TVC assists the local residents arrange a meeting to discuss the proposal explaining to the residents their rights and course of action to take.
7.Once the Council receives 10 or more submissions the Council contacts the developer to seek amendments to the proposal. Once another DA is submitted the neighbours have a right to respond. It is important to note that all involved with the DA need to keep an eye on the DA listing as notification is not always sent to the residents.
8. Once the Council receives sufficient submissions the Council arranges a hearing before the Wollongong Local Planning Panel (WLPP). The WLPP is an opportunity for the neighbouring residents to present their concerns about the development and the effect of this development on them before the panel.
9. The TVC assists the residents in organising the speakers into specific areas so all areas of concern are addressed before the panel. TVC representatives attend the WLPP with the residents outlining the TVCs concerns about the development. In the latest WLPP the chair of the panel complemented the TVC for its structured approach to addressing areas of concern at the meeting and stated he would recommend this as a model to be followed in future.
Thanks was extended to all those who worked on recent developments for it is through their combined action that inappropriate developments can be stopped. The difficulties and time taken for such a process was noted, especially as neither the neighbours nor TVC subcommittee members have any expertise in the reading of site, floor, drainage or shadow plans. The action taken is merely from a lay person’s perspective of the development.
It was noted by Murray that there has been an increase in controversial DAs being submitted to Council. Changes in legislation regarding DAs were made in July 2018. This has meant that if 10 or more objections are raised about a development, even if Council recommends the development that a WLPP can be held to determine the outcome. There have been two examples that the subcommittee has been involved in where the Council has recommended the development and the WLPP has overruled this recommendation – 13 Pass Ave and 28 George St Thirroul.
In the latter case the WLPP was stinging in its response as it considered the proposed development as over development and that it was not in fitting with the current or future streetscape. In a break from tradition the WLPP recommended that a holistic study of traffic conditions in the northern part of Wollongong be conducted by NSW Roads and Maritime Services and Council with engagement from the local community.
Following on from the WLPP comments Murray, as Secretary of the TVC will write to Council with a cc to State Government about the traffic issues experienced in the northern suburbs.
A resident, Jane ?? from Toxteth Ave Austinmer raised the concern she had with a DA currently before Council for a dual occupancy dwelling next to her. This development will overshadow her home and reduce her privacy. It is a large dwelling on the block and out of character with neighbouring homes. Fronting the street would be two large garages, certainly out of place in this street so close to Glastonbury Gardens. In a similar way to the TVC subcommittee on DAs Jane approached her neighbours individually to inform them of the development and to encourage them to write to Council with their concerns. She is aware that over 10 submissions have been sent to Council regarding this development. She was pleased to be able to hear about the approach taken by the subcommittee and the process involved in the WLPP hearing.
d. Progress on preserving Thirroul’s Heritage
A group of TVC members – Murray, Martin and Annette met with Christo Aitken a conservation architect and Council heritage advisor in the Blue Mountains area (Blue Mtns, Lithgow and Oberon) among others on Friday 18th January to discuss the identification and preservation of Heritage homes. He contacted as a direct result of the TVCs actions listed on the website. Thanks go to Peter, the web master.
Christo spoke about the identification and preservation of period housing areas – designated as Heritage areas. It can be that a single house is designated as heritage or a whole street, eg. Moore St Austinmer. This does not prevent development, rather that when an application is submitted that a heritage impact statement is submitted upon lodgement of a DA. Most houses in Moore St have been extended. However, the impact of the proposed development had to be carefully assessed with regard to the Heritage Impact.
If a whole street can be listed as heritage then any development within sight lines of the street need to be looked at carefully. The idea of a street being heritage listed needs to be agreed to by the house owners in the street. There are a number of discrete communities up and down the Illawarra that could be looked at to be listed on the Heritage register. In Thirroul streets such as George and Station Street may qualify. Until recently Hewitts Ave would have been appropriate for potential listing. It is also possible to have trees listed – maybe some in the Grove Austinmer could be looked at for listing.
Last year Council called for nominations for the newly created Wollongong Heritage Reference Group. The Group has been established to provide advice to Council on its policies and strategic projects where these relate to the management, conservation and promotion of Wollongong’s heritage. The Reference Group comprises people interested in the management and conservation of Wollongong’s unique cultural heritage. This group consists of 2 Councillors and 8 members, one of which is a community representative. Martin Gorrick is the community rep.
Martin is interested in looking at what he can find out about who worked on and how the heritage listing happened in Austinmer. Armed with this information maybe a similar approach could happen in Thirroul. This could help prevent inappropriate development across parts of Thirroul.
Murray, as Secretary also gave a rundown on other activities that the TVC is involved in for new members. These are:
Tony Horniman gave a rundown on the graffiti subcommittee. There have been 4 meetings since July 2018 at Jose Jones. The group reports illegal graffiti and has made an association with a Police Officer in Helensburgh who has been extremely interested and helpful. People found drawing graffiti on a building can be found to be acting illegally as per the Graffiti Control Act of 2008.
Please note: The next graffiti meeting is to be held on May 18 at 10am at Jose Jones. All are welcome.
Members were notified that Wollongong Parking Rangers have been out checking that people park within the lined car spaces at the southern end of the Thirroul Beach car park. It was noticed that Rangers were issuing $110 fines for not parking in the allocated spaces on Australia Day.
e. IMB call for funding of Community projects and Austinmer Village Committee
Murray informed the TVC that he had been in discussions with the IMB about the application for a community funding of $5,000 of which the TVC could avail itself. Applications for this grant funding close on 28 February. It is proposed that these funds could be used to conduct a mail drop across Austinmer to garner interest and support in the establishment of a group similar to the TVC for Austinmer.
The Secretary asked the TVC for approval to apply for the grant funding for such a proposal and this was granted unanimously. Murray will now prepare a submission that will be forwarded to IMB for their consideration and approval.
There was discussion about the development of a Constitution for the TVC and it was agreed that advice in relation to this matter was need. Consideration would also be given to registering the TVC as a charity.
6. GENERAL BUSINESS
It was reported to the TVC by a resident of Hewitts Ave that the land and dwellings that were once owned by the bus company, Greens was sold to developers, Hewitts Land Pty Ltd in 2016. The developers recently placed a business on this space without approval. It was a sandstone block industry with work starting early in the morning disturbing neighbouring residents. The resident approached Council and the tenant told to vacant the premises, which they did as the land is designated Residential, low density R2. The cottage on the premises has also been leased to a commercial business. A notice has since been given to the managing agents, MMJ to vacant within 28 days. The neighbour is currently awaiting them to vacate the premises.
The resident of Hewitts Ave has heard that this land is to be developed with anything from 7 to 20 units on the land. The neighbour is concerned that the developer is trying to purchase the neighbouring Council land to expand this development. There is a belief that there have been preliminary discussions with Council regarding this parcel of land. An internet search revealed that the developers purchased the land no 34 to 38 Hewitts Ave. It was suggested that the neighbour place a Government Information (Public Access) or GIPA request with Council requesting notes regarding any pre lodgement meetings. The link to this is attached:
It was suggested that it might be worthwhile if the local residents of Hewitts Ave advise the local Ward 1 Councillors of the potential of such a development occurring, especially after gaining access to any such preliminary discussions between Council staff and the developer that may eventuate from the GIPA request.
Next Neighbourhood Committee Forum
Please note: The next Neighbourhood Committee Forum is to be held on Tuesday 19 February at 7pm at the Thirroul Community Centre. All are welcome.
Meeting closed at 5.40pm
Next TVC meeting is sheduled for Sunday April 28,