At the same time as Council prepares to return for its first sitting of the year, a major item from last year remains high on the current agenda.
“At December’s final Council meeting, Councillors voted to not amend the Wingecarribee Local Environment Plan in respect to re-zoning of the Coomungie and Chelsea Gardens urban release area,” Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Councillor Larry Whipper said.
“We requested that the Minister for Planning not proceed with the proposal which would see up to 1500 new dwellings built on the outskirts of Moss Vale, and at the same time indicated that Council will submit a proposal to remove the properties known Chelsea Gardens and Coomungie from the Urban Releases Area map under the Council’s Local Environmental Plan for the Shire.
“At this stage we’re awaiting word from the Minister on our resolution.”
A previous attempt by Council to remove the site from the Urban Release Area map was refused by the Department in 2010.
The request to the Minister seeks to retain the current zoning of the site as RU2 Rural Landscape instead of amending it to R2 Low Density Residential which would allow lot sizes starting at 450 square metres in area.
“The feedback from numerous petitions, exhibitions and public meetings was that the general Moss Vale community does not support this proposal in its current form,” the Mayor said.
“Councillors have listened to the community and we support their position,” the Mayor added. “It’s for this reason we ask that the Department of Planning remove the land from its Urban Release Area listing.”
Following the December resolution the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has sought additional information including revised estimates of local housing and demand which was submitted by Council in mid-January.
“We believe that there is sufficient supply of zoned land both within the town and village propers and in recently rezoned release areas to meet the demand for housing for at least the next 15 to 20 years.”
The justification arguments submitted to the Department of Planning and Environment included the recent release of 500 residential lots in and around the township of Moss Vale including releases at Farnborough and Darraby Estates and Broughton Street.
“Council will continue to support appropriate residential development and growth across the Shire,” the Mayor added. “But at this point in time we see no need for such an extensive development.”
“We also agree with the majority of our community that this proposal is simply too big and out of character for Moss Vale and the greater Southern Highlands and will place significant strain on existing infrastructure within and surrounding the Moss Vale township.”
A decision by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment on the Coomungie and Chelsea Gardens planning proposal is expected in the coming weeks.