The Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) has recommended that a planning proposal to re-zone a parcel of rural land at South West Rocks to residential move forward to gateway determination.
The matter went before the November Kempsey Shire Council meeting.
The site comprises a 12.3 hectare portion of land which adjoins the golf course and sewage treatment plant to the west and National Park along the western boundary.
Council accepted the NRPP's invitation to be the planning proposal authority over the proposal.
The significant proposal includes changes to the lot size and height of buildings.
While council said it is restricted from making major decisions this close to the election, the window of opportunity required this decision to be made which constitutes only a step on the path for the application.
Council emphasised that they were not approving the application, merely ensuring their involvement in the state government decision process.
At the ordinary council meeting on February 3, 2009 a planning proposal to rezone the land known as "Saltwater", which included the subject lot, from rural and environmental zoning to residential and environmental zoning to enable future residential subdivision was considered, a council report said.
Council resolved that re-zoning proceed except for the portion of land now under consideration which was deemed a 'Deferred Area' under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act). The site remains undeveloped.
A pre-lodgement meeting was held with the proponents on October 21, 2020 to discuss a proposed rezoning of the subject site to R1 General Residential.
Council officers recommended that any future planning proposal be delayed until the revised Local Growth Management Plan (LGMS) for the Shire and the South West Rocks Structure Plan were determined; and noise and odour modelling for the sewage treatment plant regarding the reduced 150m buffer proposed was complete, the report said.
On February 16, 2021, the proponent lodged a re-zoning planning proposal for the site requesting additional permitted uses on the land for recreational facilities - indoor, outdoor and major. A further requested amendment sought consent for development of tourist and visitor accommodation that exceeds the 8.5m building height standard.
The 'permitted uses' were removed in May after a meeting with council which was followed by a proponent request for a rezoning review through the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE). The proponent claimed council had failed to indicate its support for the planning proposal within 90 days of lodgement.
The Northern Regional Planning Panel conducted a review in August and determined that the proposal has strategic merit as the site is within an urban growth area boundary, an identified urban investigation area and avoids areas of potentially high environmental value and risk.
The review also found that the proposal would be compatible with the adjoining residential land and will help to provide a greater housing supply and choice.
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