Ku-ring-gai Council Town Centres

Friday, 22 June 2007

The Member for Davidson Jonathan O’Dea has supported the Mayor of Ku-ring-gai Council Nick Ebbeck’s call for Planning Minister Frank Sartor to recognise the dramatic improvement in planning and development matters by council.

Councillor Ebbeck sought Mr Sartor’s support when assessing council’s six centre plans and its request to regain planning controls over dual occupancy developments.

Mr O’Dea said since the new council was elected in 2004 median times for processing development applications has fallen from 134 days in 2003 to 56 days now.

“Development applications on hand have been slashed from over 1000 in 2003 to 330 and Council’s legal bills for planning matters have been slashed by 60 per cent from $2.3 million to $970,000 this year,” Mr O’Dea said.

“Council has achieved a huge reduction in the number of Land and Environment Court appeals from 128 in 2003/04 to only 39 in 2006/07 which shows the new council has got its act together in development matters.

“I have a motion before parliament seeking the government’s recognition of Ku-ring-gai Council’s efforts in this regard and I fully support Councillor Ebbeck’s call for an exemption from SEPP 53.

“Council has become a responsible body which has pruned costs and vastly improved development application and other planning services to its constituency and this deserves to be properly acknowledged,” Mr O’Dea said.

“I agree with the Mayor when he said Mr Sartor’s approval of the six centre plans that form stage two of Ku-ring-gai’s residential strategy will ensure Ku-ring-gai meets its targets under the government’s Metropolitan Strategy. If anything, Council has gone too far, faced with heavy-handed pressure from the State Labor Government. Many local residents are concerned about these proposals.

“This Council appears to have done everything asked of it by Mr Sartor and deserves a positive response from the Minister. If the Minister has ongoing concerns then these should be clearly and transparently detailed for public scrutiny.”