Kiama Greens Planning Policy
To ensure that decision making about planning and development is kept local, transparent and accountable.
To ensure local land use planning involves extensive community consultation and is based on sound long term strategic planning principles which develops our social and economic life, protects our environment and reflects community needs and aspirations.
To maximise the role of the community in commenting on the appropriateness of development in their areas. This will involve maximising access to documentation via the Council website.
Kiama Greens Recognise:
- That the development and administration of a Local Environment Plan (LEP) in close consultation with the community is one of Council’s most important responsibilities;
- That the LEP is Council’s most powerful planning instrument, and it should reflect the needs and aspirations of the community and must be defended and enforced by Council;
- That the LEP determines land use policy for all land in the municipality and therefore impacts on matters such as release of land for urban expansion, location of residential, commercial and industrial areas, and protection of areas of environmental significance or with special heritage or landscape values;
- That it must be consistent with the objectives of Regional Planning, however should also recognise local demography, environmental values and community aspirations;
- Kiama Greens Councillors had significant input into the creation of the Kiama LEP 2011 however the desire of the NSW Government to control the planning process meant that much of the hard work to maintain a strong local flavour in the Local Environment Plan was overridden;
- The LEP supports the protection of local agricultural land, recognises the importance of the local agricultural economy and the importance of Kiama’s food producing land due to the good work of Kiama Greens Councillors;
- The State Government is now considering ways to remove decision making powers about planning and development approvals from Council and giving these powers to a State appointed Regional Planning Panel;
- The State Government is considering requiring Council’s existing ratepayers to subsidise the cost of infrastructure going to new developments; and
- Early in the process of the recent LEP review, Greens Councillors sponsored a Council motion to protect agricultural land and associated industries. This motion received unanimous support from Councillors and subsequently became a policy position of Kiama Council.
Kiama Greens will work to:
- Support a strategic approach to further development of the planning instruments in line with expert advice and will resist pressures from local speculative investors or requests to resolve farm succession matters through rezonings not related to broad strategic goals.
- Continue to take a holistic approach to planning which integrates Ecologically Sustainable Development and Total Catchment Management principles into all planning provisions and takes account of the cumulative effects of developments and their impacts on the broader environment and local amenity.
- Argue for the highest level of protection for our natural environment: rainforests and natural vegetation areas, rivers and streams, wetlands, coastal areas, scenic landscapes and biodiversity.
- Lobby for increased protection of the economically important agricultural farmlands on the basalt soils of the municipality.
- Support minimisation of urban expansion beyond the present town boundaries of Gerringong, Gerroa, Jamberoo, Kiama and Kiama Downs. Any urban expansion should be small and sensitively designed, should not sterilise agriculturally valuable farmlands and should be subject to rigorous environmental controls.
Kiama Greens oppose any further extension of urban development into areas which conflict with the Kiama Urban Strategy 2011. For example the southern boundary of Gerringong.
- Support sensitive urban consolidation within existing town boundaries and adjacent to existing infrastructure such as transport hubs and CBDs. Such development should be constrained by policies to protect the amenity of adjoining residents.
- Highlight the link between good planning and community health.
- Lobby for the development of high standards for energy efficiency for housing and business development and ensure Council applies the highest standards of energy efficiency for all its developments.
- Promote the minimisation of unnecessary waste of resources associated with new development.
- Support small scale tourist development which is sensitive to ‘character’ and ‘place’ and which provides for a range of visitors (backpackers, campers, home stays, farm stays and quality hotel accommodation).
- Support the development of strategies for affordable housing.
- Support the increasing demand for home businesses and small businesses within urban and rural areas provided they don’t diminish the amenity of residents.
- Support an approach to planning which is “locality based” and more capable of reflecting the differences which exist within different parts of the municipality.
- Insist on consistency in approach to implementation of the development standards set out in the LEP and Development Control Plan. We will continue to oppose development proposals that seek to obtain large variations from the standards that are designed to provide security to both the applicants and the community affected by change. Variations from these standards are a major cause of conflict within the community.
- Fight to ensure that decisions about planning and development are kept local and represent the community’s priorities.
- Not support the use of Council rates income for the purpose of subsidising developer’s infrastructure costs.