Homing in on zoning

ZONINGS applied to land parcels do not confer automatic rights to develop the land, says Cr Rod McKelvey.

The former Coffs Harbour City Council deputy mayor has a special interest in following the progress of Northern Beaches land parcels which have been ‘in the pipeline’ of the planning process for many years.

“Zonings mean nothing except that one day you can put in a development application,” Mr McKelvey said.

He is especially interested in the arguments being advanced to explain the concept approval for a development of up to 200 residential blocks at Hearne’s Lake by State Planning Minister Tony Kelly under the Part 3A process, cutting across Coffs Harbour City Council’s decision to limit development on the low-lying site to 35 blocks.

A moratorium on Northern Beaches development was put in place to allow completion of water and sewerage infrastructure and studies were begun in the 1990s he said, but not completed in time for LEP 2000.

Mr McKelvey said landowners were told at a developers’ forum in 2002-03 what land capability studies showed, including the constraints on development at Hearnes Lake, so anyone subsequently buying the land would have bought in the full knowledge of what was happening.

The local environment plan for the area was halted by the Department of Planning in 2006 because a Part 3A application had been submitted, so council had to cease work until the DoP had made a decision.

That decision was handed down by the Minister on December 21, 2010.

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