Insulting to building industry and council planners

Letters forum

I don’t normally waste my time answering petty criticism of myself but Bruce Hyland’s letter, Democracy Needed in Planning Process, (Peninsula News, February 12) deserves a reply if only to put paid to his insults to me, those in the building industry and to hard working Council planning staff.

Mr Hyland seems to think that he is the design guru when it comes to judging developments such as the Atlantis at Ettalong, the Sporties redevelopment at Woy Woy and the proposed commercial/ residential development at West Street in Umina.

His sophisticated response is that these are “shonky” developments that contribute to the “uglification” of the Peninsula. Not only is this insulting to those who take significant capital risk in designing and building such developments, it also insulting to hard working Council staff who assess and liaise with applicants to ensure that such developments meet all the required codes and standards. Clearly, Mr Hyland has no confidence in the ability of Council staff to process such applications which, in my experience, is exactly the opposite. Council’s planning staff are some of the best in local government and whilst we don’t always get what we want, the staff are always fair, reasonable and diligent in their assessment process. As for the argument over the lower thresholds for public submissions on new developments, Mr Hyland conveniently forgets that any two Councillors can call up an application to a Council Meeting whether it has one objection or 1000 objections.

Email, 20 Feb 2018 Matthew Wales, Umina

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