Planning and Assessment Policy

Aspirations:

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.

Land use planning should develop our social and economic life, protect our environment and reflect 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 related documentation via the Council website.

That planning instruments provide long term certainty of outcome for those wishing to introduce change and those who will be impacted by that change.

Kiama Greens Recognise that:

  • local planning exists in a regional context.
  • a regional approach to planning provides more flexibility in protecting the important local character by utilising other more suitable parts of the region for potentially conflicting development. This is particularly important for Kiama LGA when considering large scale residential development and incompatible industrial development.
  • the hierarchy of Planning instruments covering Kiama are:
    (a) The Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 (ISRP)
    (b) The Kiama Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020 (LSPS)
    (c) The Kiama Local Environment Plan 2011 (LEP)
    (d) The Kiama Development Control Plan 2012 (DCP)
    In the case of the ISRP and the LSPS they have 20 year visions
  • the development and administration of the Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS), the Local Environment Plan (LEP) and the Development Control Plan (DCP) in close consultation with the community is one of Council’s most important responsibilities.
  • Clause PP1 of the LSPS involves developing a Housing Strategy for Kiama
  • the standards and objectives established by the LSPS, the LEP and the DCP must be defended and enforced by Council.
  • allowing significant variations of the standards in non-complying DAs undermines the integrity of the above planning instruments and provides opportunities for destructive precedents to be established.
  • provisions within, and any subsequent changes to Kiama’s planning instruments should be based on strategic assessment of stakeholders needs not the profit motives of speculative investors.
  • 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;
  • development must be consistent with the objectives of Regional Planning, however should also recognise local demography, environmental values and community aspirations through the objectives of the Local Strategic Planning Statement and the Kiama LEP;
  • the Regional Plan, Local Strategic Planning Statement and the LEP all support the protection of local agricultural land, recognise the importance of the local agricultural economy and the importance of Kiama’s food producing land.
  • Over the last 15 years, the State Government has introduced ways to remove or bypass decision making powers about planning and development approvals from Council

Kiama Greens will work to:

Strategic Planning matters:

  • Support a strategic approach to further development of the planning instruments in line with expert advice and will resist pressures from local speculative investors for 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 development 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, through provisions in local and regional plans.
  • Oppose any further extension of urban development into areas which conflict with the aims of the Kiama Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020. For example the southern boundary of Gerringong and the existing residential boundary of Jamberoo.
  • Maintain a publicly available database of dwelling numbers in the different areas of the municipality as part of the base line data required for the proposed Kiama Housing Strategy. This database should contain numbers of new dwellings constructed during the period of operation of the Kiama Urban Strategy.
  • Support well designed urban consolidation within existing town boundaries and adjacent to existing infrastructure such as transport hubs and CBDs. Such development should be constrained by policies that protect the amenity of adjoining residents.
  • Highlight the link between good planning and community health.
  • 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).
  • Develop a strategy for the provision of affordable housing in new multi residential developments with greater than a certain number of dwellings such that some be available for affordable rental occupation by people in housing stress.
  • Support the increasing demand for home businesses and small businesses within urban and rural areas provided they don’t diminish the amenity of residents or sterilise productive farmland.
  • Support an approach to planning which is “locality based” and more capable of reflecting the differences which exist within different parts of the municipality.
  • Oppose the use of Council rates income for the purpose of subsidising developer’s infrastructure costs.
  • Ensure that Council’s management of the Crown Land under its control, prioritises public benefit over private gain.

Development Assessment matters:

  • Resist pressure to modify planning instruments such as the LEP and the DCP in order that non-complying developments can be supported. Changes to planning instruments should not be made on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Ensure that the quality of life of new residents should be paramount in assessing the nature of new housing.
  • Ensure the requirement of high standards for energy efficiency for housing and business development and ensure Council applies the highest standards of energy efficiency for all of its own developments.
  • Insist that subdivision design creates lots ensuring quality of life for future residents and that increased yield is not at the expense of those residents’ amenity. Matters for consideration include:
    (a) orientation of lots to allow for passive solar house design
    (b) orientation of lots to support future solar heating and electricity generation
    (c) orientation of dual occupancies to ensure equal opportunities of each dwelling for solar access
    (c) sufficient soft landscaping space
    (d) greenspace for recreation
    (e) walking and cycling friendly layout design
  • Insist on consistency in applying the development standards set out in the LEP and Development Control Plan. We will continue to support development proposals that meet the standards and oppose development proposals where large variations from the standards are being sought. This provides clarity and security to both the applicants and the community affected by change. Variations from these standards are a major cause of conflict within the community.
  • Improve Council’s ability to monitor compliance with the conditions of consent of DA’s and investigate development proceeding without development consent.

Community engagement:

  • Initiate discussions to broaden the “cows or houses” state of agricultural opportunities in Kiama and lobby the NSW Government for increased protection of the economically important agricultural farmlands on the basalt soils of the municipality.
  • Provide greater support to the community in understanding the NSW Planning system.
  • Increase the availability of information about the assessment process for individual DAs. For example, documentation describing the reasons for approval.
  • Provide extra time for community comment during the exhibition of complex development proposals