In other issues, Harrington Park residents will likely see a new 30m telecom tower, a new chicldcare Centre is on the cards for Camden; if all doesn't go according to plan parking concerns around the new medical centre in the old council building may see less unlimited parking in Camden and some possible committee appointments could see old foes rubbing shoulders.
To top the night off there are also three notices of motion – one of which "could" generate fireworks:
- A proposal to investigate the creation of more outdoor youth spaces like Birriwa Park; (likely to pass unanimously with comment)
- A call for increased police officers in the local area command in the lead-up to Christmas (likely to lead to disputes because there is a State plan for increased allocation in the new year, according to local State MP Chris Patterson, as you can see in this story).
- Illegal parking issues in Somerset Ave, Narellan. This is a call for a report following a news item on Channel 7. It should be straight forward but with this council, who knows.
Sadly there is no Notice of Motion this time around to stream Camden Council but I wait in hope and I do wonder if there will be any best wishes for the Christmas season after the meeting.
But now it's time to get down to the end of the year business.
ORD01: Construction of a two-storey dwelling at 26 Milton Circuit Oran Park. This is likely to be fairly simple. The proposed two-storey building is fully compliant with all planning controls. It is in a new part of the estate with only one other single-storey house likely to be impacted. That house is still being built, .
ORD02: Alterations and additions to a partial two-story house at 37 Forest Crescent, Camden. There have been some neighbour concerns about this house but the council officers recommend approval. The particular issue of concern is increased overshadowing, large windows overlooking an adjacent property and how close the front of the property will be to the street after the alterations. The large window has been deleted from the plan and the distance from the street is around the same as most houses in this areas. If there is a sticking point it is likely to be around overshadowing.
ORD03: Construction of a dual occupancy townhouse at 46 Orbit Street, Gregory Hills. The proposed building is on a corner block and is generally compliant with the codes except for an extended fence line that screens bins, a water tank and air conditioning unit. The council officers recommend approval.
ORD04: The demolition of all structures at 31 Broughton St, Camden and the construction of a 72-place childcare centre. This area is within the historical precinct of Camden but the single-storey building to be demolished has no heritage listing. It is a fibro and weatherboard clad cottage built in 1978. It will be replaced by a two-storey childcare centre that will appear to be a single-storey structure from the street because of the downward slope of the land.
Traffic islands will be extended as part of the construction process to improve traffic movements through the area. The childcare centre will open from 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday. It will employ 12 staff and have parking for 18 cars.
Two submissions have been received opposing the development application. They are concerned about traffic impacts and possible impacts on flooding. Council officers have recommended approval.
ORD05: New medical centre in old Camden Council building, 37 John Street, Camden – alterations and additions. This will be a substantial change to the old council building and offices at the rear. The new medical centre will include four treatment rooms; consulting space for podiatry, radiology, pathology, physiotherapy, dental and psychology services; seven examination rooms; pharmacy; meeting/training room; reception; office; waiting areas; storage; and amenities. Car parking spaces will be for 20 vehicles and will be leased from the council via the Council car park.
The medical centre will operate 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-6pm on the weekend.
Car parking issues: There are issues regarding car parking identified by both the council’s traffic expert and an independent expert. Recommendations by the council officer suggest the car park will have to be redesigned by the applicant for ease of access and two disabled spaces will need to be made available.
The independent expert recommends that the council monitors parking movements around the medical centre and within Camden to “ensure that any changes in parking demand or distribution are identified”. If there are changes then the independent expert has suggested that short term parking spaces may be introduced in areas that currently have unlimited parking time.
Heritage impacts: The Macaria component will not see any changes to the original fabric of the building. Signage for the medical centre will have to be approved under a separate development application.
There has been no opposition to the medical centre but Sydney Water has asked for conditions to be imposed on the applicant to clarify impacts on any Sydney Water infrastructure. Council officers have recommended approval subject to conditions.
ORD06: Construction of a 32.5m telecommunications tower along Camden Valley Way, Smeaton Grange, which can be seen from Harrington Park. Optus and Vodafone have applied to construct a telecom tower to improve the 4G network in Harrington Park. This tower will be clearly visible along Sir Warwick Fairfax Drive from Capes Bank Drive down to Camden Valley Way. Roads and Maritime Services currently own the land where the tower is proposed, although it is likely to become council land in the future. This may result in a financial benefit to Camden Council. There has been some opposition to this tower with residents concerned about electromagnetic radiation and health impacts; visual impacts; potential expansion by other carriers; and the lack of forewarning for people who built in the area.
Council officers have approved construction of the tower.
ORD07: Report following public exhibition of proposed amendments to the Sydney Region Growth Centre’s State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and Camden Growth Centres Precincts Development Control Plan (DCP) amendment of part of Catherine Fields precinct.
Boy that is a mouthful but the long and the short of it is that this is an alteration to the development-regulations of the Catherine Park precinct between Oran Park and Camden Valley Way. It will see an increase in density, adding 23 houses; changes to the heritage area around Catherine Park House (aka Oran Park House); and allow the building to be used as a sales office. We have touched on these changes in a previous story.
Three submissions were received, two from State agencies.
- The Department of Planning and Environment supported the amendments to Catherine Fields.
- The Office of Environment and Heritage did not support the use of Oran Park House as a permanent sales office but agreed to it being used this way temporarily. They also noted that the conservation management plan of the Coach House Neighbourhood Centre and developments surrounding Oran Park House needed to be updated to reflect State Heritage listing.
- A public submission expressed concerns about long-term development around Oran Park House and requested a plan of management. As long as Oran Park House is in private hands, the council cannot develop a plan of management. The management must be controlled by the owners.
ORD08: Council objects to proposed medium density housing code and draft medium density design guide put forward by Department of Planning and Environment.
The Department of Planning and Environment has put forward a design guide and code that will have significant impacts on the Camden Growth Area. Camden Council officers have reviewed the guide and have found significant issues. You can see the council’s submission here (pdf).
The changes opposed by the Council are as follows:
- Strategic intent: The aim of the code is to change development density and streamline determination times. Camden Council already meets legislated requirements with approvals taking on average 34.5 days. The density issue in the Camden Local Government Area is different to city infill areas, therefore the Council would like to maintain its own density targets in appropriate locations.
- Impacts on density and infrastructure: The proposed changes would increase density in new and existing areas. It would mean Torrens title subdivisions (townhouses / dual occupancy) would be allowed below the existing minimum allotment size. These increased densities would have a significant impact on the capacity of infrastructure to cope.
- Lack of community consultation: The new code would mean no formal consultation with adjoining landowners would be required for the development of terrace housing or dual occupancy development. The council has recommended that this be changed to equal the Council’s current notification period.
- Impact on the Council’s resources: The increasing complexity of the code more generally means the expertise of council officers will be called on far more frequently.
- Mandated car-parking controls not reflective of Camden Local Government Area: The new guide only requires one car space for each dwelling irrespective of the number of bedrooms. The Council wishes to maintain its current regulation that sees four-bedroom properties providing at least two car spaces.
- Certifiers qualifications will have to be reviewed: The new plan means certifiers will now have to assess merit-based assessment and urban design outcomes. This will require further training for certifiers examining medium density housing.
- Technical concerns: In terms of implementing the plan, the Council concerns are:
- Basement car parking: The new guide does not consider salinity, flooding and groundwater movements.
- Acoustic fences: The council does not support 2.1m high fencing along classified roads because of its impact on urban design and passive surveillance of streets.
- Laneway setbacks: A requirement for zero laneway setbacks does not allow sufficient room for large vehicles to pass and waste access.
- Accessible parking and adaptable housing concerns: There is currently no provision for adaptable housing.
ORD09: Report on he impact of Celtis Sinensis, Celtis Australis and Celtis Occidentalis on the Environment.
This report looks at whether action can be taken to reduce the invasive plants Chinese Celtis or Hackberries in Camden. Unfortunately the cost of reducing this pest, its proliferation through Sydney and its lack of significance as a pest species compared to others means the Council is unlikely to be able to take action.
ORD10: Appointments to committees.
There seems to be a lot of interest in committee appointments this year. The committees in the spotlight are:
- Camden International Friendship Association
- Camden Seniors Program Committee
- Camden Bicentennial Equestrian Park Committee
- Camden Town Farm Committee
Each committee must have more than four members and no more than 15. The number of nominees for each committee does not exceed 15, so council officers have recommended that all who nominated be appointed. However there is some politics and personal animosity involved, so it will be interesting to see whether this passes smoothly.
One committee to particularly watch may be the Camden Town Farm Committee, with nominations from former councillors Debbie Dewberry who was voted out after the last election and Penny Fischer who was cut from the local Liberal bloc after bitter factional infighting. Don’t expect to find them sitting together at the table if they do get approved.
ORD11: Community sponsorship program allocation – January to June, 2017.
The number of applications have exceeded the normally budgeted amount, so Council officers are also requesting an additional $13,207.50 be allocated for the second half of the year. Nine applications for funding have been received for cash or in-kind donations. They are:
Mount Annan ROMA Food and Wine Festival
Carols in the Garden (late application)
ANZAC Day service
Camden Meals on Wheels (Centenarian lunch)
NSW BMX State Titles (pre-events)
Macarthur Lions ANZAC fun run
NSW JRU Under-12 State Championships
St Pauls Fete
In kind contribution
ORD12: Housing acceleration fund – Ingleburn Rd and Rickard Rd, Leppington.
This report formally acknowledges a grant offer of $2.9m from the NSW Government House Acceleration Fund for the upgrade of sections of Ingleburn and Rickard Rd. This is the area where we are seeing high-density developments in the special precinct close to Leppington Station.
The funding replaces a $300,000 grant by the NSW Government for project management expertise in this area.
The additional funding for this road opens multiple opportunities for further infrastructure development in this area.
ORD13: Mens Shed grant funding
This is to accept $6000 funding from the Australian Men’s Shed Association National Shed Development Program to contribute to the reinforced concrete apron in front of the Camden Men’s Shed Workshop. The folks at the Men’s Shed perform most of the maintenance at the Camden Bicentennial Equestrian Park, so you have to say this grant is well deserved.
NOTICES OF MOTION
NOM01: Outdoor Youth Space (Cr Theresa Fedeli).
This notice of motion requests a report from the council to examine the construction of further play areas similar to that at Birriwa Park. I suspect this should pass through easily and unanimously.
NOM02: Council request State Government to increase police numbers urgently before Christmas in the Camden Local Area Command (Cr Cindy Cagney)
You would expect this to be a fairly straight-forward motion but there is a little bit more to it. Recent stories in the Macarthur Chronicle and the Camden Advertiser claim police are “buckling under the pressure of constant call-outs”. And the numbers at the bottom of that Advertiser story are pretty startling.
This nomination aims to get police here before Christmas but the issue of debate may revolve around State Government reallocation plans highlighted by local member Chris Patterson at the bottom of this Chronicle story, which will get more officers through to the command sometime in the new year.
In short it will come down to the sense of urgency, whether it is even possible to bring new police officers in at short notice and whether political allegiances mean the Liberals will aim to blunt this motion because of the proposed new allocations in the new year.
The potential politic component of this is simple. When a new allocation system for police officers is implemented it will be an announced by the State Member. It’s an opportunity that any local politician would take to claim this as a win.
But if pressure is brought to bear and officers are moved in before Christmas, then it becomes a community win or even a Labor Party win if they were responsible for applying the blowtorch.
And that’s why this Notice of Motion “could” turn into a debate. And if it does, it will be interesting to see if the mayor turns her anger on to Cr Cagney as she did in this past meeting.
NOM03 Illegal parking in Somerset Ave, Narellan
I’ll be honest, I missed this Channel 7 story and can’t find hide nor hair of it online. However, whatever it focused on, the story has prompted a request for a report on the parking situation in Somerset Avenue and a further request for information on when the Council will use $3million from Section 94 payments to build parking infrastructure in Narellan.
I would love to have seen a fourth notice of motion investigating streaming council meetings in 2017 but alas, it seems that is not yet on the agenda. I will keep quietly pushing for it though. Everyone deserves to know exactly what is happening in council chambers and see their representatives in action.
And that is it for the year, although there are some stories to come (thanks tipsters) which should keep the focus on our council.