Peninsula Chamber of Commerce President, Mr Matthew Wales, said the Chamber was opposed to Central Coast Council’s decision to reduce the number of submission from 50 to 15 for a development application to be referred to a Council meeting.
It is calling for the decision to be reversed.
“This is the last thing this council needs because it is simply going to choke up council meetings like the bad old days with development applications that have been referred to the meeting because of the number of objections,” Mr Wales said.
“The chamber’s view is that the staff should be able to undertake their jobs and merit assess these applications without having to constantly refer them to council meetings that adds weeks to the approval process,” he said.
“Further to that, any two councillors can request an application come back to a council meeting regardless of the number of objections if they feel that application needs to be debated.
“So, once again, we are seeing a slowdown in the process which is going to further impede the orderly development we need in this city when we can’t even meet our current housing requirements.
“If it is a set of units, for instance, and it gets more than 15 objections, which is not difficult, then that set of villas or townhouses goes to a council meeting and that adds a month to the approval process.
“We have found from experience that a lot of the submissions that are made are not well founded and it is a requirement of the staff to consider only those objections that have a sound planning basis.
“But in this case, just because you don’t like something, that sort of objection should not carry the same weight as an objection due to non-compliance.
“I was happy with the 50 submissions because councillors always had the right to call an application up anyway so I thought that was reasonable, knowing there was an ability to refer a matter.”
“This is not the time for us to be throwing additional hurdles in front of a development.
“We are better and cleverer than that and the staff are eminently qualified to make merit based decision,” Mr Wales said.
Interview, 11 Jan 2018
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Reporter: Jackie Pearson