I will ask to listen to the recording of the meeting that the Council normally makes for its records to flesh out any further details. I'm not sure if this is permitted under the Council’s regulations but if so it will give me a better insight into exactly what occurred.
UPDATE: No, it is not permitted and permission was refused.
In the meantime, I have relied on the prior Business Paper notes and the minutes of the meeting to make this report.
As an aside, it's worth paying attention to the voting patterns of our councillors through this meeting. I'll report on these for the year at a later date but already the figures tell a very clear story.
There were a couple of big-ticket items in this meeting that seemed to have drawn public addresses from many interested residents.
We also already knew that the State Member for Camden, Mr Chris Patterson, was addressing the Council about the preservation of Camden and District Hospital as a publicly funded hospital.
I was also particularly fascinated by a subdivision that sets a very interesting precedent in terms of housing density in our newer suburbs. More on that below but for now, let's get down to business.
The meeting opened with a large number of public addresses. The first, as expected, was delivered by the State MP for Camden, Mr Chris Patterson. It was in regards to the motion put forward at the last meeting calling for a pre-emptory public position by the council and State Member to oppose any privatisation of Camden and Districts Hospital.
I will request a copy of the statement that can be reproduced here if it is available. Mr Patterson has kindly provided me with a copy of his statement - you can read it here (pdf). An earlier conversation with Mr Patterson during the week suggested he supported the public position of opposition to any privatisation of the hospital and this is exactly what his statement suggests.
Next up in public addresses was Mr John Rowley. He was speaking on behalf of the applicant for the remediation of contaminated land behind Narellan Town Centre at 3 Elyard St, Narellan. The entire process is due to take 58 weeks and upon completion another DA will be submitted for a residential development in this area. You can find more details below under ORD05.
Ms Faye Lea also addressed the council in response to the remediation of the land. While it doesn't explicitly state whether she was for or against the proposal, it is likely she was opposed to the remediation as there were five submissions received by the council in opposition.
Mr Philip Malek addressed the council in regards to ORD03, the proposed 112-place childcare centre at 42 Waterworth Dr, Narellan.
Mr Graham Pascoe’s public address was directed at the creation of a day surgery in 7 Park Street, Camden. This referred to ORD01, which had been deferred two meetings ago, so that new councillors could look over the property.
Ms Glenda Davis spoke to the Council regarding the tender for the proposed Oxley Str car park. Ms Davis kindly provided me with a copy of her public address, which you can read here.
Mr Matthew McGettigan spoke about the development of a centre of cricketing excellence that has been presented to the council as a notice of motion by the mayor, Lara Symkowiak.
Two tentative speakers also entered public addresses. The first was by Mr Benam Dodd on behalf of the Camden Cricket Club notice of motion. The second was Lorraine Iddon who spoke about ORD02, which involved the partial demolition, extension of the back and a new facade for 14 Hill St, Camden.
The mayor presented a mayoral minute that recognised the commendation awarded at the New South Wales Planning Excellence Awards in the category of Best Planning Ideas — Small Projects for the works carried out and planned for the Camden Town Centre. There is a segment of the community that will probably be extremely annoyed by this award and the mayoral minute but it was reasonable to allow the council to publicly acknowledge this small triumph.
ORD01: Day surgery, 7 Park Street, Camden.
The first order of business is the proposed day surgery at 7 Park Street, Camden. We reported on this item of business when it first appeared in a meeting on October 25. The decision was deferred so that new councillors could visit the site to better understand the issues.
Apparently, after actually visiting the premises the Labor councillors and independent Cr Eva Campbell decided that the day surgery should not go ahead. However, they lost the motion to refuse the development application along party lines. The Liberals along with Cr Rob Mills voted to accept the application and it will now go ahead.
ORD02: Partial demolition and alterations to 14 Hill Street, Camden.
This is a commercial development that aims to slightly increase its roof height above the standard level - to 7.75m - and had rear car parks and offices. The applicant also intends to change the facade, taking away the 1960s brick frontage and restoring and rebuilding it so that it more resembles the cottage frontage it had when it was built in the 1920s. There has been some opposition to this from nearby businesses, due to increased shadowing, changes to the streetscape and concerns that it may impact street views.
Council officers recommended approval.
This was another contested vote but the development application was passed with the vote of Cr Paul Farrow (ALP), the Liberal councillors and Cr Rob Mills.
ORD03: Construction of a 112-place, single-storey childcare centre at 42 Waterworth Dr, Narellan Vale.
The childcare Centre includes off-street car parking for 29 vehicles and a 52sqm building. It will have 19 staff and operate from 7:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. The estimated cost is $1.7 million. The site is amid parkland and close to Narellan Vale School.
There have been two primary areas of opposition. The first is that there is insufficient car parking spaces, as this area already has significant parking problems during school pickup periods and the Centre might increase congestion. Within this there was also concern about the location of a bus stop close to the Centre making leaving it in a car very difficult The second question was whether the childcare Centre was even necessary as according to a submission there are already many in the local area.
Council officers recommended approval. This was passed unanimously.
ORD04: Proposed subdivision of 37 Skaife St, Oran Park into 2 lots.
This is a fascinating subdivision and while it seems small beer in the scheme of things it is setting a precedent that may have ramifications for future residential developments. It is also interesting in what it says about the densities in Oran Park.
This application aims for a 700sqm lot to be divided into two smaller lots of 351sqm and 348sqm along a residential street. A particularly striking part of this subdivision is that after division the area is still well above the minimum requirement for lot area, which is just 125sqm. It is likely such small blocks would be filled with terrace house style constructions, similar to those in the suburb behind Macarthur Square.
This raises a whole host of interesting questions about future population densities, the cost of housing for first homebuyers, the potential social implications of such a tightly packed population, the impacts of urban heat island effect and infrastructure considerations. I'm quite surprised these small lot sizes have not figured more largely in the public discussion about the future development of Camden.
Because this development fulfils all of the requirements of Oran Park, it is very hard for council officers to recommend refusal and for the councillors to oppose what could be extreme densities in this suburb and potentially others that may use this precedent to advance the case for small lot sizes.
As it stands, the subdivision was passed. However, it was another contested vote with the vote of Cr Paul Farrow(ALP), the Liberal councillors and Cr Rob Mills seeing it through. Cr Ashleigh Cagney, Cr Cindy Cagney and Cr Eva Campbell opposed the application.
ORD05: Remediation of contaminated land, earthworks, tree removal and site works at 3 Elyard St, Narellan, behind Narellan Town Centre.
This is the large area of vacant land near Narellan library along the back of Narellan Town Centre. There have been multiple attempts to develop this large block and to remediate the contaminated land. The land has formerly been used as a quarry and a storage space for demolition waste and landfill materials.
This development application is focused only on remediating the contaminated land at a cost of $10m. It will take 58 weeks to completely remove all the soil and contaminants. A separate development application will be submitted after this process has been completed that will likely see a large residential/business development proposed for the site.
This was another contested vote but the development application was passed with the vote of Cr Paul Farrow(ALP), the Liberal councillors and Cr Rob Mills.
ORD06: Draft Section 94 plan for Camden growth areas
Section 94 payments come from developers and are used for the construction of infrastructure related to those developments or in other parts of the Camden region. This draft plan for Section 94 infrastructure will be on public exhibition for eight weeks, so residents can view it and make recommendations.
I will have a look at this plan over the coming weeks and see if I can put together a small report on what it proposes.
The public exhibition of the draft plan and proposed steps for its execution, should it be accepted, were endorsed by all councillors.
ORD07: Camden Council animal holding service becomes a “no kill” facility
This one is for pet lovers everywhere. The new animal holding service that is being considered for Camden will become a "no kill" facility that will aim to rescue and rehome animals where possible.
Not surprisingly, this one passed unanimously.
ORD08: Delegations and other administrative matters
This is a fairly straightforward item that just relates to delegations during the period from December 14 through to February 14. It gives authority to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to deal with urgent situations and development applications.
ORD09: Collection of Deputy President of MACROC
Cr Michael Morrison was appointed to this role. Passed unanimously.
ORD10: September review of the 2016/17 operational plan (budget)
This is just approval of budget items from earlier meetings with $1,017,060 going to the capital works reserve and $500,000 going to the asset renewal reserve.
ORD11: investment monies — October 2016
This confirms certification of investment monies reported in earlier meetings.
ORD12: Miss Llewella Davies Pioneers Walkway — Acceptance of grant funding
This item confirms the acceptance of a $351,000 grant from the Metropolitan Greenpeace Program. Matching funds of $191,300 were allocated from the Council’s capital works reserve and a contribution of $36,000 from the Camden Town Farm Committee.
ORD13: Construction of Oxley Street car park extension, Camden
There were two components to this motion. The first was to accept a tender for the car park made by Zauner Constructions Pty Ltd at the cost of $2,947,100 (excluding GST). The second was to fast track funding to investigate initiatives to increase the use of Camden Civic Centre.
As has always been the case, this was going to be a contested vote. However the vote was carried supported by Cr Paul Farrow, the Liberal councillors and Cr Rob Mills.
NOTICES OF MOTION
ORD14: Camden and Districts Hospital (privatisation)
There was a little bit of back and forth with this motion but at the end it went through unanimously with only one modification. The final outcome was that the Council would seek the unconditional support of the local member, Chris Patterson, to maintain the hospital in public hands. The council would oppose any privatisation of the hospital and it would congratulate the staff of the hospital for the outstanding work they do.
The only difference was a change from the original motion. That motion initially requested for the local member to advocate in State parliament for a full report on the hospital’s status and what measures needed to be taken to upgrade it into the future.
This was replaced with a new request for a workshop with the South West District Health Board where councillors could ask questions and receive a status update concerning the Camden and Campbelltown hospitals.
The motion was passed unanimously.
ORD15: Camden Cricket Club
This notice of motion was to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Cricket New South Wales to develop a Centre of Cricket Excellence at Ferguson's Land, Camden. Camden Cricket Club would still remain a key user group of the facility and the council would, in addition, work with the club to determine how to honour founding and life members of Camden Cricket Club.
The motion was passed unanimously.