No limit to high-handed council behaviour
It seems there is no limit to the high-handed behaviour of the Council and the bureaucratic machinery that adjudicate on the future environment of the Peninsula.
The latest outrage is a proposal by the Planning Panel to increase building densities along the Ettalong beachfront, without even a hint or pretence of consultation with the community ("Planning panel supports 17m high beachfront rezoning", PN 522).
According to the report, this proposal "was not listed on the Panel's agenda" but was based on "material presented by Council officers (actually, servants) at the briefing meeting", so the plan was kept completely secret from the public and rushed to the subsequent Council meeting, before anybody could possibly raise an objection or make a comment.
According to the Panel, the proposal has "site-specific merit", but we are not told what this merit is, since all the related material is being kept secret from us.
The Panel, also, comments that any development should provide "acceptable" separations and setbacks, without saying what is acceptable, and that "design excellence" should be a factor, without saying what this could possibly mean.
Given the horrendous examples of the Mantra and Atlantis buildings, it is not difficult to imagine the kind of monstrosities that will sail through approval on the basis of design excellence.
The two excrescences that we have now are bad enough, but imagine the entire waterfront overshadowed by similar structures: according to our LEP, Ettalong is supposed to have a village character, but what we're talking about is a mini Gold Coast.
Can anyone doubt that, if this action goes ahead, it will be the basis for future proposals of a similar kind, based on "precedence"?
Can anyone doubt that the Panel will look favourably on such proposals?
This kind of out-of-scale rebuilding is completely unnecessary in Ettalong and merely reflects developer greed and Council disdain for local opinion.
If this is an example of our Administrator Mark 3's behaviour, the next 18 months don't look promising.
Email, 5 Jul 2021
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy.