“Whats next……” I hear you cry?
An excellent question and one that deserved an answer before now – apologies for not doing this earlier.
Without rewriting the Hills Shire Council webpage on the DA process http://www.thehills.nsw.gov.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/DA_communications_protocol_2008.pdf the next stage of the process will be that the notes from the “conciliation meeting” will be sent to all those parties who registered on the night – providing of course your handwriting is legible – we’ll post them here as soon as we get them and they’re expected about now. It’s important to remember these are “notes” only, not minutes and have no legal or binding status. Council have been provided copies of all of our speeches plus other submissions on the night plus have all of our collective submissions on file. Parallel to this the Developer will be advised of the issues raised on the night.
Council basically has 3 levels fpr determination of DA’s;
- Under Delegated Authority (standard stuff that meets the guidelines, basic renos, carports, signage etc)
- Council’s Development Assessment Unit (DAU) meeting. Development applications determined by the DAU are those which do not comply with the relevant planning regulations/ policies, and/or where an objection has been submitted.
- Ordinary Meeting of the Council. Development applications determined by the elected Council are those of a controversial nature that may have been referred by the DAU or attracted a large volume of objections.
Obviously this DA will go to the DAU – the DAU may choose one/any/many of 4 basic options;
- Deny consent in total. Developer can challenge in Land & Environment Court.
- Grant consent in total – DA as submitted.
- Grant consent subject to conditions/terms.
- Refer the matter directly to a council meeting.
The minutes and applicable decisions of the DAU (Tuesday morning closed meeting) are published and Councillors have a limited timeframe to decide whether to refer the matter to a council meeting or not depending on the DAU decision. We need to be ready to lobby councillors QUICKLY should the decision be against us, ie 2, 3 or 4 as above. It’s highly likely however, given the “interest” generated that this will go straight to council. It’s imperative that we have a good showing at any meeting, normal BRAG rules apply – no uncontrolled emotion, swearing, yelling or handguns.
Once we know what the determination of DA is the next challenge for us will be the lobbying of Council [and other parties] to get the Reserve rezoned or protected under the current zoning – we will all need to meet to discuss a strategy further down the track.
Please keep visiting the website for updates and if you haven’t already done so, register your details via the contacts page. Please ask any questions you may have and any suggestions, news, views etc always welcome.