MINUTES OF TVC MEETING SUNDAY 30 MAY 2021 AT 4PM
PRESENT: Paul Tuckerman, Murray Jones, Ray Smith, John Mebberson, Martin Gorrick, Annette Jones, Steve Dillon, Bob Glynn, Ken Clunas, Glenn Durrance, Jo Holder, Catherine Philips, Lynne Parker, Bob Cole, Susannah Cavill, Vicki Potter, John Penhallow, Angie Penhallow, Trish Donaldson, Bradon Ellem, Michael Crighton, Kaye Smith, Phillip Clifford, Ron Hutchings, Bob Bower, Anne Bower, Philip Laird, Ross Dearden, Neil Walker, Cathy Bloch, Christine Hill, Nikki Main, Stephen Young, Mark Clifford, Jane Austin-Clifford, Michael Clifford
APOLOGIES: Kerry Stratton, Judy Bourke, Stephen Kennard, Mary Durrance, Barbara Mebberson, Linda Cortie.
Meeting opened at 4pm.
WELCOME BY THE PRESIDENT:
The TVC President welcomed everyone to the first face to face TVC meeting since 16 February 2020.
Last TVC meeting was a Zoom meeting on 19 September 2020. The Minutes of this meeting were accepted. Due to Covid-19 restrictions face to face TVC meetings have not been held. However, once restrictions were relaxed the Executive met on a regular basis to discuss issues related to Development Applications (DAs), especially the Thirroul Plaza DA.
The Secretary provided a rundown on the current issues with the following:
64 Mountain Road Austinmer - the owners are dumping fill extracted from their other building sites creating a small mountain. Neighbours are extremely concerned about the type of waste that is being dumped on the site and have contacted Council. Neighbour Brian Flynn offered to monitor the situation.
Save Thirroul Village Group – a member of the TVC is attending the STV Group meetings, usually on a fortnightly basis. The core group is very focused, engaged and active. They have developed an effective communication strategy which they are implementing including interviews on ABC Illawarra, articles in the Mercury, ‘Save Thirroul Village’ stickers around the place and discussions on Facebook about the plaza. The group has some action planned for late June/ early July as it is anticipated that a new DA may be lodged by then, or maybe the State Regional Planning Panel (SRPP) will be held around then.
Council has been in communication with the developers and recommended they re-look at a number of aspects of the design – parking, solar access and ventilation, views of the escarpment and traffic flows to name but a few. The Design Review Panel of 1 April 2021 recommended that the developers conduct a ‘significant review of the proposal – perhaps using alternative dwelling types and/or built form layouts - in order to find a more appropriate residential response to this highly sensitive site’.
5 Cliff Parade - This development was initially approved as a renovation/ refurbishment but ended up as a complete rebuild. There have been numerous amendments to the original DA. The neighbouring residents have been in constant communication with Council and have attempted to communicate with the Private Certifier about the many concerns with the development which include, but not limited to the proximity of balconies to the cliff edge, privacy issues, inadequate depth of footings and the lack of adequate retaining walls. The neighbouring properties were built under the auspices of WCC. Given the fragile nature of the cliff face, WCC insisted lightweight structures on footings down to solid rock. The new structure seems to ignore the geology of the area, with a heavy steel frame and relatively minimal footings. The verandah has a wooden frame with footings into the sloping cliff face. No occupancy certificate has been issued as yet. However, it was reported that residents have moved in and a function, possibly a wedding, was held there on the weekend.
Traffic Review – Murray and Ross Dearden have been in discussions with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) about the traffic issues and hope to hold a meeting soon with the incoming Senior Manager, Community and Place, South Region for TfNSW, Fiona McLauchlan to discuss workable traffic options for the northern suburbs.
Bank statement is $3,773.67.
After paying recent bills we have $3,593.37 in the bank and $11.70 in cash.
Invoice yet to pay - $200 for annual web site fees.
There have been a number of DAs in which the TVC and local residents have been involved over the past 12 months. These include:
342-344 Lawrence Hargrave Drive (the Gables) - Lost the argument about overdevelopment but managed to save the sandstone wall with additional conditions imposed on the developers in relation to dismantling and reconstruction of the wall.
15 Seaview Terrace – DA submitted for 4 units which was rejected. The Developers came back with 3 units. This went before the Wollongong Local Planning Panel (WLPP) which listened to neighbours concerns – narrow street, traffic concerns and destruction of native flora. However, the WLPP rejected the proposal, on concerns relating to the design and impact of the design on the purchasers and the neighbouring residents.
6 Gum Tree Lane – DA refused on multiple occasions as the block is not deep enough for dual occupancy. The block has a large healthy eucalyptus in the middle which makes subdivision nearly impossible.
92-94 Princes Highway (Bulli Pass) – Proposal for 6 units on this block. There were concerns about entry and exit from the site with a proposal by the developers that those heading south do a U Turn at Bangalow Road. The solution included building a roundabout part way down Bangalow Road and installing no stopping zones. It was noted that the developers had not consulted with TfNSW or affected residents in Bangalow Road and so the DA was refused.
4 Wrexham Road – This was for a large two storey development and had a number of variations – reduction in side set back and increase in height of the building. Unfortunately it was approved.
34-38 Hewitt Avenue (Greens Bus Depot site) – The original DA was for 6 two storey units on a flood prone area. Through concerted action of local residents the DA went before the WLPP which determined that this proposal required to be redesigned due to concerns about potential flooding. Council approved the new DA for 5 units as they thought the removal of one unit allowed stormwater overland flows through the site and provided additional protection for adjoining properties.
415 Lawrence Hargrave Drive (Hewitts Lane) – This is a complex issue and remains unresolved. Ross Dearden and neighbouring residents have been actively involved in this matter as has Councillors Kershaw and Cox. Hewitts Lane has been the subject of numerous requests over the years to determine it a right of way. In December 2019, Council resolved to compulsorily acquire Hewitts Lane to enable the land to be gazetted for dedication as public road. However, in July 2020 the owner of the adjoining land purchased Hewitts Lane.
The adjoining owner, prior to becoming the owner of Hewitts Lane, lodged a development application with Council for the development of the adjoining land. This development application (and its review) was refused on flood-related grounds and so they appealed to the Land & Environment Court. Judgment in the matter is reserved, but Council expects a decision to be given in the next few weeks.
5 Cliff Parade – The development was initially approved as a renovation/ refurbishment but has been a total rebuild. It has been a matter of great concern and frustration for all involved and demonstrates the inadequacies of the private certifier system.
No rain for ages prior to early 2020, so many plants died. The gardening group has been working on maintaining the gardens around Station St and Railway Parade, but recent vandalism is discouraging.
Lack of water is the problem in the Railway Parade beds here because any rain from the tarmac does not flow into the garden beds. All tender plants which have died are gradually being removed by volunteers and will not be replaced. Council offers to help with removal of the ‘dollar weed’, and with some fresh mulch. Palm fronds are the main problem here, being difficult to handle, and volunteers stack them at the back of the carpark; council only removes them when formally requested.
The Council renovated Jackson Park in 2019. However, due to the drought the plants died off and what was left was eaten by the rabbits which have taken over this part of Thirroul. The Beach and Playground garden beds were renovated early in 2020 and nothing has happened since. There are garden plantings along Phillip St which have survived mainly due to the efforts of locals.
Christine met with the Parks and Gardens Officers of Council to highlight the issues. The Greening Wollongong project continues, with a new delivery of trees for street landscaping expected soon, but the team members are discouraged by residents who do not want trees in their street/near their house/in parks and with the level of vandalismfrom Wollongong to Helensburgh. Council did offer assistance with the gardens in Railway St.
If anyone would like to assist The Garden Group please contact Christine (0402 067 077).
NORTHERN ILLAWARRA RESIDENTS ACTION GROUP (NIRAG) REPORT:
The group has been getting some help from Council via the New Neighbourhood Engagement Coordinator in Council, Tom McColl. NIRAG has taken on the role of NF3 until a new convenor can be found to re-establish the committee. There has been close work with the TVC on a number of issues and has contributed to DA's such as 415 Lawrence Hargrave Drive (closure of Hewitts Lane), The Thirroul Plaza, The High Dunes proposals on the Ray Hannah land, and consultation with TfNSW on northern suburbs traffic issues.
A major milestone was the commencement of construction of the Point St Local Area Traffic Management Scheme which the Land and Environment Court had awarded to the community in 2001. A successful ‘Rise and Shine’ clean up was held in October last year. NIRAG made submissions on the following: Draft Illawarra Regional Transport Plan Russell Vale Mine Expansion NIRAG Draft Interpretation Strategy for the Sandon Point Aboriginal Place at McCauley’s Beach City Wide Bike Parking strategy and the Wollongong Cycle Plan 2030.
There has been recent damage to trees along the foreshore north of the tent embassy (SPATE). Council has erected signage next to the cycleway and NIRAG has proposed installation of security cameras. Paul Knight, CEO of the Local Area Land Council (LALC) addressed the November 2020 meeting and Council is currently requesting community input and ideas for interpretative signposting / art and comment on the use of the declared Aboriginal Place to recognise the significance of the area. The LALC is concerned for the off leash dog area and NIRAG has requested better signage to restrict dogs from the rock shelf.
In 2019 NIRAG funded the Community Picket plaque but it was damaged by vandals in April this year and a request has been made to Council to include restoration of the plaque in the Sandon Point Signage Strategy project.
East of Panmills Ave, a developer wanted to build 8 apartments. This has now been reduced to 2, but access remains the major issue.
Tasman Lodge (Fresh Hope Care's McCauley Lodge) has purchased two neighbouring properties in Tasman Parade east of the existing aged care facility. They intend to redevelop the site, with buildings rumoured to be up to 4 storeys in height, but no details are available yet.
Part of DH Lawrence Reserve, east of Tasman Parade has been fenced off. Erosion by the sea has undermining the steps to the Beach. The path and sleepers will be removed.
Council has put up a draft Community Land Plan of Management 2021 on their site - https://our.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/draft-community-land-plan-of-management-2021. This plan looks at the range of community land that Council is responsible for such as parks and sportsgrounds, community centres and natural areas. Council is asking for community input and comments can be forwarded until 12 July 2021. There are a number of sites around Austinmer and Thirroul listed.
Council staff attended the last NIRAG meeting in May and went through the Draft Operational Plan and Budget 2021/2022, which lists plans for infrastructure works across the Wollongong City Council area. They explained the reasoning behind the selection of projects and provided a summary list of the projects in Woonona, Bulli , Thirroul and Austinmer. A couple of projects are scheduled for Thirroul and include:
1.resurfacing of Station St and Raymond Road
2.installation of a 'wombat' raised pedestrian crossing at Phillip St near the Ryans.
3.lighting upgrade at Thomas Gibson Park - seems this might include lights to the south of the fields to ensure the safety of residents walking from McCauley's Estate to the station. In Austinmer the projects include:
4.beach access ramp and pedestrian fencing around the Headlands
5.a retaining wall installed at number 35 Balfour Road.
Further information can be found at https://wollongong.nsw.gov.au/council-projects/future-works-and-projects/our-draft-future-works. At Sandon Point and McCauleys Beach Estate Stocklands has completed remediation and revegetation of Tramway, Woodlands and Hewitts Creek corridors. These creek-lines have been transferred to Council. The land is recognised as having cultural value and will be managed in cooperation with the Aboriginal community, especially in the continuation of the vegetation management of the area. An invitation was extended to all TVC members to attend the NIRAG quarterly meetings held at the Bulli community Centre on the first Wednesday of February, May, August and November.
Council recently delivered 3 cans of paint to John Dalla Pozza for covering up the graffiti. Peter Spencer recently covered the graffiti in the bus shelters. Painting needs to be done quickly to discourage further graffiti.
BUSINESS ON NOTICE:
Update on Plaza: (as above)
Council Draft Community Land Plan of Management: Murray will forward this onto those who are interested. You can also access it via the following link:
Comments received until 12 July 2021.
It seems that a secondary road to and from Thirroul east of the railway line could be made almost impossible due to the change of classification of land in McCauleys Beach Estate. It appears that the original call for submissions on the land in question was only open to those with indigenous heritage. The draft community land plan of management now includes a proposal for the land east of the railway that surrounds Woodland Creek and Hewitts Creek be declared culturally significant because of its relationship with Sandon Point Aboriginal Place.
If this proposal is accepted, then this land, which, to a large extent, was formerly part of the Newbolds Brick Factory site and quarry, would then be effectively closed off for consideration as a secondary road from Thirroul. This is the only suitable land east of the railway which would not involve reclamation of private housing.
Letters to Councillors before the elections: It was suggested that a survey could be distributed to people standing as Councillors in Ward 1 prior to the elections in September. This could be based on a similar survey in the Federal seats of Indi and Warringah where candidates were asked a series of yes/no questions. The answers are put up on the community web site. Issues included topics such as climate change, transport, development, health and environment. Candidates were then further asked open questions such as what they value about living in the area and what makes a community strong. The candidates could then be held to account if acting contrary to the responses provided. It was suggested that this is something we could arrange to be sent to the Ward 1 candidates prior to the September election. This motion was fully endorsed by the meeting. If anyone has any suggested questions please forward these onto Murray.
Social media presence: Call for volunteers to set up and help operate a Facebook site. Bob Cole agreed to do this. Thank you Bob.
McCauley Lodge: Neil Walker had a meeting with the representatives of McCauley’s Lodge to try and find out more about what is proposed at the site. The meeting revealed very little. He is aware that neighbouring residents in the cul de sac are being pressured to sell. Apparently he has recently heard that the owners (Fresh Hope Care) want to engage with the community.
Meeting closed at 5.45pm
Next meeting will be the AGM on Sunday 11 July at 4pm in TRIPS Hall. All invited to attend.