A notice of motion brought by Cr Peter Sidgreaves to install a shaded area and a toilet block in a playground located at Burrel Rd, Spring Farm, led to an interesting discussion around why these were not automatically included in parks and is likely to see these standard issue for new parks from hereon in.
However, one of my favourite parts of the night was the celebration of a small family in Elderslie, who were allowed to lease land from the Council that would them to extend and make safer the front yard of their home for children and a dog. There was lots of hugging and cheering there.
You can read the full meeting account below.
There was a large crowd at tonight's meeting due to the Grima Bros decision. The Council had put in an additional row and some further seats behind the media desk. All up there was seating for about 100 people and at least another 60 spilled out the doors.
There were quite a few public addresses dealing with around four different orders of business.
The first public address was from Mr David Taylor on behalf of DartWest developments in relation to the Grima Bros matter. You can read about that here.
The second public address was by Mr Chris Weston on behalf of Dilsat Karagolu regarding the construction of a daycare centre at 37 Danvers Road and 36 Rosecomb Road, Spring Farm. He was speaking for the recommendation to approve the centre.
Mr Weston noted that the daycare centre had been approved with conditions that would come into force after it had been opened. He said the applicant had been through a lengthy process of 10 months to get to this point and he hoped the council would approve the development in accordance with the report.
The third public address was by Mr Jeffrey D’Souza in relation to modifications to a house under construction at 4 Douglas Place, Harrington Park. He spoke against the approval.
Mr D’Souza said he spoke on behalf of himself and his neighbours. He was concerned about the additional height of the slab and also the need for vegetation to protect neighbourhood privacy. They requested that fully established trees and hedges be planted to a height of 3m. He also requested that the councillors defer a decision until a landscape plan had been submitted. Mr D’Souza said the impact on neighbours due to a lack of privacy was of particular concern because they had young families.
The fourth public speaker was Mr Philip Madden who spoke against the development of the daycare centre at 37 Danvers Rd and 36 Rosecomb Rd, Spring Farm. Mr Madden said he and his wife had been living there for the past 4 1/2 years. He said he was "flabbergasted" when he heard of the development application. He said he did not think a daycare centre in a residential area was an appropriate location due to the zoning. Mr Madden said when they bought into the area the investigations of the zoning suggested there would not be anything like the centre being built close to them. He said had it been disclosed that a daycare centre could be built in the area they would not have bought the land.
Mr Madden then questioned whether the business would be profitable. He noted there were already four daycare centres in the immediate area. He did not believe there were any families in the immediate area who required childcare facilities. As a result of this, the daycare centre would have to import children from outside the immediate area.
He said the construction of the childcare centre was inappropriate for the area and provided only 13 car spaces when it would host 40 children. After staff parking, only five spaces would be available for dropping off children. He said the DCP 2011 of one space per 10 children “is at best fanciful”.
He said there was no nearby bus stop, so the children would have to be transported by car. He also questioned the traffic report saying it was "nonsensical" because most of the area was still under development. He said the streets in the area were barely wide enough for two cars and there had been two recent incidents where Council trucks had damaged parked cars because of insufficient room.
Mr Madden noted that the average number of children in the area per family was around one, which meant they were likely to see 40 extra vehicle movements and nearly all of these would occur in a small window of time. He said his main issue was the location of the daycare centre, saying it was an inappropriate location. He noted there was a new public school being developed up the road that had the appropriate transport facilities and suggested this would probably be a more appropriate area. Mr Madden concluded by saying that he felt the development was probably a fait accompli but he hoped "the voice of reason would be heard over pure business interests".
Mr Ryan Punch was the fifth speaker who was requesting to lease some council land to be able to build a fence around his property. This was a charming address to Council and Mr Punch was kind enough to give me a copy of it. You can read the full address here.
Mr Joe Grima spoke in support of allowing Grima Bros to remain in Gregory Hills. You can read the full address in the previous article here.
Following the public address there were two mayoral minutes. The first mayoral minute was on Narellan Sports Hub. You can read it in full here. It is however worth noting the following line.
I am pleased that due to excellent financial management Council was able to inject savings from the construction of Council’s Administration Building into this project, resulting in the delivery of additional facilities.
The reason this is of interest is that the cost of the sports hub ran over budget by $700,000 due to rain before any additional facilities were added. At a previous meeting in 2016, the Labor councillors had expressed concern about the estimated budget for the hub and also about rushing the development through before Christmas without clarity around the likely spend. I could almost see some councillors biting their tongue when this statement was read out. During that same meeting where they were concerned about the Sports Hub, the same councillors also expressed concern about the budgeted costs for Macaria. That has now gone over budget by $500,000.
The second mayoral minute regarded the success of the Camden festival. You can read that minute here.
After all that it was down to the business section of the meeting with a very impatient crowd waiting for the fourth item — Grima Bros.
The modifications on this block came about after the slab was poured 500mm thicker than had been approved on the original development application.
Moved Peter Sidgreaves. Seconded Michael Morrison.
Cr Peter Sidgreaves said this was only before the council because of some outstanding submissions and that he supported the recommendation to accept the modification. He noted that even with the additional 500 mm height it was still well below that recommended by the development control plans. He said concerns about privacy were eased by glazing on the south-facing windows and increased sill heights. He then requested to add an amendment to ensure that this glazing remained as a permanent part of the home.
He then noted that the overshadowing was still within the DCP and there was also additional screening and landscaping in regards to the privacy aspect.
Cr Theresa Fedeli had a question. She just wanted to clarify whether or not the swimming pool was still going ahead.
Miss Magurren said the pool had been deleted as part of this application. However, the owner of the property could return to the Council in the future and apply to have a pool.
Cr Lara Symkowiak then said she had a few questions.
She first wanted to know why the slab height was increased.
Miss Magurren said the builder increased the height of the slab to improve roof drainage to the gutter.
Cr Symkowiak asked if this was a necessary modification.
Mr Magurren said it was possible to drain it in other areas of the site.
Cr Symkowiak asked if the new slab height was compliant.
Miss Magurren said the new slab height was still fully compliant.
Cr Symkowiak then referred to the windows on the south side noting the height of sills at 1.5 m and the glazed windows. She noted this did not make mention of the kitchen window, which was also on the south side. In looking at the plan she noticed that the kitchen appeared to be lower than other rooms. She wanted to confirm this was indeed the case.
Miss Magurren said the house was a step-level construction and that the kitchen and living room had a lower floor level.
Cr Symkowiak then asked a question relating to one of the objections. It was noted by the objector that some of the building work was done by an unlicensed builder with the building company being registered on May 26, 2017. She wanted to know where this situation left the Council and Council officers if the majority of the building was done before the company was registered.
Miss Magurren said that according to the public register of the builder was licensed even though the building company’s name was new. She said there was a valid license and a construction certificate from the private certifier had a valid insurance certificate.
Cr Symkowiak said for those reasons she would support the recommendation. She noted the kitchen was lower than the other glazed rooms and the barbecue area would have a solid wall and for these reasons was happy to support the modifications. She said if it had not complied to DCP, she would not have supported it.
ORD02: New retaining wall and earthworks for St John's church
This was just a small development application to create a courtyard between the church hall and office buildings. Ordinarily this would not have come before the Council but following a notice of motion on the meeting of June 13, 2017, all applications for development in St John's had to come before the Council.
It is worth noting that the only way to reverse the decision made on June 13 is via a rescission motion that has to be listed in the business papers. In a very unusual turn of events, the rescission of this June 13 motion was made via an amendment. Under the council's own code of meeting practice this should not have been allowed.
Moved Theresa Fedeli. Seconded Peter Sidgreaves.
Cr Theresa Fedeli said she was happy to support the development. She said it was not a large amount, $38,000 (actually $3,800), and it would be beneficial to the church.
Cr Eva Campbell spoke against the development. Initially she had some issues with the microphone and couldn't be heard. After these problems are sorted out, Cr Campbell said it was important to recognise they were dealing with an iconic heritage area that dated from colonial New South Wales. It had been listed on the National Heritage Register until it was declassified by the Federal Government. She said because the site was of national as well as local significance, she felt no changes should be made until a heritage determination had been made.
She noted the Anglican Property Trust was actually opposing the classification of St Johns as a heritage precinct. She said that any works that were currently considered minor may in fact not be so minor if the heritage listing is reinstated. Cr Campbell said that until the status had been clarified she felt it was unwise for the Council to do anything there.
She said it would be inappropriate to do anything in that area until truly expert opinion had verified the important components of the site.
Cr Peter Sidgreaves supported the development saying, that while heritage significance was noted in the report by Council officers, it was only a minor concern for this development. He said he report noted that a detailed heritage management plan was not required for this particular development. He noted the development would not be seen from the street. Cr Sidgreaves said that he didn't feel these types of development applications needed to come before the council. He said he would prefer to give the delegation back to the Council officers to approve small developments of this nature.
He said major developments should certainly come to the Council and that it would almost certainly come before the Council anyway because of the would-be opposition to major developments. He said for this reason he would support the development but then wanted to take it further and add an additional amendment.
His first amendment was to remove the resolution of June 13 made by the counsellors that required any development to come before the Council.
His second amendment was to revert to the previous system where any developments at the St John's church Heritage precinct be determined in accordance with the Council's general planning determinations.
(Ed - This was essentially a rescission motion and as such it should have been included in future business papers and voted on as a separate item. At this point the councillors or Council officers should had a responsibility to alert the chamber that this could not occur as it was against the code of meeting practice - See section 3.18.1)
Cr Theresa Fedeli supported the amendments as the seconder.
Cr Peter Sidgreaves said that with those two additional amendments to pass through without tying up the Council’s resources and allow the applicants to move on with the development. He felt that bringing this kind of development application before the council was unnecessary. Cr Sidgreaves said that everyone in the chamber knew that if there was a significant development it would have course come before the Council.
Cr Paul Farrow spoke against the amendment. He said he was going to support the development application until the amendment. He clarified that the cost of the items was actually $3800 not $38,000 and that it was very minor. Cr Farrow said the issue of St John's church has a lot of heat in it. He said the original resolution of June 13 was a way of keeping an eye on any developments within the church. He said this was the first application had come before the council since that time and he did not expect it would be many more. For this reason he felt it would not be a major inconvenience.
However, the downside to accepting this amendment is that the councillors are effectively saying they don't care what happens at St John's Church. "So we have gone from keeping a watchful eye on issue to essentially saying it no longer concerns us," he said. He said that the minor issue $3800 development has now been turned into a substantial issue with the amendment and therefore he could not vote to support it.
Cr Michael Morrison spoke for the amendment. He started off by asking a question. He wished to clarify that when there was a submission against any development application, would this always come before the council?
Cr Lara Symkowiak replied that this was correct where a submission could not be mediated or resolved it would come before the Council.
Cr Morrison then said that Cr Farrow's comment that they did not care what happened to the church was in fact incorrect in light of that answer. He said even if one resident out of 85,000 people had an objection to an application it would come before the council if it had not been dealt with. He noted that there was opposition to a major or minor development it would probably come before the council. He then referred obliquely to the Grima Bros application when he referred to a petition with 14,000 signatures. He said that if anything happened to the Church, "which had been a part of the fabric of our society since year dot", that a member of the Council or the community would put their hand up and say they do not agree with it. He said that if one person did that then it would come before the Council and the Council would be held accountable.
He felt that a $3800 retaining wall really did not need to come before the Council. He said the people of Camden have in the past shown that when they are passionate about something they will stand up and fight for it.
Cr Eva Campbell spoke against the amended recommendation. She clarified what she meant by the "archiving" of the heritage listing for St John's Church. What happened, she said, was that at some point a Federal Government archived the National Heritage list to save money. In essence, the heritage list ceased to exist as the result of a cost saving exercise. The responsibility was then passed on to the States. She said at the time nobody knew about it.
Cr Campbell then asked if there were issues being investigated by Council officers over whether "things that have been done at St John's have in fact been done with the appropriate application and submission"?
Miss Magurren said she would have to take the question on notice particularly in regards to whether there have been any submissions from the public. She said she was aware of some that Cr Campbell had brought to her attention but was not aware of any others.
Cr Campbell said they had been brought to her attention by members of the congregation at St John's. She then pointed to the removal of the oldest stained-glass windows by somebody who was not qualified and that this had marked the stonework. She said this was the subject of a report that was brought to the Council and which she had to chase up through Mr Reynolds.
Mr Reynolds said issues were raised regarding the technology used and that the Council officers had attended and reviewed the site. He was not aware of any other issues.
Cr Campbell recalled a time she had lived in another town with a small church where the church community had raised a significant amount of money to get an expert to examine their stained-glass. She noted the significance of the stained glass at the small church was negligible when compared to St John's. Her concern was around what is exactly happening at St John's and whether the community was even aware of what was going on. The idea of the previous amendment was so that all issues were brought into the public domain, so that the community was completely aware of what was going on and the Council could demonstrate that it valued the precinct. Cr Campbell agreed there was a lot of heat in this matter and also a lot of lies floating around about what was going on. She said that if it was not appropriate to air these issues in the Council chambers then democracy in Camden did not exist.
Cr Cindy Cagney then spoke against the amendments. She said she fully supported the original recommendation after visiting the area in question. She said the originally proposed development would have benefited the Church and helped those who used the hall throughout the week.
However, she said the only problem she had with the amended recommendation was that this kind of change should have come through as a notice of motion (Ed - absolutely correct), which is why she "wanted to hit the idea on the head". Cr Cagney said this Second Amendment should be debated as a separate motion within the chamber. She felt it was not a heavy consideration to ask for all applications to be brought before the Council. She said she preferred for the amendments to be withdrawn and for the original motion to come back to the Council at a later date.
Cr Lara Symkowiak then spoke in support of the amendments. She started by reading an email sent by the Senior Minister for St John’s Church, Camden, Rev Tony Galea. He noted the work was minor in the email and asked for support of the application, saying the changes were not visible from the street and did not impact on heritage items. He then asked in the email why the Council was discriminating against St John's church, saying no other church was subject to the process of all minor applications coming before the Council. He noted the email that the church worked cooperatively with Council officers and that they would refer any significant issues to the Council if required. He then noted that they needed an application to trim a tree and this would have to be referred to a full Council meeting. He then again asked why the Church was being discriminated against.
Cr Symkowiak then noted she was away having a baby when the notification was brought before the Council. She said she did not have a chance to vote on this matter. She disagreed with Cr Cagney, saying the two amendments were pertinent as the Council was spending a great deal of time discussing a $3000 retaining wall that should have been decided by the delegations of Council officers. She said it was a waste of time for the staff to prepare these reports and it was embarrassing that a $3000 retaining wall had to come before the Council meeting. Cr Symkowiak pointed to the fact that a tree trimming application would come before the Council later in the year if things remained as they were. She said has the motion stood, it suggested the councillors did not trust the Council officers to use their delegated authority appropriately.
Cr Symkowiak said that Cr Farrow's comment that the Council did not care about the precinct was very misleading. "We do very much care," she said. However, she did not think it was fair to discriminate against St John's Church and make them go through additional hoops compared to other churches in the area. She said retaining walls and trimming trees should not require the full attention of the Council. Major issues would automatically come before the Council for the reasons Cr Morrison mentioned. “Even one submission from the public would trigger it coming to a council meeting," she said.
She said she didn't believe the Council needed to be "so suspicious" of St John's church or discriminate against them. She said there was a complaint about a lightbulb St John's Church which wasted the time of a compliance officer. Cr Symkowiak said it was a "storm in a teacup" in relation to what was happening with St John's land and that it was out of the Council's control and in the control of the Anglican Church. The Council could only act on development applications brought before it. She said she did not want to see minor works at the Church brought before the Council chamber. "We have wasted our time. I fully support the motion."
The amendments were passed by a majority with Cr Farrow and Cr Campbell voting against them.
ORD03: Construction of a childcare centre at 37 Danvers Rd and 36 Rsoecomb Rd, Spring Farm.
Moved Cindy Cagney. Seconded Michael Morrison.
Cr Cindy Cagney immediately asked for an amendment. She asked for a site inspection at the next available opportunity and for the item to be deferred in the meantime and brought back to the Council in the meeting following that inspection.
Cr Morrison agreed to the amendment.
Cr Cagney noted that everybody had seen an email from Cr Ashleigh Cagney who was not able to be at the Council meeting. She said in the email that several residents had contacted her about the development application and that she would like the opportunity to view the location with other councillors before voting on the childcare centre.
ORD04: Grima Bros development application
You can see the full report on that here.
ORD05: Planning proposal for a residential subdivision behind Curran's Hill — Lot 627
The 34ha area of land includes the hills to the south of Currans Hill changing it from an environmental zone to a residential zone. The area includes the Upper Sydney Canal. The developer then aimed to add 180 new lots to this area. Council officers recommended refusal.
Moved Peter Sidgreaves. Seconded Paul Farrow.
It was very hard to hear with the crowd filing out after the Grima Bros success but Cr Peter Sidgreaves opposed the development due to the increased density and the impact this would have on surrounding roads. He also noted that this area was a transitional zone and it should be maintained as such.
Cr Cindy Cagney agreed with Cr Sidgreaves. Again it was very hard to hear but Cr Cagney recalled her experience of driving in the area where the rezoning was proposed and felt that the amenity of current residents would be seriously impacted if this subdivision was to go ahead.
Cr Lara Symkowiak also supported a refusal. She felt it would be an overdevelopment of the site and the minimum lot size had not been outlined. She did not like the idea of taking away environmental zones and the current intention was to maintain a transition zone in this area. Cr Symkowiak was also concerned about access, as this would be through Currans Hill and there Would be significant impacts on current residents.
ORD06: Pecuniary interest returns — July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017
This is a fairly standard annual order of business where the pecuniary interest of councillors is tabled.
Moved to Theresa Fedeli. Seconded Cindy Cagney.
Cr Theresa Fedeli said this was just a report that had to be made.
ORD07: Heritage Advisory Committee — draft terms of reference
This is the draft defining terms for the committee. The committee will be an advisory body only under these terms and all members will be appointed on a voluntary basis. It will not be delegated to act on behalf of the Council or if you to make decisions or spend money.
Moved Cindy Cagney. Seconded Theresa Fedeli.
Cr Cindy Cagney started by thanking the other councillors for their support and Council offices for helping get the process this far along. She hoped it would be a positive and beneficial committee for the community. She then asked if the Council needed to nominate people for the committee at this time or later.
Cr Symkowiak said at this point no, the positions were only going out for expressions of interest.
Cr Cagney said she was heartened by the positive debate around the committee and was glad that everyone was moving forward together.
Cr Eva Campbell spoke for the recommendation. She said she would support the committee on the grounds that anything was better than nothing. However, she felt the large heritage expertise of the community was still, for the most part, being bypassed in regards to the terms of reference for this committee.
ORD08: Lease of a road reserve adjoining 52 Camden Valley Way, Elderslie
The residents of this home, as noted in the public addresses above, needed to build a fence around their 1920s cottage. However, they would have to build this on Council land and as such have requested a short-term lease that would enable them to build a 1920s style fence.
Moved Cindy Cagney. Seconded Peter Sidgreaves.
Cr Cindy Cagney said following a council briefing that she was impressed by the proposed fence and that it would improve the entrance road to Camden.
Cr Peter Sidgreaves supported the lease, saying he thought they were doing the right thing giving the residents an opportunity to improve the look with a fence that was in sympathy with the period of the home. He said he thought it was a massive improvement to the entrance of Camden in the Council should help to allow it to happen.
Cr Michael Morrison had a question. He said he noted that the lease would be indexed annually and he wanted to know what that indexation figure might be.
Mr Reynolds said it would be indexed according to CPI.
Cr Morrison then wanted to know whether GST was included in the leasing amount they had before them.
Mr Reynolds said that would need to be changed to remove the GST costs.
Cr Morrison then asked to clarify if the figure he had front was an actual cost.
Mr Reynolds said that was correct.
Passed unanimously to the delight of a small family that quietly cheered and hugged one another.
ORD09: Construction of the playground at Queen Street Reserve, Narellan
Tenders had been received for this and Perfection Landscape Services was the selected company. The item was just to confirm that recommendation.
Moved Paul Farrow. Seconded Cindy Cagney.
Cr Paul Farrow noted this item had been out for community consultation that it was the removal of an outdated playground for a new Medieval playground that he thought would benefit the community. He fully supported the motion.
ORD10: Improving use of Camden Civic Centre
This order of business was to review a report showing plans in the short, medium and long-term to improve the use of Camden Civic Centre.
Moved Paul Farrow. Seconded Michael Morrison.
Cr Paul Farrow asked to add an amendment in keeping with the recommendation by Council officers. He asked to add a further point (2b) to the short to medium term options. This was:
Resolve that Council officers prepare a submission for Council’s consideration as part of the 2018/19 budget process for the purpose of allocating funds for a report into increasing the usage of the performance and gallery spaces on the upper floor of the Civic Centre.
Cr Michael Morrison agreed to the amendment.
Cr Paul Farrow said he was pleased with the report produced by the Council officers and their vision for the Centre. He felt it captured the essence of the original motion it also showed that the Civic Centre was being well used. He felt the report showed that this could continue to be the case and could even expand further. He commended the staff for their work and felt that allocating a small amount of funds to improve the Undercroft, as they recommended, was a good idea. He said he hoped the amendment that he had put forward tonight showed that there were some long-term concepts that they would be looking at.
Cr Michael Morrison spoke in support of the report. He echoed Cr Farrow's thoughts and supported the amendment. He noted that usage of the Centre had increased by 32% over the past four years and that it was headed in the right direction.
Cr Cindy Cagney spoke in support of the amended recommendation. She wholeheartedly supported the amended recommendation. She noted that there had been clubs venues opening in and around Camden but not one had an area that could accommodate a large crowd for any sort of occasion that included arts or performance in the way that the Civic Centre could. She felt it was an opportunity to capitalise on the fact that there were no venues of its size. Because there were no clubs that had a period of such a size she thought the future for the Civic Centre was positive.
Cr Paul Farrow spoke again in his right of reply. He picked up on the comments by other councillors and noted that many short-term items had already been done. He said the Centre staff needed to be applauded for the increasing usage considering what they had to work with. It was clear that they had been working in a not very technically savvy environment and had overcome this obstacle well. He noted the planned improvement of technology was likely to help even more. He noted one of the potential uses for the Undercroft was to create a space similar to the hub in Oran Park, which could work for businesses. Cr Farrow Hope that some of the long-term plans could become medium-term, which would allow the Centre to capture more performing arts and in doing so bring more business to the captain CBD.
ORD10: Notice of Motion — Installation of a new toilet block (and shade structure) at the playground located in Burrel Rd, Spring Farm
This motion was put forward by Cr Peter Sidgreaves, following his visit to the park and requests from local residents.
Moved Peter Sidgreaves. Seconded Theresa Fedeli.
Cr Peter Sidgreaves explained why he put forward this notice of motion, saying his wife had been on Facebook when she came across comments regarding the park, which people were “raving about”. However, two consistent themes continued to re-occur in the comments. They were the lack of a toilet block and some kind of shade area. He said the addition of these two items would enhance what was already a great community playground.
Cr Sidgreaves also wanted a further addition after it was noted by some residents that the bins at the park were already full by lunchtime. He asked if the Council could either increase the number of bins or have more regular collections.
In addition, a resident mentioned that alcoholic bottles had been left in the park on a Saturday morning. He said he didn't want to see this kind of thing happening at a children's park and asked if the facility was on the police "tasking list".
Mr Capaldi wanted clarification if Cr Sidgreaves meant an alcohol free zone.
Cr Sidgreaves explained that he meant a police patrol in the evenings to ensure that was misbehaving. The question that was then referred to the General Manager.
The General Manager said they would check with police and ask for it to be added to the tasking list.
Cr Sidgreaves said he hoped councillors would support the additions to what is already a great park.
Cr Cindy Cagney spoke in support of the notice of motion. She asked if there could be some form of community input into the type of shade structures that would be installed. She said this related to the demographics of the area noting that at Birriwa Park the shade structure was over barbecue areas. During a recent holiday to Watsons Bay she visited a park where the shade structure was definitely for small children. For this reason she hoped there would be some community feedback that could enable the most appropriate shade structure to be installed.
A Council officer said they could to a community consultation in regards to the shade structure.
Cr Paul Farrow had a question. He wanted to know if it was worthwhile putting in the additional bins, alcohol free zone and police tasking issues as an amendment.
Cr Peter Sidgreaves said he did not think it was necessary as councillors and Council staff should be working as a team anyway. He said he understood there was an expectation from the community about being open about what was proposed during the meeting but he didn't think it was necessary. He was happy for the amendment to go ahead of others did feel that way but he noted that the General Manager and directors had taken his comments on board and he was sure they would be carried out.
Cr Symkowiak then sought a comment from the General Manager.
The General Manager said, he was fine by whatever the council decided. However, he was quite happy to report back to the councillors via the Council update or any other form that the councillors may desire.
Cr Sidgreaves was happy with that alternative.
Cr Michael Morrison then had a question. He was supportive of the notice of motion but had questions as to how a toilet block and shade structure were missed in the first instance. He wanted to know if the park was part of the developer’s original planning agreement.
A Council officer said that was correct.
Cr Morrison then asked how a part of that significant size was approved without a toilet block or a shade structure.
A Council officer said the developers were not obliged to include these as part of the park under the contribution plan and had actually delivered over above what was required for the level of play space that was there.
Cr Morrison said he did not think that that was good enough. He couldn't understand how you could have a park with equipment for very young children we didn't have facilities that allowed you to change a nappy all other girls or for other boys who needed to go to the toilet. He said this kind of thing needed to be worked out in advance. He asked how many other parks constructed by developers in this area may go without toilets.
A Council officer said this was being reviewed at the moment and that recommendations would be brought forward to deal with this issue.
Cr Morrison said he believed such a recommendation was a good thing and that it was important that such additions were part of future for local parks whether or not it was currently part of the agreement. He said while it was great to have these lovely spaces, it was not the developer who would get the blame if important facilities were missing. He said the Council accepted kudos for these parks but in school holidays when there are no toilets or shade on a hot day these were issues that needed to be addressed. Cr Morrison said in the future this had to change and he applauded the Council officers who were reviewing the process. "I don't want to see this happening again," he said.
Cr Lara Symkowiak spoke in support of the notice of motion. She agreed with Cr Morrison's questions and said she would have asked exactly the same he had not. She understood that the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) was done many years ago, so this was likely the reason for the absence of toilets and shade. She asked Miss Magurren if this was indeed the case.
Mr Magurren said she would have to take the question on notice as she did not know when the VPA was adopted.
Cr Symkowiak said she saw the same comments on Facebook and had a similar reaction to Cr Morrison. She had assumed that VPA was done 5 to 10 years ago but that basic amenities like toilets should be provided, as the Council had done at Birriwa Park. "It was just common sense to provide two toilets," she said. She noted the water play parks and the other parks proposed by the Council had amenities already included. She said toilets will of course be a big priority for all future parks that attracted regular to large amounts of people. She commended Cr Sidgreaves for his notice of motion and said it would be well received within the community.