Few applications heard by council, fewer rejected

Letters forum

Your reporter states that “‘Under Mr Ian Reynolds’ administration, the 50 submissions policy was adopted by Council”.

Reynolds was the “council” and the 50 figure declared by Reynolds, without debate, no reasons given. Cr Bruce McLachlan said: “Councillors are not trained town planners and should not impede the business of the council.” “I have concerns about the implications that this will have on council staff, resources, extra expense to ratepayers, slowing down DA approvals, costing people time and money,” said Cr Jilly Pillon. It should be pointed out that if DAs put to the council are complying developments, the community usually has no avenue for objection and you would have to have some compelling reason to convince a councillor to take it to the council.

It was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on January 16 under the heading “The councils most likely to refuse renovation plans”, that, in the years 2014 to 2016, Gosford councillors decided 99 applications while the staff (doing what they are paid to do) decided 3739 applications. In the financial year 2014 to the financial year of 2016, Gosford council refused less than one percent of applications that came to it. Cr McLachlan’s facetious statement that he is “looking forward to the garden sheds and carports in future meetings” illustrates the ignorance of the councillors who are trying to remove the residents from the decision-making in our council.

Shame on them. Garden sheds and carports are exempt developments and you can have both and more up to 20 metres square each. Mosman “refers after three objections,” according to Mosman Mayor Carolyn Corrigan in the Sydney Morning Herald report.

Email, 30 Jan 2018 Bryan Ellis, Umina