6 December 2007

 

Dear Councillor,

In pursuance of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 and the Regulations thereunder, notice is hereby given that a POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING of Penrith City Council is to be held in the Passadena Room, Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith on Monday 10 December 2007 at 7:30pm.

Attention is directed to the statement accompanying this notice of the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting.

Yours Faithfully

 

 

Alan Travers

General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.           APOLOGIES

 

2.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of absence has been granted to:

Councillor Susan Page - 5 November 2007 to 17 December 2007 inclusive.

Councillor Karen McKeown - 10 December 2007 to 11 December 2007 inclusive.

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 19 November 2007.

 

4.           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Pecuniary Interest (The Act requires Councillors who declare a pecuniary interest in an item to leave the meeting during discussion of that item)

Non-Pecuniary Interest

 

5.           ADDRESSING THE MEETING

 

6.           MAYORAL MINUTES

 

7.           NOTICES OF MOTION

 

8.           ADOPTION OF REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATION OF COMMITTEES

 

9.           MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

10.         URGENT REPORTS (to be dealt with in the master program to which the item relates)

 

11.         QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

 

12.         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE


POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Monday 10 December 2007

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

master program reports

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEETING CALENDAR

February 2007 - December 2007

 

 

TIME

FEB

MAR

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Ordinary Meetings

7.30 pm

12

5

 

7v

25*

2

 

3ü

15

5

3

 

26

23

28

 

23

13

24^

 

 

17

Policy Review Committee

7.30 pm

 

12

2@

 

4

9

 

10

8

19#

10

19#+

 

30

21#

 

30

20#+

 

29@

 

 

 

#    Meetings at which the Management Plan ¼ly  reviews are presented.

^     Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor [only business]

#+  General Manager’s presentation – half year and end of year review

@   Strategic Program progress reports [only business]

v   Meeting at which the Draft Management Plan is adopted for exhibition

ü    Meeting at which the 2006/2007 Annual Statements are presented

*     Meeting at which the Management Plan for 2007/2008 is adopted

 

 

-                 Council’s Ordinary Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Extraordinary Meetings are held as required.

-                 Policy Review Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Members of the public are invited to observe meetings of the Council (Ordinary and Policy Review Committee).  All meetings start at 7:30pm.

-                 Should you wish to address Council, please contact the Public Officer, Glenn McCarthy on 47327649

 

 


UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

 OF THE POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING OF PENRITH CITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE PASSADENA ROOM, PENRITH

ON MONDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2007 AT 7:36PM

PRESENT

His Worship the Mayor Councillor Greg Davies, Councillors Kaylene Allison, David Bradbury, Kevin Crameri OAM, Mark Davies (arrived 7:56pm), Ross Fowler, Karen McKeown, Garry Rumble, Pat Sheehy AM, Steve Simat (arrived 7:56pm) and John Thain.

 

APOLOGIES

PRC 111  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy AM that apologies be received and accepted from Councillors Jim Aitken, Lexie Cettolin, Mark Davies, Jackie Greenow and Steve Simat.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of Absence was previously granted to Councillor Susan Page for the period 5 November 2007 to 17 December 2007 inclusive.

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 29 October 2007

PRC 112  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor John Thain that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 29 October 2007 be confirmed.

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor Ross Fowler declared a Pecuniary Interest in Item 2 – Draft Riverlink Precinct Plan as he is a Director of a company that owns property in the Plan area.  Councillor Fowler declared his intention to leave the meeting during debate and voting on this matter.

 

Councillor Karen Mc Keown declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 5 – Penrith Whitewater Stadium – Annual Report and Board of Directors, as she is a Director of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd.

 

Councillor Garry Rumble declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 5 – Penrith Whitewater Stadium – Annual Report and Board of Directors, as he is a Director of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd.

 

Councillor Ross Fowler declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 5 – Penrith Whitewater Stadium – Annual Report and Board of Directors, as he is a Director of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd.

 

Councillor John Thain declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 6 – City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd – Annual Report and Board of Directors, as he is a Director of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd.

 

His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Greg Davies declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 6 – City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd – Annual Report and Board of Directors, as he is a Director of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd.

 

Councillor Ross Fowler declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest in Item 6 – City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd – Annual Report and Board of Directors, as he is a Director of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd.

 

MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

1        2007-2008 Management Plan - September Quarter Review                                           

PRC 113  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy AM

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on 2007-2008 Management Plan - September Quarter Review be received

2.     The 2007-2008 Management Plan Review as at 30 September 2007, including the revised estimates identified in the recommended budget, be adopted

3.     The recommended reallocations to projects and amendments to Key Performance Indicators, Strategic Tasks and Service Improvements detailed in the report be adopted.

 

15      Annual Report 2006-2007                                                                                                  

PRC 114  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Annual Report 2006-2007 be received

2.     The draft 2006-07 Annual Report be endorsed and submitted to the Department of Local Government

3.     The staff who worked on the Annual Report be congratulated for producing an excellent report.

 

Councillor Mark Davies arrived, the time being 7:56pm.

 

Councillor Steve Simat arrived, the time being 7:56pm.

 

THE CITY AS A SOCIAL PLACE

 

5        Penrith Whitewater Stadium - Annual Report and Board of Directors                           

PRC 115  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM seconded Councillor Steve Simat

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Penrith Whitewater Stadium - Annual Report and Board of Directors be received

2.     Councillors Pat Sheehy and Garry Rumble be appointed to fill the vacancies that occurred at the Ninth Annual General Meeting of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd

3.     Council agree to underwrite the operation of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd until the presentation to Council of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd Annual Report for 2007-08

4.     Council congratulate the Board of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd on their success and achievements over the 12 months to the end of June 2007.

 

6        City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd - Annual Report and Board of Directors                                                                                                                             

PRC 116  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor David Bradbury

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd - Annual Report and Board of Directors be received

2.     His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Greg Davies, Mr John Cottee, Mr Rodney Watson and Mrs Lynette Crossley be appointed to fill the vacancy that occurred at the Thirteenth Annual General Meeting of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd

3.     Council agree to underwrite the operations of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd until the presentation to Council of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd Annual Report for 2007/08

4.     Council congratulate the Board of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre on their success and achievements over the 12 months to end of June 2007.

 

7        Caddens draft Local Environmental Plan - Boundary Amendment                                 

PRC 117  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Caddens draft Local Environmental Plan - Boundary Amendment be received

2.     Council resolve to prepare and exhibit a draft Local Environmental Plan for the Caddens Release Area in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and Regulations, as shown on the map appended to the report

3.     Council advise the Department of Planning of its resolution in accordance with Section 54 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act

4.     Council advise relevant government agencies of its resolution and seek their advice on the matter in accordance with section 62 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act.

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

Having previously declared a Pecuniary Interest in Item 2, Councillor Ross Fowler left the meeting, the time being 8:18pm.

 

2        Draft Riverlink Precinct Plan                                                                                            

PRC 118  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Mark Davies

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Draft Riverlink Precinct Plan  be received

2.     The land owners in the Riverlink Precinct be consulted and invited to comment on the draft Riverlink Precinct Plan

3.     The outcomes of the consultation process be reported to a Policy Review Committee Meeting or Councillor Briefing prior to any future determination by Council.

 

3        Rezoning Application - Orchard Hills Preparatory School, Bringelly Road, Orchard Hills     

PRC 119  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Karen McKeown

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Rezoning Application - Orchard Hills Preparatory School, Bringelly Road, Orchard Hills, be received

2.     Pursuant to section 54 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Regulation, Council prepare and exhibit an amendment to Sydney Regional Environmental Plan 25 –Orchard Hills for Lots 201 & 202 DP1021191, and Lots 11 & 12 DP1037710 Bringelly Road, Orchard Hills.

3.     Council seek a “Written Authorisation to Exercise Delegation’ from the Director-General of the Department of Planning, to exhibit the draft amendment pursuant to section 65 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Regulation.

 

Councillor Ross Fowler returned to the meeting, the time being 8:23pm.

 

4        Rezoning Proposals for Vincent Road, Cranebrook and The Northern Road, Glenmore Park        

PRC 120  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Rezoning Proposals for Vincent Road, Cranebrook and The Northern Road, Glenmore Park be received

2.     For the reasons outlined in this report, Council request the Department of Planning not to proceed with the submission of the rezoning proposals for consideration by the Metropolitan Development Program Land Supply CEOs group

3.     Council formally oppose the listing of the sites on the Metropolitan Development Program or their consideration as a Major Project under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act

4.     Council request further dialogue with the Department of Planning in relation to the process for securing rezonings outside of the existing Local Planning framework and statutory arrangements

5.     The Mayor write to the Premier of New South Wales, The Hon. Morris Iemma MP and copy Minister for Planning, The Hon. Frank Sartor MP expressing Councils extreme concern about the State Government’s process which allows rezonings to be sought from the Government completely outside of the Local Plan process.

 

The City as a Social Place

 

8        Werrington Enterprise Living and Learning (WELL) Precinct - Draft Section 94 Development Contributions Plan                                                                                                              

PRC 121  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Garry Rumble

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on theWerrington Enterprise Living and Learning (WELL) Precinct - Draft Section 94 Development Contributions Plan be received

2.     In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Regulations 2000, the WELL Precinct Draft Section 94 Development Contributions Plan be publicly exhibited for an extended period between early December 2007 and 31 January 2008

3.     A further report be presented to Council, following public exhibition of the draft Section 94 Development Contributions Plan, advising of the outcomes of the exhibition and making further recommendations relating to the adoption of the final Plan

4.     The University of Western Sydney and Landcom be advised of Council’s decision.

 

9        Werrington Enterprise Living and Learning (WELL) Precinct - Community Consultation      

PRC 122  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Garry Rumble that the information contained in the report on Werrington Enterprise Living and Learning (WELL) Precinct - Community Consultation be received.

 

10      Erskine Business Park - Amendment to  Section 94 Development Contributions Plan

PRC 123  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM seconded Councillor Steve Simat

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Erskine Business Park - Amendment to  Section 94 Development Contributions Plan  be received

2.     Council place the Erskine Business Park draft Development Contributions Plan 2007, as attached to this report, on Public Exhibition in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (as amended) and Regulations 2000

3.     A further report be submitted to Council following exhibition and assessment of the submissions made during the exhibition of the Erskine Business Park draft Development Contributions Plan 2007

4.     A memo be provided to all Councillors providing an update on the status of the NSW Department of Plannings’ approval process for the Erskine Business Park “link road” to the M7.

 

11      Smoke Free Outdoor Policy and Cancer Incidence Mapping                                          

PRC 124  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Mark Davies

That:

1.      The information contained in the report on Smoke Free Outdoor Policy and Cancer Incidence Mapping be received

2.      A further report be presented to Council outlining the outcomes of the ‘Pilot Program’ for Smoke Free outdoor areas

3.      A further report be presented to Council providing further details on where specifically new signs are proposed to be placed in outdoor areas, taking into account the need for public safety around the signs.  The report is also to outline which direction it is proposed to face the signs, for example, facing toward the 10m area around the playground or facing away from the 10m area around the playground.

 

The City In Its Environment

 

12      Penrith City Biodiversity Conservation                                                                            

PRC 125  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor David Bradbury seconded Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM

That:

1.      The information contained in the report on Penrith City Biodiversity Conservation  be received

2.      A further report be presented to Council on the range of incentives available to secure private landholdings in order to conserve remnant native vegetation that do not include acquisition.  The report is to include information on covenants, dedications, voluntary agreements and all other methods other than acquisition and how Council can take a leadership role in this matter.

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

13      Service Specification Program                                                                                           

PRC 126  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy AM seconded Councillor Steve Simat

That :

1.      The information contained in the report on Service Specification Program be received

2.      The Service Specification for the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Service be adopted

3.      The Service Specification for the Penrith Performing & Visual Arts Service be adopted.

 

14      Progress report on the Penrith City Council Business Continuity Plan                           

PRC 127  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy AM That the information contained in the report on Progress report on the Penrith City Council Business Continuity Plan be received.

 

16      Grants Support Officer Temporary Role                                                                          

PRC 128  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy AM

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Grants Support Officer Temporary Role be received

2.     The role of Grants Support Officer be endorsed by Council as a permanent role

3.     Council continue to receive update reports on the progress being made in this area.

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 8:51pm.

    



 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

1        Proposed draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1A) - Land in the vicinity of Great Western Highway and Gipps Street, Claremont Meadows

 

2        Required Amendments to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1)

 

The City as a Social Place

 

3        Penrith City District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan

 

4        Implementation of the Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy 

 

5        Glenmore Park Stage 1 Development Contributions Plan Review

 

6        Waterside Estate - Request to vary landscaped open space requirements

 

7        Deferred Lands Local Environmental Plan No.188 - Glenmore Park

 

8        Affordable Housing

 

The City In Its Environment

 

9        South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St site Master Plan

  

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

10      Penrith Fire District Boundaries

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

11      Proposed Policy on 'Advertising on Council Premises'

 

12      Strategic Plan Preparations and Community Engagement

 

13      Preparations and Financial Settings for the 2008-2009 Management Plan

 

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City in its Broader Context

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        Proposed draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1A) - Land in the vicinity of Great Western Highway and Gipps Street, Claremont Meadows

 

2        Required Amendments to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1)

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

1

Proposed draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1A) - Land in the vicinity of Great Western Highway and Gipps Street, Claremont Meadows   

 

Compiled by:                Tanya Jackson, Local Plan Team Leader

Brad Roeleven, Contract Planner

Authorised by:             Ruth Goldsmith, Local Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council's agreed strategies, where they relate to planning provisions, are implemented through the new Citywide Penrith Local Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan.

Critical Action: Develop the Citywide Penrith Local Plan and Development Control Plan by March 2009, as agreed with the Department of Planning.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of two rezoning applications for land adjacent to the Great Western Highway, Werrington, both of which seek to replace zonings under Penrith Local Environmental Plan 201 and Interim Development Order 93 with planning controls consistent with NSW Government planning reforms.  The report recommends that Council commence the preparation of the proposed draft plan, and seek comments from public agencies, prior to a further Briefing on the proposals and subsequent consideration as to whether they should be advanced.

 

Introduction

This report outlines two rezoning proposals, both of which are located in the general vicinity of the Great Western Highway in Werrington, and adjacent to Claremont Meadows.  They are described in this report as the Department of Planning lands and the Landcom site.

 

It was initially anticipated that these matters could be considered by Council and, if endorsed in principle, could have then been included in Stage 1 of the Penrith Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2008 and Penrith Development Control Plan (DCP) 2008.  The resources and focus needed to enable proper consideration of the accompanying planning studies, however, has meant that the applications could not be included with draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) in time for the proposed public exhibition.

 

The applicants have, in both cases, been working with Council officers to advance the proposals in a timely way, and it is unfortunate that they have not been able to be included in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  It is considered, however, that there are significant matters of relevance to the City in these applications, and there is merit in considering advancement of a ‘stand-alone’ rezoning process that enables full and public consideration of the proposals.

 

If endorsed by Council, and supported by the LEP Review Panel, this rezoning could be progressed concurrently with, but separate to, draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  Following public exhibition of the draft LEP, if endorsed, the subject land could be incorporated into draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) for gazettal.  Department of Planning officers have verbally indicated their support for this approach, and Council officers are currently seeking confirmation of this in writing.

Department of Planning lands

The first rezoning application covers 24 allotments in the South Creek Corridor at Werrington.  The properties are either owned by the Department of Planning (DoP), or compulsory acquisition arrangements are in place, thus requiring DoP to purchase the land.

 

In 2003, the Department of Planning reviewed the appropriateness of the Corridor boundaries, to identify the land that should be retained as open space, and those properties which were no longer considered to be needed as part of the corridor lands.  The initial proposal was considered at a Councillor Briefing on 31 July 2006, and further assessment of the proposal was supported.

 

The Department of Planning lodged its formal rezoning application on 13 August 2007.  Further supporting documentation was received on 31 August 2007.

The Site

The DoP lands comprise 24 separate allotments with a combined area of 9.34 hectares.  The sites are located along both sides of the Great Western Highway at Werrington, between the intersections with Werrington and Tennant Roads, and also in Water Street and Putland Road.  A location plan is appended to this report, with each of the 24 lots numbered.

 

A key feature in this precinct is the four heritage listed sites (three dwellings and a former tannery site).  Other current land uses within this precinct include a landscape supplies, fast food restaurant, smash repairs, service station and fuel depot.

 

With the exception of three allotments, the subject lands are zoned ‘5(d) Corridors’ under Penrith Local Environmental Plan 201 (LEP 201).  The objectives of that zone are to:

·        Provide land for recreation and community purposes

·        Provide a physical and visual buffer between urban areas

·        Set aside land for the development of services, facilities and special uses by public authorities for the benefit of the community.

 

Clause 26 of LEP 201 provides that the owner of any land zoned 5(d) may request, at any time, that the land be acquired by the Department of Planning.

 

Three of the allotments have a split zone, being part 5(d) under LEP 201 and part ‘1(d) Future Urban’ under Interim Development Order 93 (IDO 93).  The IDO does not prescribe any objectives for the ‘1(d) Future Urban’ zone but limits permissible uses to those that are consistent with preserving the land for future urban purposes.

Proposal

The rezoning submission nominates various zoning options for this precinct, using zones selected from the standard instrument prepared by DoP, and used in the preparation of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  The suggested zones include ‘R2 Low Density Residential’, ‘B4 Mixed Use’ or ‘B6 Enterprise Corridor’, and ‘SP1 Special Activity’ or ‘E2 Environmental Conservation’.

Landcom site

Council and Landcom have agreed to enter into a Planning Agreement which allows for land owned by Landcom at Brookfield Avenue, Werrington Downs to be transferred into Council’s ownership.  The Agreement recognised that Landcom would then seek to recover the value of that land by applying to rezone its land at Gipps Street, Claremont Meadows. 

 

A report on this matter was previously considered by Council at its meeting on 26 March 2007.  It is important to note that the Planning Agreement cannot fetter Council’s discretion in dealing with the rezoning application, which must be considered on its merits and in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

The Site

The Landcom application deals with a single allotment (Lot 2 DP 771697) of 4.84 hectares bounded by Gipps Street to the east, south and west, and the Great Western Highway to the north.  It is situated between the residential area of Claremont Meadows to the west, and the DoP precinct, described above, to the east.

 

The site is essentially level and clear of vegetation excepting isolated stands of trees at various points around the perimeter.  There is a small privately owned property to the east of the land, facing Gipps Street.  A location plan is appended to this report.

 

The site is wholly zoned ‘1(d) Future Urban’ under (IDO 93).  As noted above, the IDO does not prescribe any objectives for the ‘1(d) Future Urban’ zone but limits permissible uses to those that are consistent with preserving the land for future urban purposes.

Proposal

Council officers are still in the process of refining the standard LEP Template zones to best meet Penrith City’s context, and there is expected to be further changes to the standard zones introduced by DoP shortly.  Given these circumstances, it was considered premature for the applicant to nominate specific zones for the land.  Instead, the planning report accompanying this application has nominated a broad list of land uses that are considered, by the applicant, to be suitable in the context of the site’s location, characteristics, constraints and opportunities.

 

In general terms, the application proposes that the northern half of the site could accommodate employment, retail and service uses that would benefit from a Highway frontage.  The southern half of the site could be set aside for residential development, given its amenity, outlook, and proximity to open space, the University of Western Sydney and future employment opportunities in the nearby WELL Precinct.

Planning Assessment

A number of issues, identified during assessment of the proposals, will require resolution before the draft Local Environmental Plan (the draft plan) could proceed to exhibition.  These include traffic, land contamination, biodiversity, and flooding.  Theses issues affect the specific type and design of development on the sites, rather than the broader principles of the proposed rezoning.

There are also a number of key issues, relating to the two rezoning applications, that are outlined below.  These matters will require further discussion during the preparation of the draft plan, and may necessitate additional work by the proponents prior to finalising a draft plan for exhibition.

 

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act enables Council to resolve to formally commence the rezoning process, and consult with public authorities, without first determining which zones, or land uses, or specific planning controls, might be appropriate.  These matters can be further considered during the preparation of the draft Local Environmental Plan (the draft plan).

 

Given the range and complexity of issues relevant to these sites, it is suggested that the consideration of future zones for this area is advanced in stages.  The first stage would involve seeking the Department of Planning’s approval to prepare a draft plan, and consultation with public agencies.  The information provided through this process would be of benefit in guiding future decisions about these sites.

 

Following that consultation process the proposals, together with advice received from the agencies, would be presented to Councillors in a Briefing Session early in 2008.  Consideration of the relevant issues in the Briefing Session will enable Councillors to determine the appropriate process to progress the proposals from that time.

 

Following satisfactory resolution of relevant matters, Council may resolve to formally seek permission from the Director-General of the Department of Planning to exhibit the draft plan.

Suitability of land uses and zones

In principle, the introduction of a zone that permits ‘highway service’ type land uses could be reasonably considered in this precinct, provided that the outcome does not undermine the established ‘Centres Hierarchy’ for the City.  The zones that best reflect these uses at present are the ‘B6 Enterprise Corridor’ or ‘IN2 Light Industrial’ zones.  A determination of the most appropriate zone/s, however, needs to await the outcome of the expected DoP changes to the standard LEP Template.

Built form and landscape considerations

The South Creek Corridor acts as a physical and visual buffer between the urban areas of Claremont Meadows and St Marys, and has significant landscape, visual and scenic qualities.

 

Development controls that recognise these important landscape elements, and ensure the built form responds to any key views, vistas or visual connections, need to be drafted during the rezoning process.  The development controls should also address built form (including heritage curtilages), building heights, setbacks, parking, traffic management and parking.

 

Both proponents will be asked to prepare development controls for these matters, prior to the draft plan being reported to Council for public exhibition.

Heritage

There are no heritage items identified on the Landcom site.  The DoP precinct, however, contains four heritage items, being:

·        Dwelling house  (Rose Cottage - Site No. 24 - Water Street)

·        Dwelling house  (Torquay - Site No. 13 - Great Western Highway)

·        Dwelling house  (Four Winds - Site No. 28 - Great Western Highway)

·        Former Brell’s Tannery (Site Nos. 28-32 - Great Western Highway)

 

All four sites are listed heritage items under Penrith LEP 1991, and are proposed to be similarly recognised in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  The three dwellings are also listed under the Heritage Act, and Rose Cottage is also listed on the State Heritage Register.  In recognition of the heritage value within this precinct, the DoP application is accompanied by a cultural heritage and archaeological report.

 

The Cultural Heritage Analysis (CHA) report, by Paul Davies Pty Ltd, provides an assessment of the significance of the listed heritage sites, and a statement regarding the heritage impacts of the proposed rezoning.  The CHA report concludes that mixed use development could enhance the settings of the three dwellings; assist in their retention, restoration and adaptive reuse; and ensures revitalisation of the area.

 

The report by Austral Archaeology Pty Ltd identifies areas of potential archaeological sensitivity.  It concludes that while certain areas are likely to have a degree of sensitivity, there are no foreseeable limitations to the proposed rezoning, provided that future developments adopt appropriate strategies to mitigate impacts upon any archaeological resource.  Appropriate strategies for future development may include further investigation, interpretation and/or retention of relic’s in situ.  The report also recommends that areas of archaeological sensitivity should be incorporated within the proposed curtilages for Rose Cottage and Torquay.

 

The heritage values of the precinct are a key influence in formulating an appropriate planning framework for this locality.  Resolution of appropriate design controls, such as setbacks, curtilages, consolidation or retention of the subdivision pattern, and visual connections between heritage items need to be defined in conjunction with related matters such as traffic and parking management.

 

Development controls that recognise these important heritage elements, and ensure the built form responds to the significant sites, need to be drafted during the rezoning process.  The Department of Planning will be asked to prepare development controls for these matters, prior to the draft plan being reported to Council for public exhibition.

Economic Impacts

A central issue, in considering planning controls for these sites, is the potential impact that a B4 or B6 zone could have on existing centres and Council’s established ‘Centres Hierarchy’, as well as nearby areas proposed for future employment activities.

 

The DoP application was accompanied by an Economic and Employment Assessment report prepared by HillPDA.  That report concludes that rezoning of the subject land to either a B4 or B6 zone would:

·        Provide a site with excellent physical characteristics, access and location advantages for employment generating uses

·        Ensure the most efficient use of land located within an area with good access to public transport and other services

·        Support the objectives of Council’s Employment Planning Strategy, and Principle 4 of the Sustainability Blueprint, through the zoning of land for industries identified for growth in the area. (eg wholesale retail, manufacturing)

·        Support Council’s adopted ‘Centres Hierarchy’.

 

While the HillPDA report supports the suitability of this land to accommodate employment activities, it is equally supportive of the need to protect the function of the two centres that closely adjoin the site, being the St Marys Town Centre and the WELL ‘Specialised Centre’.  To achieve this, HillPDA has recommended a number of principles to guide the planning outcomes.  These recommendations will be reflected in the proposed zones for the precinct.

 

The HillPDA report includes detailed economic information that requires further clarification, and this will be pursued with the proponent.  It is not anticipated that clarification of this information will affect the overall recommendations of the economic analysis.

 

The Landcom report indicates that the site is unlikely to attract major employment or retail uses, given its size.  In preparing the draft plan, consideration will be given to ensuring that land uses that are permitted in this precinct will not affect nearby established centres.

Sydney Regional Development Fund

The Department of Planning’s application is accompanied by information regarding the Department’s progressive purchase of land in the South Creek corridor.  These acquisitions are financed in part by the Sydney Region Development Fund (SRDF).  The SRDF’s role is to bring land into public ownership for community needs such as regional parks, transportation corridors and other special purposes.  The SRDF originated with the County of Cumberland Panning Scheme and has operated for more than 50 years.  It is administered by the Department of Planning’s Land Management Branch.

 

The original capital into the fund comprised treasury loans and grants.  Councils also make local contributions, which are calculated on the basis of population.  Local Government’s contributions are used to offset the interest component of past loans.  Loan financing into the SRDF stopped in 1987, and funding has since been from an asset sales strategy.

 

The SRDF is periodically reviewed (1989, 1996, 2004, and 2005).  The reviews aim to:

·        Determine whether reservations are still relevant

·        Identify land which could potentially be surplus to requirements

·        Gauge the effectiveness of SRDR in achieving planning outcomes.

 

Typically, the review analyses both the land which is yet to be acquired, and the land that SRDF already owns and manages.  In the case of Penrith City, the recent review has concluded that certain lands which had been acquired within the South Creek corridor were surplus to planning needs.  The review concluded that the corridor’s purposes would not be compromised if these properties were outside the boundary.  This has prompted the request for consideration of rezoning for these lands.

 

Council’s officers have received a briefing about the review from the Land Management Branch.  There are a number of matters which Council might like to clarify in relation to the review’s findings.  For this reason, arrangements have been made for the Land Management Branch to make a presentation to Council early in 2008.  The presentation will be scheduled to occur prior to Council considering whether to advance the rezoning application to the public exhibition phase.

Conclusion

The Citywide Penrith Local Environmental Plan process provides an opportunity to review the suitability of the current boundaries of the South Creek Corridor in this location, including consideration of the value, role and function of the Corridor.

 

Analysis of the rezoning applications, particularly the Department of Planning proposal, has indicated a number of matters that require further discussion with the proponents.  These matters will also be informed by the broader consultations with public authorities.  There are opportunities for both applicants to work together to advance matters such as the preparation of specific planning controls.

 

It is therefore recommended that, to progress the proposals, Council endorse the preparation of a draft plan, and enable the commencement of consultation with public agencies.  A report on the progress of the proposals and comments from the public agencies will be presented to Councillors at a Briefing Session in early 2008, to enable consideration of the issues prior to determining to advance the draft Local Environmental Plan to exhibition.  This Briefing will also provide Council with the opportunity to hear from the Department of Planning about its review of the Corridors, and related considerations.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Proposed draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1A) - Land in the vicinity of Great Western Highway and Gipps Street, Claremont Meadows be received

2.     Pursuant to section 54 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Regulations 2000, Council prepare a draft Local Environmental Plan to rezone the land within the South Creek Corridor, Werrington and Gipps Street, Claremont Meadows.

3.     The applicants are requested to provide the information identified in this report, including a draft Development Control Plan, and information that reflects the intent of the 1997 ‘Best Practice Guidelines’ for the preparation of Local Environmental Plans.

4.     Councillors be briefed on the progress of the proposals, and comments from the public agencies, in early 2008, to enable consideration of the issues prior to advancing the preparation of the draft Local Environmental Plan.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

South Creek Rezoning map

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

Landcom rezoning map

1 Page

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 1 - South Creek Rezoning map

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 2 - Landcom rezoning map

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

2

Required Amendments to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1)   

 

Compiled by:                Allegra Zakis, Local Plan Team Leader

Authorised by:             Ruth Goldsmith, Local Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council's agreed strategies, where they relate to planning provisions, are implemented through the new Citywide Penrith Local Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan.

Critical Action: Develop the Citywide Penrith Local Plan and Development Control Plan by March 2009, as agreed with the Department of Planning.

     

Purpose:

To  inform Council of the amendments to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1) that have been requested by the Department of Planning.  The report recommends that the changes be endorsed, and that the draft plan, as amended, be exhibited when the Section 65 Certificate has been received.

 

Introduction

Council considered draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2008 (Stage 1) at its Ordinary Meeting of 15 October 2008, and endorsed it for presentation to the Department of Planning with a request for a Section 65 Certificate to allow the draft plan to be exhibited.  The draft plan has been submitted to the Department, and Council officers have been liaising with Department staff to facilitate the issue of the Certificate and exhibition of the draft plan.

 

As part of the Department’s assessment of the draft plan, a number of changes have been requested.  Some of these changes are minor, and some are more significant.  Key areas of change are discussed in this report.  Overall, the effect of the changes is substantial enough that a new resolution to endorse the plan is warranted.  As the Department has made it clear that the Section 65 Certificate will not be issued unless the changes are made, the draft plan has already been amended and resubmitted to the Department, for procedural advancement in parallel with Council’s consideration of the amendments.  This should facilitate earlier issue of the Section 65 Certificate and minimise further delays in commencing the exhibition.

Requested Changes

Land Use Tables and Objectives

The Department requested that the number of zone objectives should be reduced, and also suggested some formatting changes in the land use tables.  In most cases, the zone objectives have been modified without losing the intent, although some objectives have been significantly simplified to enable them to be combined with a similar objective.

 

To compensate for these changes and to make it clear how the LEP objectives are to be met, the provisions in draft Penrith Development Control Plan (DCP) 2008 have been reworded and strengthened.

Exempt and Complying Development

Exempt and complying development is governed by clauses 16, 17 and 18, and by Schedules 2 and 3.  The original draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) included some limitations to exempt and complying development in clauses 16, 17 and 18.  The Department has asked for these provisions to be moved to the Schedules, and the Schedules reformatted to comply with a model recently developed by Parliamentary Counsel.

 

At a recent workshop on the proposed planning reforms (3 December 2007), participants were advised that the Department is currently preparing a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) that will set the standards for all exempt and complying development across the State.  This SEPP is being prepared in consultation with a working group that includes local government representation, and is anticipated to be gazetted in July 2008.

 

We await further advice from the Department to gauge whether the Schedules for the proposed exempt and complying development that are currently in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) will require amendment.  Council will be kept informed of any further directions from the Department of Planning.

Variation to development standards

The standard LEP Template includes clause 24, which allows variation to development standards in certain circumstances.  This clause operates in the same way as State Environmental Planning Policy No. 1 (SEPP 1), and SEPP 1 will no longer apply once the draft LEP, based on the standard Template, comes into effect.  The original draft of Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) included clause 24A, which allowed variation of development standards if the development demonstrated a higher than average level of sustainability.  The intention of the clause was to provide an incentive for developers to increase the sustainability of their projects, by allowing greater floor area, extra height or possibly additional units.

 

The Department have indicated that clause 24A must be deleted, as an additional mechanism to vary development standards cannot be supported.  The Department has indicated that the existing provisions in clause 24 can be used to the same effect, particularly subclause (3), which requires Council to be satisfied that there are sufficient environmental planning grounds to vary the standard.  Penrith DCP 2008 can specify the sustainability criteria as the ‘environmental planning grounds’ which must be met prior to variation of the standard.  This approach will provide more detail than was possible in clause 24A, which will in turn provide clearer direction to developers on what is expected before a variation to a development standard will be accepted.

Main roads

The original draft of Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) included two clauses intended to protect the operation, safety and appearance of main roads, in addition to the standard clause included in the Template.  These clauses aimed to preserve the rural character of the main roads leading into the urban areas, including Mulgoa Road, The Northern Road and Castlereagh Road.

 

The Department has instructed that these clauses should be deleted, as it is considered that the standard clause is sufficient to cover all issues relating to the safety and operation of roads.  The appearance of a development from a main road is not covered by the standard clause, however, so it was agreed that this issue needs to be addressed both through zone objectives, and through the landscape and scenic values clause (discussed later in this report).

Biodiversity

The standard Template includes clause 34, which replaces tree preservation orders and requires development consent for the removal of trees and other vegetation identified in a Development Control Plan.  There was concern that clause 34 did not adequately protect vegetation of high biodiversity value on private land, so clause 34A was developed to require development consent for all work or activities on land shown hatched on the Environmentally Sensitive Land Map.  This hatching reflects the map exhibited and adopted as part of the Rural Lands Strategy.

 

The Department has indicated concern with this clause, stating that clause 34 adequately protects vegetation and that an additional clause is not required.  Initially the Department required the deletion of the clause in its entirety, however persistent lobbying by Council officers, including clarification of the issues and the intent of the clause, has resulted in the Department agreeing that the clause and LEP map can be retained (albeit in an abridged form).  Clause 34A is now limited to objectives, a reference to the Environmentally Sensitive Land Map and a requirement that development consent must be obtained for most forms of development on the lands identified on the LEP map.  The Department’s Regional Team expressed some uncertainty, however, about whether the Legal Branch would support the inclusion of the clause.

Salinity, flood liable land and riparian corridors

The Department has recognised a need for clauses on all of these matters, and is in the process of developing model clauses that will be added to the Template.  It has been agreed that the clauses currently covering these issues in the draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) can remain until the model clauses have been developed.

 

A requirement of the proposed model clause for Flood Liable Land will be a Flood Liable Land Map.  This map is to show the flood planning level at the 1%AEP flood event, unless a higher flood line can be justified.  This map is now being prepared, using existing digitised data for Ropes Creek and South Creek.  Data for the Nepean River is currently being digitised so that it can be included.  In those areas where no digitised flood data exists, the Flood Liable Land Map will be hatched, with a notation ‘data currently unavailable’.  As data becomes available through flood studies, the map will be updated.

 

The map will need to identify lands where there is a higher than normal flood hazard due to the characteristics of the land and flood behaviour, and the designated flood planning level is therefore above the 1% AEP line.

Scenic character and landscape values

The original draft of Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) included several clauses which were intended to protect the scenic character and landscape values of the rural lands, particularly when viewed from main roads and other public places.  The Department expressed concern with this clause on the grounds that, as initially drafted, it was difficult to determine which land was affected.

 

A new ‘scenic character and landscape values’ clause has been drafted, which requires that the visual impact of a development must be considered in the case of land shown on the Scenic Character and Landscape Values Map.  This map has been drafted on the basis of the areas specifically protected by the original clause, and the areas identified as having particular value in the adopted Landscape Character Strategy.

Schools, places of public worship and other traffic generating developments

Council has had ongoing concerns about permitting schools and places of public worship in rural areas, as they are essentially an urban use with the potential for significant impact on surrounding areas, particularly with regard to traffic and noise.  Council has, however, recognised that the land requirements for these uses make it difficult for them to locate in other areas, and has not wanted to prohibit them in rural zones if their impact could be managed.

 

To reflect this position, a clause which provided locational criteria for schools, places of public worship, cemeteries and crematoria in rural zones, which aimed to ensure their location on appropriate roads and with appropriate servicing, and on sites with sufficient size to accommodate not only the use but buffer zones if required, was drafted.  The Department has indicated this clause will not be supported, as these issues should be covered by assessment of individual proposals (through Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act).  This means that, as the draft LEP currently stands, schools and places of public worship are permissible in some rural zones, but with no locational criteria in the draft LEP.  Detailed criteria can, however, be included in the DCP.

 

Council has already received a number of enquiries about schools and places of public worship in rural zones.  The Department did not indicate any concerns with these uses being prohibited in the rural zones, meaning that it is up to Council to determine whether these uses should remain permissible in the absence of locational criteria in the draft LEP.  At this stage it is not recommended to prohibit these uses, as the opportunity to include strict locational criteria in the draft DCP will provide clear guidance as to where, and under what circumstances, these uses will be approved.

 

Consequently, schools and places of public worship are proposed to be permissible with consent in the RU2 Rural Landscape, RU4 Rural Small Holdings, RU5 Rural Village, R5 Large Lot Residential and E4 Environmental Living zones.  In most cases this approach is consistent with current land use permissibility in LEP 201, with the exception of Orchard Hills (proposed to be zoned RU4) where schools and places of public worship are currently prohibited, and the loss of current provisions in LEP 201 that prohibit these uses within 90m of a main road.

 

Schools and places of public worship are not proposed to be permissible in the RU1 Primary Production zone, or in the E3 Environmental zone that applies to the Mulgoa Valley.

Location of sex services premises and restricted premises

The original draft of Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) listed sex services premises as exempt development, and included strict locational and operational criteria in Schedule 2 to govern where and how they could operate.  Sex services premises were not, however, listed in the land use table in any zone, which had the effect of prohibiting sex services premises which did not meet the exempt development criteria.  This approach provided surety to both the community and the sex services industry, in that no sex services premises could be permitted which did not meet the strict criteria, but if they did meet the criteria, they did not need to seek Council approval to operate.

 

The Department of Planning indicated concerns with this approach, although the exact nature of those concerns has been difficult to ascertain.  Initially, Department staff indicated that the level of self assessment required to determine whether a proposal was exempt development or not was too great, and that this level of detail could not be included in the exempt development schedule.  Concern was also expressed at the difference between making a land use exempt, and otherwise prohibiting it.  The Department also indicated reservations about the wording of the exempt provisions, and the restrictiveness of the locational criteria.

 

Council officers have successfully argued to keep the sex services premises provisions within the exempt development schedule, indicating that the level of self assessment was quite achievable, and that there was always an opportunity to approach Council for additional information if required.  It was considered that preserving the exempt development provisions retained the certainty with the requirements for this type of use, for both the industry and the community.

 

The Department has insisted, however, that sex services premises must be listed in the land use table to the B4 Mixed Use zone as a permissible use, meaning that proposals which do not meet the exempt development criteria may be considered through a development application.  Penrith DCP 2008 will now need to include provisions for sex services premises, however it will be made clear in that document that any development application for sex services premises will need to justify why the exempt provisions cannot be met.

 

The Department’s misgivings about the wording of the clause, and the restrictive nature of the locational provisions, arose from concerns that if these provisions were kept, there would be insufficient land available for this type of use.  It was explained that sex services premises are permissible in the Penrith City Centre under the provisions of the City Centre plans, as well as in the St Marys Town Centre under draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  It is considered that the two centres have sufficient land to accommodate sex services premises and restricted premises, without the need to modify the locational criteria.

Mulgoa Valley

The provisions for Mulgoa Valley and Orchard Hills were developed directly from Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 13 (Mulgoa Valley) and Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 25 (Orchard Hills).  These two plans have guided development in Mulgoa and Orchard Hills for 20 years, and have worked reasonably well to preserve the character of these areas.

 

The Department of Planning initially raised concerns about the length of the Mulgoa Valley clause, and the number of ‘heads of consideration’ for assessing development applications.  Continued liaison between Council and Department officers, however, resulted in the Department better understanding the complexities of the Mulgoa Valley, and the need to preserve the provisions that have worked so well.  The clause has been slightly modified, particularly in relation to the objectives and the heads of consideration, but will still operate to preserve the character of the Valley.  The clause in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) is also supported by a number of specific provisions in draft Penrith DCP 2008, which have been based on SREP 13 and the accompanying Design Guidelines.

 

Twin Creeks

A rezoning application for Twin Creeks, to enable the construction of 80 villas clustered adjacent to the clubhouse in the centre of the site, was submitted in 2003.  Council considered the rezoning application in March 2004, and again in July 2004.  On both occasions, Council resolved the application had sufficient merit, when viewed as part of the overall development, to proceed.  The Department, however, indicated that it had grave concerns about the appropriateness of the development, and would not issue the Section 65 Certificate necessary for the plan to proceed to public exhibition.  These concerns revolved around the urban nature of the proposal in a rural area, and the problems with increasing the number of residents who may suffer from social isolation issues related to living in a rural area.

 

Council officers referred the Department’s concerns to Crownland, the developer of the site, who prepared a report addressing the issues of social isolation.  The Department, Council officers and the proponents subsequently discussed the report and whether it adequately addressed the issues of concern.  At this meeting the Department expressed concern about the merits of this particular proposal proceeding ahead of the comprehensive LEP for the City.  As a result of the meeting, Council forwarded to the Department a report prepared by the proponent, together with a covering letter from Council, which outlined again why it was considered that the proposal, as a whole, had sufficient merit to proceed.  No response to that letter was received so on 27 February 2006, Council formally requested the Department to proceed to the public exhibition stage in accordance with Section 65 of the Act.

 

The Department's Local Environmental Plan Review Panel considered whether to progress the matter to public exhibition and on 1 May 2006, formally advised Council that it did not support proceeding with the proposal for the additional 80 villas for the following reasons:

 

~          The proposal could create a precedent which may result in similar applications for permanent residential development in locations that have not been formally identified as potential land release areas through existing Government procedures.

~          An isolated residential settlement without adequate access to public transport, services and facilities would be created.

~          The extension of the resort would contain permanent housing which is not in keeping with Council's rural lands strategy.

~          The residential components may hinder future land use planning for the area.

 

On 22 June 2006, Council requested the Department to reconsider their decision.  On 8 August 2006, Council was advised that a recommendation had been prepared for the Minister and that it was to be considered by him.  No additional information was forthcoming; so on 6 October 2006, Council again requested the Department to reconsider their decision.

 

Between October 2006 and October 2007, Council had a number of discussions with Department of Planning staff, the Minister of Planning, and the applicant, in an attempt to progress the application.  On 18 October 2007, the Department issued Council with an approval under Section 65 to publicly exhibit a rezoning for the Twin Creeks site, subject to the following parameters:

 

~          Lots are to be no smaller than 1500 square metres.

~          A maximum of (net) 45 additional lots being created and these additional lots must be clustered close to the proposed community facilities and not adjoining larger agricultural holdings.

~          The proposal must remain consistent with the rural/residential objectives of the existing zone.

~          The amendment requires the proposed community facilities to be in place prior to construction of the additional lots.

 

When the Section 65 Certificate was issued by the Department, Council informed both the applicant and the Department that, due to the substantial change in the proposal, it would need to be presented to Council for endorsement prior to being exhibited.  Council also notified the applicant and the Department that, as a Section 62 consultation with public authorities had not been undertaken, it would be better to include the proposal as part of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), rather than as a site-specific plan.  The Department has agreed to this approach.

 

To facilitate Council’s assessment of the new proposal, the applicant was requested to prepare a revised Social Impact Statement to demonstrate its merits.  This document was, due to time constraints, not a comprehensive rezoning application, but covered the key issues arising from the changes in the proposal.  Council officers have reviewed this document.  Based on average household sizes in rural residential areas elsewhere in Penrith, it is anticipated that the revised proposal will result in an increase in population of approximately 146 people.  This is less than the anticipated population increase (of 189 people) supported by Council with the previous villa proposal.  Accordingly, it seems logical to assume that impacts associated with the new proposal will be similar or slightly less than those originally estimated.

 

As part of the original proposal, the applicant agreed to provide a number of services to reduce the impacts of isolation on the Twin Creeks community.  These services included a range of small convenience goods being available on site (bread, milk, newspapers etc) and a commuter / school bus service.  Provided these services are maintained, it is reasonable to support the new proposal.

 

In terms of the expected built form of the amended proposal, the applicant has committed to working with Council to achieve design outcomes that are sympathetic to the Twin Creeks Estate, and that satisfactorily relate to the adjacent golf course.  This matter can be dealt as part of draft Penrith DCP 2008.

 

It is recommended that Council endorse the revised plan and modify the relevant clause in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) to permit the new lot density and minimum lot size.

Erskine Business Park

The provisions of LEP 1994 (Erskine Park Employment Area) were incorporated in a specific clause in the original draft of Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  The Department has instructed that this clause be removed, as the provisions within it can be covered by the Flood Map, general objectives for the Industrial zones and the Scenic Values Map.

 

The objectives for the IN1 General Industry zone have been carefully drafted to ensure that the issues raised in LEP 1994 are addressed.  The relevant maps have also been modified to ensure that they include the Erskine Business Park.  Although deletion of the specific clause is less than ideal, the principles are covered in the draft LEP, and draft Penrith DCP 2008 will include specific provisions for Erskine Business Park drawn from both LEP 1994 and the accompanying DCP.  Together, these should provide sufficient strength to guide development, particularly as it is likely that Erskine Business Park will be zoned through the State Environmental Planning Policy currently being drafted for the Western Sydney Employment Hub, which may occur prior to the gazettal of Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

Penrith Development Control Plan 2008

A key part of the delivery of the new planning controls is the preparation of draft Penrith Development Control Plan 2008.  Draft Penrith DCP 2008 is in six parts, with the first volume covering the DCP controls (Parts A – E), and the second volume providing procedural information and technical standards (Part F).  Preparation of the draft DCP presents an opportunity to develop controls which represent innovation and best practice, in terms of both the integration of controls and the nature of the controls included.  Key changes from Penrith DCP 2006 include the integration of sustainability principles throughout the plan (rather than having a separate section), and a ‘lifting the bar’ component within each section, to demonstrate best practice and provide a goal towards which developers can strive.  This ‘lifting the bar’ component will be linked to clause 24 of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), to identify the additional sustainability initiatives that will support requested variations to the development standards.

 

Of necessity, the content of draft Penrith DCP 2008 both reflects and builds on the controls in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  The two documents are closely linked, with the provisions in draft Penrith DCP 2008 aimed at providing information to developers on how to meet the objectives and provisions in the draft LEP.  As a consequence of the linked provisions, a number of the Department’s required draft LEP amendments have necessitated significant changes and additions to relevant provisions in draft Penrith DCP 2008.  This has meant, in some cases, a substantial redraft of sections, or the introduction of new provisions for some matters that were previously covered by draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

 

The need to augment sections of draft Penrith DCP 2008, as well as making the required changes to draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), has meant that the draft DCP is not yet complete, and cannot be presented to Council before Christmas as was originally intended.  It is now intended that the draft Penrith DCP 2008 will be presented to Council at the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 18 February 2008.

Electronic delivery

The electronic delivery system for draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) and draft Penrith DCP 2008 has already been established, and the draft LEP provisions are being entered into the system.  Clearly, this work cannot be finalised before the Section 65 Certificate is received, as the final form of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) will not be known until then.  It is possible, however, that some level of electronic access to the draft plans will be available as part of the exhibition.  This may be limited at this stage to internal use, and this should provide a valuable resource for staff answering questions about the draft plans.  If electronic delivery is available, further details will be provided to Councillors as part of the information to be circulated about the exhibition of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) and draft Penrith DCP 2008.

South Werrington Urban Village

At its Ordinary Meeting of 15 October 2008, Council resolved to forward the draft LEP for the South Werrington Urban Village (SWUV) to the Department of Planning.  The draft plan was forwarded to the Department on 22 October 2008, and has undergone a similar process to draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  The structure and content of this plan was closely based on draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), which means that all of the general provisions are the same, as are most of the local provisions in Part 6 of the draft LEP.

 

Verbal advice has been received from the Department that the Section 65 Certificate will not be issued for the SWUV draft LEP in its current form, and that it will need to be amended to reflect the changes required to draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  It is understood that the Department is considering only the provisions which relate specifically to SWUV, on the understanding that the general provisions will be amended to reflect the final version of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

 

When the final form and wording of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) is known, the SWUV draft LEP will be amended and resubmitted to the Department.  It is anticipated that a Section 65 Certificate should be issued fairly quickly once the draft plan is resubmitted.

Next Steps

The changes to draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) outlined in this report have been made, and the amended draft plan has been forwarded to the Department.  The draft plan has been forwarded to the Legal Branch, and will go from there to Parliamentary Counsel (PC).  Although it is likely that both Legal Branch and PC will change the wording of draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), it is hoped that there will not be any more substantial changes to the intent or operation of the draft plan.

 

The Department has not given a definitive date for issue of the Section 65 Certificate, however at this stage it is expected to be early in 2008.  Once the final version of the draft plan and the Section 65 Certificate are received, the draft Penrith DCP 2008 can be finalised, and work can commence on the supporting material for the exhibition, including the Plain English version and the letters to affected landowners.  The exhibition will commence as soon as the exhibition material is finalised.

Conclusion

It was anticipated that the Department of Planning would require some changes to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1) prior to certifying it for exhibition.  Although the scope and extent of the changes requested is disappointing, Council officers have been able to suggest alternative ways of achieving the intent of the majority of the clauses which have had to be deleted.

 

Penrith is the first large, complex Metropolitan Council to prepare a draft LEP using the standard Template.  Although other Councils, including Mosman and Canada Bay, have exhibited comprehensive plans, those Council areas do not experience the extent of issues such as biodiversity and rural land use conflict which are present in Penrith City.  It is understood that other Councils with complex, mixed use areas are experiencing similar difficulties in drafting planning controls and provisions that are acceptable to the Department of Planning, and yet adequately reflect local circumstances.

 

As it currently stands, draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), combined with strong, detailed provisions in draft Penrith DCP 2008, will provide the clear guidance needed for developers to understand the nature of future development desired in Penrith City.  In some cases, there may be an opportunity to revise some of the planning provisions during the preparation of Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 2), possibly based on the provisions that other Councils, similar to Penrith, have developed to deal with some of the more complex issues.  In the meantime, endorsing the current changes outlined in this report to draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) will enable the public exhibition to proceed.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Required Amendments to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1) be received

2.     Council endorse the changes to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1) as outlined in this report, and support continuation of the dialogue, regarding any further changes to the draft LEP, between Council officers and the Department of Planning.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.  


 

 

 

 

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The City as a Social Place

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

3        Penrith City District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan

 

4        Implementation of the Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy 

 

5        Glenmore Park Stage 1 Development Contributions Plan Review

 

6        Waterside Estate - Request to vary landscaped open space requirements

 

7        Deferred Lands Local Environmental Plan No.188 - Glenmore Park

 

8        Affordable Housing

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

3

Penrith City District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan    

 

Compiled by:                Grant Collins, Recreation and Cultural Facilities Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: The City’s recreation and leisure facilities and services meet its needs and are optimally used.

Critical Action: Ensure facilities and services reflect the City's diverse current and future recreation and leisure needs.

     

Purpose:

To report on the public exhibition of the draft Penrith City District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan.  The report recommends that Council adopt the draft Development Contributions Plan in accordance with the current Section 94 legislation.

 

Background

In March 2004 Council adopted the PLANS Report which provided an independent assessment of community needs and aspirations in relation to City wide recreation and cultural facilities and infrastructure, facilities and services in the established residential areas.

 

These recommendations subsequently informed the development of an Open Space Action Plan and an Open Space Development Contributions Plan which contained provisions for the delivery of a range of both local and district open space facilities in the City.  These draft plans were placed on public exhibition in early 2006 and a number of submissions were received which required detailed consideration.

 

A valuation of the City’s existing district open space land and assets was subsequently undertaken.  Input and advice was also sought from Council’s solicitors, DLA Phillips Fox, and Newplan consultants about the principles utilised in support of the draft Open Space Development Contributions Plan.  The advice received from Council’s solicitors and Newplan has been considered and taken into account in our assessment of the submissions and in some amendments to the draft Plan outlined later in the report.

 

Given the complexities associated particularly with the district open space facilities component, it was decided that the most appropriate way forward was to split the local open space component from the district open space facilities component.  The Local Open Space Plan was subsequently adopted by Council on 25 June 2007 along with the Open Space Action Plan.  This enabled agreed open space standards to be adopted for the City and for contributions to be received for the enhancement of local open space facilities.

 

This process enabled further detailed considerations to be given to the district open space facilities elements which were intended to form a separate draft development contributions plan.  Concurrent to this process, the planning for the Penrith Lakes was being progressed under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act where Penrith Lakes Development Corporation (PLDC) were developing a draft infrastructure development agreement and reporting directly to the State Government.  This required a substantial amendment to the draft District Open Space Plan given that a significant recreation asset (valued at $20M) was proposed to be developed by the Corporation at Penrith Lakes.  

 

The Precinct Planning for the South Creek Corridor and the Master Planning for the Gipps Street site was also progressed concurrently in 2007 and this process informed the list of proposed facilities to be included in the draft District Open Space Plan.  

 

An amended draft District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan was considered by Council at its Policy Review Committee meeting on 8 October 2007 where it was resolved to place the draft plan on public exhibition.

Public Exhibition

The draft District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan was publicly exhibited from 16 October to 16 November 2007 with displays at the Penrith Civic Centre, St Marys library, at the opening of the extensions to the Claremont Meadows Community Centre on 3 November 2007 and on Council’s website.

 

The general community were notified of the public exhibition through the Penrith Press, Mt Druitt and St Marys Standard on the Council page and Mayoral column and through the mail out delivered to residents in relation to the opening of the Claremont Meadows Community Centre extensions and invited to provide feedback. 

 

Three detailed submissions were received in response to the public exhibition from Delfin Lend Lease, Stockland and APP Corporation Pty Limited (on behalf of the Glenmore Park Stage 2 landowners).  A summary of issues raised in the submissions and planning responses are set out below.

Assessment of Submissions

1.  Apportionment

 

(A)    As existing residents will benefit from proposed facilities, it is therefore not reasonable to seek 100% apportionment – suggest two thirds of costs of proposed district facilities be carried by existing residents through mechanisms other than another S94 Plan.

Comment

The draft Plan proposes the new facilities to be apportioned directly to future development on the basis of assessed needs, and the limited extent in existing district open space and recreation facility delivery.

 

The existing district open space land and assets in the City have been valued at $298,148,600.  The new draft District Open Space Development Contributions Plan does not include any land acquisition costs, but only seeks to embellish existing district open space to a value of $63,478,300, ie,17.5% of combined value of existing and proposed district open space land and assets) in order to make the existing land ‘work harder’ to meet the needs of the future population.  This is in proportion with the estimated 19.8% increase in the Penrith City population (excluding the estimated 14,000 population of Penrith Lakes).

 

In practical terms, Section 94 facilities are often used by a wider community than the particular benefiting community originally identified.  This is particularly relevant in noting that active open space and other recreation facilities are regularly used by visiting sporting teams to the locality concerned.  Also, sporting teams from benefiting local communities also visit facilities outside of their area which may have been delivered by Section 94 contributions.

 

Importantly, as identified in the draft District Open Space Plan, the facilities to be delivered are required to meet future recreation needs.  This is the critical factor, not whether they are used by existing communities. 

 

(B)    Concern about ‘double dipping’ if developers contribute local open space to meet local needs as well as contributing to district facilities that also benefit existing residents.

Comment

Developers are required to provide local open space according to Council’s adopted open space standards.  As stated above, new residents will also benefit from existing district open space and facilities.  It is not realistic to expect that new residents will not benefit from or be prevented from utilising existing district open space facilities which they have not contributed, nor is it realistic to assume that existing residents will be prevented from using new district facilities.

 

It would only be ‘double dipping’ if Council was charging new release areas for local open space while expecting them to either establish or contribute towards local open space in their release area as well.  This is not the case, as the adopted Local Open Space Plan does not apply to new release areas.

 

(C)   Developers are not willing to rectify and fully fund an existing shortfall of quality district open space within the Penrith LGA.

Comment

As mentioned above, the provision of district open space facilities in the City as outlined in the draft Plan derives from the projected needs of the future population which emerged in the PLANS study. 

 

The draft District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan does not require additional land to be acquired, rather to make the existing district open space land ‘work harder’ by embellishing the available district open space land.  If Council were to levy developers to sustain the existing ratio of district open space land at the current rate of 1.27 hectares per 1,000 additional population, the actual contribution rate sought would be substantially higher due to the significant cost of the land at contemporary land values.  

 

The current proposal is considered an equitable approach as it addresses increased open space demand by making more efficient and effective use of existing land assets.

 

(D)   The draft Plan fails to meet the Section 94 tests of reasonableness in that it fails to apportion any of the costs between existing and new residents, does not require reasonable contributions and is inequitable for developers.

Comment

The draft Plan identifies new facilities which will be required by the future population.  If existing residents were to pay a share of the identified new infrastructure, then it would also be reasonable to expect that new residents pay their share for the existing district open space and infrastructure that they may also benefit from, but have not contributed.  Of course, this will not be the case as it is assumed that the existing population has over time paid for the range of existing district open space and recreation facilities.  Accordingly, the draft Section 94 Plan has apportioned these facilities and the land on which they are located to the existing population.

 

The contributions applied are in our view reasonable both in terms of the type and quantum.  From our benchmarking with other LGAs, the draft Section 94 Plan rates for district open space are also reasonable by comparison.

 

In light of the submissions received, additional wording has been included in the draft Section 94 Plan to assist in clarifying the basis for contributions and their apportionment.

 

2.  Nexus

 

(A) It was suggested the draft Plan does not establish a clear link between the development being levied and the need for the public amenity or service for which the levy is required.

Comment

The fundamental principle that the draft Section 94 Plan has been based on is that future population of the City will require additional district open space and recreation facilities beyond that which is currently provided to meet those future needs. 

 

The draft Section 94 Plan has been based on a City-wide delivery of district open space and recreation facilities, recognising the general location of new urban development planned to occur in the City and the likelihood that given the district nature of the facilities proposed people will be prepared to travel to use them. 

 

The particular needs for different sports and recreation facilities will vary.  As a result of the PLANS research, the passive recreation facility needs and some sports were identified as those experiencing significant growth in demand, while others are either stable or in decline. To apply a ‘standard’ across all facilities (eg, to state that the standard provision ratio of each sport or facility cannot increase from existing to future populations) is unrealistic, as this assumes that needs, demands and participation in sport and recreation never change, when the reality is that there will be significant changes over time.  The draft District Open Space Plan seeks to develop facilities, including multi-purposes facilities catering for a number of sporting activities, that respond to the PLANS research recommendations, as a reasonable approach to planning for the growing demands for quality district open space facilities in the City.

 

(B)  Some of the proposed facilities including the multi-purpose sports and entertainment centre and facilities for the Penrith parklands will attract people from outside the LGA and are regional and therefore there is an unsatisfactory nexus argument.

Comment

A fundamental principle that the draft Section 94 is based on is that it provides for facilities specifically identified for the future Penrith population.

 

It may well be the case that residents outside the LGA will utilise some facilities in the draft Plan, in the same way as Penrith residents may utilise other facilities outside of our LGA.  However, this is no different to how other recreation and open space facilities operate whereby visiting sporting teams from other LGA’s use each other’s facilities, but they are generally only responsible for providing and developing their own facilities through local contributions.

 

 (C) The draft Plan does not demonstrate that the proposed upgrade to Blair oval and facilities at Gipps St are a ‘measurable consequence’ of the proposed new development.

Comment

The proposed upgrade of the Blair oval athletics facility to a district standard was identified as a priority in the PLANS research and is a far more cost effective and rational option than developing a new facility (eg, a synthetic track option that was being explored) to cope with additional demands for district athletics facilities in the City.  The proposed facilities at the Gipps Street site also plan to provide additional capacity for the City’s identified key growth sports (primarily soccer, rugby league and AFL) where research has demonstrated there is limited existing capacity to cater for forecast population growth and future demands for quality district open space facilities.  Existing provision ratios of current district level facilities have been measured against what is being sought in the draft Plan and overall are considered to be reasonable and a measured consequence of the new development.

 

3.  Rate of payment

 

(A)  Concern that the proposed rate of $1,495 per person will impact social equity and housing affordability.

Comment

The facilities identified in the draft Section 94 Plan are aimed at providing equity for the future population in Penrith in the delivery of new district open space and recreation facilities, without impacting on the level of provision currently enjoyed by the existing community.  

 

There are many other economic influences that will impact social equity and housing affordability including the protection of developer profit margins, interest rate rises, rises in the cost of living expenses and other costs associated with housing delivery such as construction costs, State Government levies, etc.  In our view, the overall Section 94 charges applying across the City including the contributions required under the subject draft Section 94 Plan are considered to be at a reasonable level and would not, in their own right, unnecessarily impact on housing affordability.  

To reduce the capacity to fund quality district open space facilities will likely impact quality of life opportunities in the City for future residents and opportunities for their healthy participation in leisure, sport and recreation.

 

(B)  Concern that the Penrith Lakes Development will not contribute through development contributions but will benefit from facilities planned for the site

Comment

Penrith Lakes Development Corporation has a draft infrastructure delivery agreement before State Government for the urban land and parkland development at Penrith Lakes.  This includes contributions to district open space facilities that is commensurate with the proposed rate in the draft Plan.  As a result, the draft Section 94 Plan remains equitable in seeking contributions across all other development throughout the Penrith City.

 

4.  Supporting Documentation

 

(A)   Concern that the Plan is flawed as it does not include any information in relation to-

a.   the type and extent of anticipated development;

b.   the characteristics of the population as a result of new development and the requirements for new, additional or improved open space facilities;

c.   the availability and capacity of existing public amenities and services in the area;

d.   the extent to which the proposed district open space works will meet the needs of the incoming population.

Comment

The general type and extent of anticipated development is included in the draft Plan under section 3.4.

 

General data is available about the projected population characteristics and was included in the PLANS report. This has more recently been analysed in the ID forecast and community profile data. This research provides a relatively clear profile of the future population of the City and has formed a basis for the community needs and facility provision outlined in the draft Section 94 Plan. In this respect, it is relevant to note that although there are indicators that a proportion of the City’s population is ageing, there is also a significant, higher than average percentage of young families expected to continue to form in new urban areas.

 

The facilities identified in the draft Section 94 Plan respond to these demographic trends in providing a balance of active and passive recreation facilities across the City, including sustainable universal design features.

 

More specific population data about the projected characteristics of individual release areas is not always available as the current planning has not progressed to that level of detail in each release area.  It is noted as new areas develop, it is not uncommon for the initial projected demographic profile of that emerging community to vary from what may have been originally contemplated.  However, it is not considered necessary for individual release area population profiles to be identified at this stage given the broader basis across the City from which the community needs assessment for the draft Section 94 Plan has been drawn.   

 

In relation to existing public amenities, the PLANS Report surveyed local schools regarding the availability of existing sports and recreation infrastructure and found that despite there being a Department of Education policy about the community use of school facilities, there was a general reluctance to allow outside of school hours use of sports fields due to issues of liability and vandalism whereas the school halls are often made available for after hours use.  Council surveys have assessed use and capacity of existing sports grounds, and the facilities proposed in the draft Section 94 Plan are those which predominantly cater for the major growth sports, where the existing capacity is limited and will not adequately cater for the future demands of these sports in the City.

 

In light of the submissions received, additional wording has been included in the draft Section 94 Plan to assist in clarifying the anticipated future demand.

 

(B)  Concern that the supporting documents including PLANS Report and the Recreation and Cultural Strategy are focussed on the needs of existing residents that address existing deficiencies (ie, upgrade of South Creek Park oval, new district fields at St Marys Release area, Great River Walk, Kingsway playing fields all will benefit existing users.

Comment

The PLANS report provides an analysis of potential future demographic change and trends in recreation, sport and leisure patterns which is a reasonable approach. The PLANS report did include aspirational research and other trend and demographic analysis in order to help plan for the future needs of the City.

 

(C)  Delfin Lend Lease has requested  that on-going consultation is required to continue to explore a wide range of options with a variety of user groups for the Regional Open Space area on the St. Mary’s Release.

Comment

Delfin Lend Lease has proposed the establishment of a central sports facility to be located on the Regional Open Space land adjacent the Central Precinct. We have been engaged with that group recently in the development of options fore the future use of this land. The considerations todate for the proposed facilities at the St Marys release area  are generally consistent with the recommendations from the PLANS Report in terms of planning for the key growth sports in the City and the recommendations emerging in the consultant investigations currently being advanced by Delfin Lend Lease. We will continue to liaise with Delfin Lend Lease and other stakeholders as the planning for this precinct advances.

 

5.  Planning Agreements

 

(A)  Delfin has a planning agreement in place in relation to the South Dunheved Precinct (19 December 2006) and contributions relating to the Western and Central Precincts will be formulated through a variation to this planning agreement, not through Section 94.

Comment

It may well be a suitable alternative to incorporate Delfin Lend Lease’s obligations for district open space and recreation facilities contributions under the draft Section 94 Plan to be contained in a future planning agreement for the Western and Central Precincts of the St Marys Release Area in Penrith LGA.  The precinct planning process for these areas has only just commenced and the content of a related planning agreement has not yet been discussed with Delfin Lend Lease.  This option will be considered when the precinct planning process is further advanced.   

 

(B)  The Joint Venture considers that its district level open space contributions should not extend to facilities outside of the St Marys Development site and refer to the transfer of 900 hectares of land for the establishment of a Regional Park and financial contributions of $6.9 million for the embellishment of the Regional Park. It is also transferring 46 hectares of land as Regional Open Space, with a contractual agreement with the Commonwealth to establish a range of active and passive recreational uses in an area of the Regional Open Space and Regional Park, known as Central Park.

Comment

The draft Section 94 Plan proposes the establishment of a range of district open space and recreation facilities across the City.  One of those facilities is proposed to be located in the regional open space land adjacent to the Central Precinct in the St Marys release area.  Delfin Lend Lease has committed to the establishment of a recreation facility on this land, the nature and scope of which is currently under investigation. 

 

It is likely that future residents of this release area will utilise, and therefore benefit from, the facilities located outside of the St Marys release area as well as the facility proposed to be established on the St Marys site.  Given that, Delfin Lend Lease would be obligated to contribute under the draft plan on the basis of the extent of new population to be housed in the release area in accordance with the draft Section 94 Plan requirements.

 

However, it would be reasonable to take into account when assessing that group’s financial contribution, the funding commitments proposed by Delfin Lend Lease as potential ‘credit’ offsets against their required Section 94 contribution.  These issues will be the subject of future discussions with Delfin Lend Lease in relation to the planning agreement envisaged for the Western and Central Precincts.

 

6.  Department of Planning Circular

 

(A) The submissions raised  concern that the draft Section 94 Plan is inconsistent with the recently issued DoP Circular  concerning Infrastructure Contributions which suggests Councils will no longer be able to use Section 94 to recover costs to deliver district-wide community and recreation facilities if amendments are made to the Section 94 legislation.

Comment

On 6 November 2007, the Department of Planning (DoP) released a circular providing advice to Councils of changes it intends to the setting and collection of infrastructure contributions. The general thrust of the circular, as foreshadowed by the Premier on 12 October 2007, is that State and Local contributions will now apply only to fund attributable infrastructure and land  requirements to support developed land, rather than infrastructure requirements driven by general population growth ie. where infrastructure is required as a direct consequence of the development of land or a precinct. The circular also suggests that contributions should be reduced in terms of the overall contribution per lot.

 

The circular identifies those infrastructure elements which DoP believe are appropriate, and include local roads, bus facilities, parks, drainage and water management, local community facilities and recreation facilities. All other costs, such as facilities benefiting existing communities (including Council or district wide community and recreation facilities) are indicated should  no longer be recovered through local contributions. Significantly, the circular outlines transitional arrangements which state that any local environmental plan, planning agreement or Section 94 or Section 94A Contribution Plan made on or before 12 November 2007 will continue to operate as though the proposed changes had not taken effect. To date, we have not received advice about State mechanisms to implement these measures.

 

The circular is not a statutory document, but rather foreshadows a government policy which is understood will be the subject of changes to the EP&A Act legislation next year. Ministerial guidelines are intended to be published shortly and will provide more detail on the implementation of the new policy.

 

Local open space and recreation facilities provision will continue to be provided in the City by way of the adopted Local Open Space Facilities Development  Contributions Plan. In release areas, developers will continue to provide the sorts of local facilities already included in Section  94 Plans, which appear to be endorsed by the circular.

 

However, the problem which appears to be flagged by the circular is that district or City-wide infrastructure is perceived to benefit existing communities and as a result, should not be funded from Section 94. As discussed above in the earlier sections of the report, that is not a reasonable contention, particularly in that future populations are not asked to fund existing district level infrastructure although they will undoubtedly benefit from it.

 

Council’s position has been to seek the embellishment of the existing district open space land and facilities in order to make them ‘work harder’ to serve the growing active and passive recreation demands in the City generated by future population growth. The DoP circular states that “all other costs, such as facilities benefiting existing communities (including Council or district wide community and recreation facilities), can no longer be recovered through local contributions”. There is however, no mention or acknowledgement of the benefit of the existing district land and facilities to future populations and this has been used by Council in the apportionment argument of the current draft Plan.

 

The Local Government Services Association, WSROC and the other metropolitan ROCs are currently reviewing the new policy and will be making strong representations to the government on behalf of local Councils in relation to proposed changes to the Section 94 legislation. We will be contributing to this response, and will provide a further report to Council in the new year once we are alert to the Ministerial guidelines yet to be published.

 

The development of the District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan has been coordinated through an extensive process of wide community and stakeholder consultation and review since the initiation of the PLANS research in 2002. There is wide Council and community expectation that a range of quality district level recreation, sport and leisure facilities will be delivered to meet the increasing demands in the future.

 

Given that there has been no change to the Section 94 legislation at the time of writing this report, advice received by Council’s solicitors DLA Phillips Fox recommends that Council continue to act under the current legislation and Section 94 guidelines and to consider adoption of the District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan as it normally would based on the statutory process pursued to date.

Conclusion

Penrith City has been recognised as a LGA with significant future population growth as forecast by the Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney. Penrith has some of the State’s highest participation rates in sporting activity for young people and it would be unreasonable not to plan ahead to accommodate the future community demands for quality district level open space and recreation facilities that will inevitably emerge as our population grows.

 

From our analysis it is evident that the existing district open space and recreation facilities do not have sufficient capacity to adequately cope with forecast future demands.  An efficient, sustainable and cost effective approach has been taken in the draft Section 94 Plan where additional land has not been pursued, rather existing land and facilities are planned to ‘work harder’ to respond to those additional future demands.

 

We have assessed the submissions made to the exhibition of the draft Section 94 Plan and a number of minor amendments have been made to the plan to assist in clarifying some of the key principles.  In our view, the Plan is a reasonable response to forecast community needs in the City.  The contribution levels which have been set are comparable to other growth LGA’s Section 94 open space and recreation facility funding arrangements in Western Sydney.

 

The detailed requirements and foreshadowed amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act legislation proposed by DoP are not known at this stage.  Despite their recent circular advising of proposed changes to the Government’s infrastructure contributions policy, it would be prudent for Council to advance the draft District Open Space Facilities Contributions Plan to adoption, given that this is the next step under the current guiding legislation.  This approach is consistent with the advice from Council’s solicitors.

 

Accordingly, the draft Penrith City District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan is recommended for Council’s formal adoption.  Given the detail of the maps, the Plan has been provided separately to Councillors.  It is also recommended that a further report be brought forward in relation to the Government’s new infrastructure contributions policy when further information is available.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Penrith City District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan be received

2.     Council adopt the draft District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan

3.     A further report be submitted to Council on the implications of the new Department of Planning circular on infrastructure contributions.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1.  

Draft Penrith City District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan

32 Pages

Attachment

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

4

Implementation of the Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy    

 

Compiled by:                Monique Desmarchelier, Healthy People Partnership Officer

Authorised by:             Wayne Mitchell, Environmental Health Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Strategies are in place to respond to the social and health needs of the community.

Critical Action: Develop and implement a healthy strategy for the City that will guide planning and strategies that embrace healthy outcomes.

     

Purpose:

To provide Council with additional information in relation to the Smoke Free Outdoor Area Policy.  The report recommends that the information be received.

 

Background

In July 2007, a report was presented to Council requesting support for the Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy. The report identified current trends in smoking and related diseases and other plans by Sydney West Area Health Service and NSW Health to reduce rates of smoking. Council recently resolved to join the NSW Cancer Council Community Partnership program and as part of the partnership an information kit was provided. This kit provided details on a survey of NSW residents who supported smoking bans in children’s playgrounds and a summary of this was included in the report.

 

Other councils were reported to have introduced smoke free policies, including the Western Sydney Councils of Liverpool and Hawkesbury, with bans on smoking in playing fields and playgrounds. No councils, during these investigations, were enforcing these bans. All councils stated that the policies were more a way of educating the community.

 

The previous report recognises that the policy would need to be implemented over a period of time, as we have a very large number of parks and playgrounds and the cost would be prohibitive to warrant signs at all locations. Like other councils, the signs would be an educational tool rather than enforced. There were a number of initiatives that have occurred prior to the adoption of the policy and these were also highlighted in the previous report.

 

The report was adopted, and additional information was requested on how the policy would be implemented. The current report will address those questions of implementation and mention some activities that will be undertaken as part of the policy.

The Pilot Project

In March 2004 Council officers were requested to investigate the feasibility of a Pilot no smoking program in a selected number of children’s playgrounds. Following preliminary investigations five playgrounds were chosen based on their location, cigarette butt litter and usage. The five playgrounds chosen were Peppertree Park at Erskine Park, Kokoda Park at St Marys, Spence Park on Doonmore St, Londonderry Park in Londonderry and Tench Reserve in Penrith. The Pilot involved surveying patrons about attitudes to passive smoking and the placement of signage warning of the dangers of passive smoking to children.

 

After collating the information from the surveys it was found that most people interviewed were aware of the term passive smoking and had seen articles regarding the effects to children’s health in the paper or items on television. Furthermore, most people interviewed “strongly agreed” that children should not be exposed to cigarette smoke and smoking may contribute to at least some of the conditions mentioned.

 

There was a large amount of support for Council trying to address the issue of smoking around children's facilities saying that it was a “good idea” and “Penrith Council (is) to be applauded”. This was reflected in the positive feedback about the signs in the playground.  People were generally supportive of the signs being erected, however, while nearly all respondents thought the signs were a good idea most people said that signs asking people not to smoke would have little influence in their decision to visit a playground. Smokers said they would continue to come to the playground and not smoke within the vicinity of the playgrounds.

 

Following feedback from a Councillor, a sign was relocated not long after the pilot at Spence Park to be more visible to patrons.

 

A recent review of the location of the pilot signs revealed that they were on average 2-3 metres away from the playground except for Peppertree Park and Spence Park where the signs are 5-6 metres away from the playground. It is suggested that these two signs be repositioned closer to the playground but all others remain where they are.  A concern was brought to Council Officers that graffiti was found on one sign. It was found that this was the only sign that had any defacing. The sign facing toward Colless St at Spence Park can be moved to face Derby St.

Council’s smoke free policy

In accordance with Councils adopted policy part of the implementation of Phase One will involve erecting signs in outdoor areas. The first of these will be children’s playgrounds. Phase Two will involve sporting fields. The implementation of Phase Two has not been planned and will be reported on following Phase One.

 

Penrith has 141 playgrounds so a number of criteria were reviewed in order to establish what playgrounds would be involved in the initial phase of implementation.

 

1)      Data was collected on suburbs with higher rates of children. There were a number of suburbs in the LGA that had higher average rates than NSW. These areas would have a higher playground usage than those with older people

2)      Other data was collected on suburbs with lower incomes as it is well established that those with economic disadvantage have more health concerns

3)      Other departments were contacted to see how they prioritise work conducted in parks of the area

4)      The Open Space Action Plan was reviewed for the number and size of recreational areas

·       District Parks that are greater than 5 ha and have universally designed playground equipment

·       Neighbourhood parks 3-5 ha in area with some playground equipment

·       Local Parks are .05 - 3ha in area with smaller playground area.

Where possible, district and neighbourhood parks were chosen.

5)      Usage: Patrons were observed at the playgrounds

6)      Proximity to playing fields that would have greater usage

 

The Tobacco Prevention Co-ordinator at the Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS) provided advice and assistance throughout the process of determining the parks.

 

The parks chosen as priority sites were:

·        Cook Park - a local Park in St Marys /Colyton

·        Greygums oval (Neighbourhood) and Andromeda Park (Local) - in Cranebrook

·        Jamison Park - a district park in South Penrith Jamisontown

·        Surveyors Creek Reserve and Apple Gum reserve - two local parks in Glenmore Park

·        Parker St Reserve - a Neighbourhood park in Penrith

·        Chapman Gardens - a neighbourhood Park at Kingswood

·        Myrtle St Playground - in Claremont Meadows

 

In addition to these, the playgrounds that have the signage from the pilot will be removed and replaced with the new signs. These playgrounds are

·        Tench Reserve - Penrith

·        Kokoda Park - St Marys

·        Londonderry Park - Londonderry

·        Peppertree Park - Erskine Park

·        Spence Park – Penrith

 

The below table shows that for the moment the majority of new signs and replacement signs will be located on new poles 2-3 metres from the playground. While some of the pilot playgrounds have light poles that can be used.

 

Playground

New pole

To be attached to existing structure/pole

Tench reserve

 

 

Kokoda Park

 

  √ light poles

Londonderry Park

 

 

Peppertree Park

 

 

Spence Park

 

 

Cook Park

 

 

Greygums oval

√ light pole

Jamison Park

√ light pole

Surveyors Creek Reserve

 

 

Parker St Reserve

 

 

Chapman Gardens

 

 

Myrtle St Playground

 

 

Apple Gum reserve

 

 

Poplar park North St Marys

 

 

Roper Rd Colyton

 

 

√ sign

Signs

The signs will be 400x300mm, black and red with the following words showing the Penrith Logo and a picture of a family: 

·        No smoking within 10m of this playground

·        Smoke free playgrounds - Protect our kids’ health

The cost of making the signs is $1534.50 (a copy of the signs design can be found in the appendix 1). The cost of putting up the signs would be $1600.00 for the 20 signs. Each playground will be allocated two signs. As can be seen from the table, these will be erected on existing poles where possible so as to maintain the current amenity of the area.  They would be erected at the two most obvious major entrances to each playground.

 

The safety of additional signage is of great importance. Councils, where signage has been erected have not following any specific guidelines but rather, according to the NSW Cancer Council, have ensured that the signs are far enough away from the playgrounds to allow children to play safely but close enough to the playgrounds to allow carers and parents to see any signs.

 

Kidssafe is the trading name of the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia, which was founded in 1979 by a group of professionals and business people focused on the prevention of accidental injuries to children. Kidssafe was contacted in relation to their policy on signage for children’s playgrounds and they expressed concern about the location of the signs being a safety issue for children and carers. They applauded Council for considering this prior to the erection of signs.

 

With this additional research, signs on poles will be placed 2-3 metres from the border of the playgrounds to ensure safety for children while playing but also for carers passing with small children. In order to capture the attention of adult carers, as they approach the playground the signs will be facing away from the playground. Regardless of where the signs are placed there is likely to be some people that do not see the signs but the method outlined will minimise this occurring.

 

Grant

Signs will be erected in the above parks using funds received from the SWAHS to the amount of $2000.00. This funding was received as part of 2007 World No Tobacco Day endorsed by World Health Organisation in which the theme was Smoke free environments. The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness of the lethal health consequences of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. NSW Health, through the Area Health Service supports this campaign by offering funds for events and projects. To implement Phase One, it is intended to match this amount raising the total to $4000.00. This money will be available from existing health promotion budgets. The table below summarises the budget. The promotion will include a small launch with local media exposure.

 

Activities

Overall Funding for Phase One

20 Signs installed

$3134.50

Promotions

$865.50

Total

$4000.00

 

 

Possible future funding

The NSW Cancer Council recently released details of a Local Government Community Partnership Grant Program to the maximum value of $2500.00. The five criteria for the grant are:

·        Council has adopted smoke free policy on playgrounds and sporting fields

·        Council has banned smoking in two other outdoor environments

·        Council matches the grant amount dollar for dollar

·        Council issues a press release

·        Clear benefits for the community are outlined in the proposal

If Council is successful in securing this additional grant funding, the following Parks will be added to the project:

 

Mulgoa Park, Mulgoa

Werrington Creek Park, Werrington (District)

Dukes Oval, Emu Plains (Neighbourhood)

Smith Park, Castlereagh

Clissold Reserve, Emu Heights

Blue Hills Park, Glenmore Park

Southlands Oval, South Penrith

Peppermint Reserve, Kingswood

Melville Rd St Clair

Bennett St St Marys

 

Additional parks will be considered in the future.

 

There will be more of an emphasis on media and promotions if the grant application to the NSW Cancer Council is successful. This may include paid articles in the local paper, website additions, development and distribution of information to Councils neighbourhood centres and pools. A local theatre company may also be interested in undertaking some street theatre in shopping strips to raise awareness within the community of the smoke free parks. An application for the NSW Cancer Council grant has been submitted and Council will be advised of the outcome.

Conclusion

Significant studies and programs undertaken by organisations such as the NSW Health, Sydney West Area Health Services and the NSW Cancer Council have highlighted the seriousness of cancer incidence rates, related diseases and the links to smoking and passive smoking.  This has lead to indoor smoking bans in NSW venues and an emphasis is now being placed on providing children in particular with safe and healthy play grounds and parks. This is the objective of Phase One of Council’s Smoke Free Outdoor Policy and will be achieved by erecting signs in the parks detailed in this report.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on Implementation of the Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy  be received.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Smoke free sign

1 Page

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 1 - Smoke free sign

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

5

Glenmore Park Stage 1 Development Contributions Plan Review   

 

Compiled by:                Wayne Trew, Project Coordinator Development Contributions

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Timely delivery of services to new release areas is being secured.

Critical Action: Prepare and implement services and infrastructure delivery plans for each new release area that ensures that the early establishment of services and facilities match community needs.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council on the outcomes of the most recent review of the Glenmore Park Stage 1 Development (Section 94) Contributions Plan for the Estate.  The report recommends that the Contributions Plan be formally amended and a draft be placed on public exhibition.

 

Background

The Glenmore Park Release Area Section 94 Development Contributions Plan was first adopted by Council in July 1993, with Council reviewing the plan on a number of occasions.  The Plan allows for the provision of community facilities, recreation facilities, trunk drainage and roads and traffic management works.

 

An independent audit of the Glenmore Park Section 94 Plan by KPMG in 2002 had identified a potential surplus in funds of approximately $4M, assuming the entire estate develops and outstanding works in the plan are completed as budgeted.  Previous plan amendments have substantially reduced this amount.  The plan however still holds an estimated surplus of approximately $1.8M, and is a result of interest received on developer contributions, project budgets in the early life of the plan were not indexed as regularly as developer contributions, and some projects were completed under budget.

 

Development in the Glenmore Park estate is nearing completion, and most of the projects identified in the Section 94 Plan have been completed.  These projects include Schoolhouse Creek and Surveyors Creek trunk drainage systems, the Glenmore Parkway, the Floribunda Neighbourhood Centre, Surveyors Creek Community Centre, Town Centre Youth Facility, Ched Towns Reserve, Garswood Road softball fields and numerous passive recreation areas.

 

There are only a few remaining projects to deliver.  The current year’s work program provides for around $2.0M expenditure on a number of projects, including: Glenmore Parkway Lighting, Bus Shelters (on identification of locations), Schoolhouse Creek Pedestrian Bridge, Signals at Jamison and Mulgoa Road intersection, Eastern Hamlets Child & Family Precinct and Embellishment works at Entry site and Northern Viewshed.

 

The Eastern Hamlets Child and Family Precinct is the last remaining major project to be undertaken.  This project received Development Application approval in November 2007. Documentation is currently being finalised to enable the project to go to tender in February 2008.

Section 94 Plan Status

The Section 94 Plan identifies a sum of $3,498,918 for the establishment of the proposed Child and Family Precinct.  This amount is less than the current design and construction estimate for the project.  As a result, a review of the Section 94 Plan has been undertaken and after excluding projects already identified and budgeted to be undertaken, an amount of $5,313,293 could be made available from the Plan without impacting upon the currently identified projects.

 

In addition, the recently adopted Glenmore Park Stage 2 Section 94 Contributions Plan identified the appropriateness of that new release contributing to the establishment of the Child and Family Precinct.  Accordingly, an amount of $1,345,618 was incorporated in the Stage 2 Section 94 budget.  That Plan has been recently adopted by Council and has taken effect. 

 

This provides a total Section 94 opportunity of $6,658,911 for the proposed Child and Family Precinct Project. 

Community and Cultural Development Manager’s Comments

The management responsibility and budget for the Child and Family Precinct was moved in August 2007 from the Children’s Services Department to the Community and Cultural Development Department.

 

The masterplan for the precinct identifies six key functional areas, all of which are inter-related and make up a community hub.  The six key areas include an adventure play area, an outdoor community meeting area, a child and family centre, a small corner store/coffee shop, car parking facilities and a ‘magnetic’ open space area.

 

Planning for the Glenmore Park Child and Family Precinct program has progressed considerably over the past few months.  A GPCFP Program Support Team has been operational and will continue to ensure the smooth implementation of the Precinct.

 

A ‘whole of program’ cost estimate has been developed for the Child and Family Precinct.  This cost estimate incorporates a Quantity Surveyors cost estimate of the plans submitted with the DA and additional design elements identified during the design process.   This process included the Councillor Briefing of 26 February 2007, consultation with local Glenmore Park residents, input from Council’s Disability Access Committee and the Conditions of Consent for the Development Application.  

 

There is approximately $7,028,911 available for the Glenmore Park Child and Family Precinct project.  Based on the latest comprehensive ‘whole of program’ cost estimate this amount is sufficient to deliver the project.   

 

A further Quantity Surveyor’s cost estimate will be obtained based on the final plans to be submitted with the Construction Certificate.  This final estimate will give an updated figure to construct the Glenmore Park Child and Family Precinct. The actual costs will not be known until the tender process has been completed and a preferred tenderer is endorsed by Council.   A number of strategies have been identified to ensure the ‘whole of program’ cost for the Child and Family Precinct does not exceed the available budget.

 

A number of tasks will be undertaken during the December / January period to ensure that the momentum of the Glenmore Park Child and Family Precinct program is maintained. These tasks include the commencement of the tender process with an Expression of Interest, re-exhibition of the Glenmore Park Development (Section 94) Contributions Plan (the subject of this report), finalising the detailed documentation for the Construction Certificate, lodgement of Construction Certificate, and obtaining the final Quantity Surveyor cost estimate.

 

The outcomes from these tasks will also be report to Council in February 2008 along with a ‘shortlist’ of suitable contractors identified during the EOI process.  The February report will also seek approval to go to tender.  A further report to Council in March 2008 will then seek approval to appoint the preferred tenderer.

 

Given this timeframe it is estimated that at least two months of construction of the Glenmore Park Child and Family Precinct will occur in the current financial year.     

Financial Service Manager’s Comments

This completed review of the Glenmore Park Stage 1 Section 94 Plan along with the Glenmore Park Stage 2 Section 94 Plan and a Property Development contribution, for the commercial element of the project, identifies sufficient funding to complete the proposed Child and Family Precinct project.  Total funding available to this project is $7,028,911 with construction set to commence in late 2007-08.  As mentioned above the finalisation of this project would result in all of the works identified in the Glenmore Park Stage 1 plan being completed.

 

It should be noted however, that the Section 94 Plans for Glenmore Park do not currently contain sufficient contributions to fund the project.  It is recommended that consideration be given, during the up coming Management Plan process, to forward fund these contributions, approximately $2.5m, through external borrowings that will be repaid by Section 94.

Next Steps

It is necessary to formally amend the Glenmore Park Stage 1 Section 94 Plan to increase the budget identified for the proposed Child and Family Precinct project to enable it to advance.  The draft Plan amendment is required to be exhibited for 28 days.  However, given the onset of the holiday period, it is intended that the Plan be placed on public exhibition for an extended period, concluding early February. 

Conclusion

Development in the Glenmore Park Stage 1 Release Area is nearing completion, with little residential land remaining to be developed.  Only a small number of projects identified in the Section 94 Plan remain to be implemented, the most major of which is the proposed Eastern Hamlets Child and Family Precinct.  There are, however, insufficient funds currently allocated to this major project in the Glenmore Park Stage 1 Section 94 Plan. 

 

The opportunity exists for Council to utilise the surplus funds estimated in the Section 94 Plan to provide a first class community facility which will benefit families in the estate.  Accordingly, it is recommended that the Glenmore Park Stage 1 Development Contributions Plan be amended to incorporate the allocation of available funds as outlined in the report to enable the Child and Family Precinct project to advance. 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Glenmore Park Stage 1 Development Contributions Plan Review be received

2.     Council publicly exhibit an amended draft Glenmore Park Stage 1 Development Contributions Plan incorporating allocation of available funds to the Eastern Hamlets Child and Family Precinct project as outlined in the report

3.     A further report be brought back to Council following the exhibition period.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

6

Waterside Estate - Request to vary landscaped open space requirements   

 

Compiled by:                Paul Battersby, Senior Environmental Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: New release areas provide for a diversity of housing opportunities, including affordable housing, consistent with emerging community needs and which facilitates the development of diverse neighbourhoods.

Critical Action: Prepare and implement plans for each new release area in collaboration with the development sector and key Government agencies that provide a wide diversity and mix of housing types that meet current and emerging community needs.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of a request by Stockland to vary the landscaped open space requirement for single storey dwellings in the Waterside Estate.  The report recommends that Council vary the landscaped open space requirement as requested.

 

Background

Waterside is an urban release area adjacent to the suburb of Cranebrook.  The site is generally bounded by Andrews Road to the south, Cranebrook Road to the west, Nepean Street to the north and Laycock Street / Greygums Reserve to the east.

 

Planning for the estate was initially undertaken in the mid 1990’s, and evolved in response to a multitude of onsite and surrounding physical characteristics, in particular flooding and industrial noise impacts.  These investigations culminated in the gazettal of Penrith Local Environmental Plan 1998 (Lakes Environs) and the adoption of Penrith Development Control Plan 1998 (Lakes Environs) (DCP) on 13 March 1998.

 

The site comprises 2 development zones, namely the Residential (Waterways) 2(g) and the Residential (Services) 2(h) zones.  The Residential (Waterways) 2(g) zone comprises some 53.3ha of land and is currently being developed by Stockland for housing, ultimately delivering some 694 dwellings.  The Residential (Services) 2(h) zone is located along the Andrews Road frontage of the property. 

Stockland has been progressing development of the Waterside residential estate with the construction of the lake system, rollout of service infrastructure, and the opening of the display village in December, 2006.  Some 32 dwellings have been constructed or are under construction.

Waterside has established new benchmarks in the design and delivery of sustainable residential communities in Penrith.  The development has been recognised in Council’s Excellence in Design Awards 2007 (Winner - Urban Living Award 2007) and the Urban Development Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence (Winner – Residential Lifestyle Development under 1000 lots 2007 and Commendation for Sustainability 2007).    

A principal objective of the Residential (Waterways) 2(g) zone is “to provide for a variety and mix of housing forms”.  The Waterside DCP required the preparation of a Masterplan to guide development of the estate in achieving this objective. An integral principle of the Masterplan is the provision of a mix of dwelling sizes and types to support opportunities for generational and lifestyle change together with varied built form and attractive streetscapes. 

The Masterplan seeks to deliver housing diversity through two storey development at key locations supported by a mixture of single and two storey housing elsewhere throughout the estate.

Current Situation

Stockland have observed that some 40% of all recent enquiries are for new single storey dwellings.  These requests are mainly from:

·        Older persons looking for an adaptable form of housing amongst the amenity provided within Waterside;

·        Local people looking to relocate from larger rural lot property who no longer want the associated maintenance obligations; and

·        Local people looking for a more affordable detached dwelling.

The Waterside development requirements in DCP 2006 require a nominated percentage of the site to be retained as landscaped open space. This control governs the amount of the site that can be occupied by the dwelling, i.e. the size of dwelling that can be constructed on the land.  The current Landscape Open Space (LOS) controls applying to Waterside are 50% for lots 450m2 or greater and 40% for lots between 450m2 and 300m2.  Stockland argue these LOS controls restrict the size of single storey dwellings to an extent that is unmarketable. 

 

As an example, Stockland indicate that the maximum living space (excluding garage) on a 450m2 lot under the current landscape controls is approximately 130m2 (14 squares).  Stockland state that this size of dwelling is significantly less than what people seeking a single storey dwelling are demanding and has the effect of discouraging single storey dwellings in the estate.  To date, of the 38 dwellings approved, only 2 have been single storey dwellings.  As such, there is the potential that the urban design outcomes envisaged at the master planning stage which sought to have varied, interesting streetscapes and a wide diversity of dwelling types may not materialize. 

Stockland’s experience is that prospective purchasers are becoming dissatisfied with the size of the single storey dwelling they can achieve and do not, therefore, proceed with the purchase.  Stockland argue that not being able to provide single storey designs demanded by the market risks achievement of the design outcomes envisaged by the masterplan and, in these slow market conditions, further contributes to the challenge of maintaining the viability of Waterside.  

Proposal

Stockland request that Council reduce the current LOS controls for single storey dwellings as follows:

 

 

Current Requirement

Proposed Requirement

Type A Lots greater than 550m2

50%

50%

Type A lots between 550m2 and 450m2

50%

40%

Type B lots between 450m2 and 300m2

40%

30%

Stockland argue that the revised controls will facilitate stronger interest in single storey dwellings.  A greater provision of single storey dwellings, will achieve a number of desirable outcomes for the Waterside estate, including:

·        Contribution towards the creation of a varied streetscape with different housing forms and housing diversity in accordance with the objectives of the endorsed masterplan;

·        The provision of adaptable and accessible forms of housing for older people or people with a disability;

·        The provision of more affordable housing to assist with home ownership; and

·        Enable a reasonable sales rate to maintain project viability. 

Stockland propose the following measures and procedures to maintain a high quality urban design outcome for the estate:

1)      Provision of additional design principles within the Stockland Design Guidelines specifically addressing single storey housing and ensuring the continuity of the existing principles to this housing form.  These principles require two storey dwellings in prominent locations to support important vistas and identify design solutions to avoid garage dominance on single storey homes.  A copy of the single storey design principles has been provided to Councillors separately;

2)      The preparation of a suite of pre-approved single storey designs from the Stockland Partner Builders (Eden Brae Homes, Provincial Homes and Wincrest) that respond to the single storey principles contained in the design guidelines.  This process will offer, at the point of sale, designs that will address Council’s design concerns with single storey dwellings.  A sample of single storey designs from some of the Partner Builders has been provided to Councillors separately.  A complete suite of plans will be prepared in conjunction with Council Officers in due course.

3)      All applications for single storey designs must be endorsed through Stockland prior to lodgement with Council to ensure that the design integrity of the estate is maintained;         

4)      An indicative streetscape elevation has been prepared to illustrate that quality streetscape outcomes will be achieved under the design controls and has been provided to Councillors separately.

 

Stockland state that they are committed to the delivery of a quality urban outcome for Waterside.  They consider the design proposals outlined will maintain the design integrity of Waterside, yet allow a greater proportion of single storey dwellings in the interest of achieving the envisaged Masterplan outcomes and providing a form of housing that is being increasingly demanded by the market. 

Assessment of the Proposal

A principal objective of the planning for the Waterside residential estate is to provide a variety and mix of housing forms to support the establishment of a new cohesive community in a contemporary and attractive urban area.  An integral mechanism for achieving this objective is the provision of a diversity of housing via a balanced mixture of single and two storey dwellings.

Evidence to date would indicate that the current landscaped open space requirements of the Waterside DCP are discouraging the construction of single storey dwellings in favour of two storey dwellings.  Stockland’s proposal seeks to redress this imbalance and is considered to be a reasonable approach.

The minimum private open space requirement in the current DCP of 20% of the site area, of which a minimum 25m2 is to be directly accessible from the living areas in the dwelling, is not proposed to be changed.

The existing development controls such as building setback, design, privacy, solar access and private open space controls remain unchanged.  These controls, together with the additional design controls proposed by Stockland for single storey development, are considered will maintain the amenity of the individual dwelling and the quality urban design outcome already established within this multi award winning estate.

Next Steps

The first stage of the City-wide Local Plan is advancing to exhibition.  The second stage will cover the residential areas, new release areas and the small commercial/neighbourhood centres.  Stage 2 of the Local Plan process is considered the most appropriate mechanism for formally amending the landscaped open space requirements for single storey housing in Waterside. 

However, Stage 2 of the Local Plan and related DCP 2008 is not expected to be completed for exhibition until the last quarter of 2008.  Delaying this matter until that time restricts the ability to provide the planned for variety and mix of housing forms and jeopardises the continued success of the Waterside estate.  In the interim, it is recommended that Council support applicant requests to vary the landscaped open space requirements for Waterside contained in DCP 2006 at the time of considering the development application.

The intention of inserting additional design principles in Stockland’s non-statutory Design Guidelines for the estate, which are separate to and supportive of the DCP, will also assist in providing guidance to applicants.

Conclusion

The current landscaped open space requirements are discouraging the construction of single storey dwellings in the estate, placing at risk the Masterplan objective of providing varied streetscapes and a diversity of housing within Waterside.  A mixture of housing types and forms is integral to meeting the diverse needs of the new community and to delivering quality urban outcomes. 

The requested variation of the landscaped open space requirement will redress this circumstance in a manner that will maintain residential amenity and invigorate delivery of the estate.

Under the circumstances, the applicant’s request in relation to varying the Waterside landscaped open space requirements in DCP 2006 is worthy of support.  Given the progression of the City-wide Local Plan, it is recommended that the amendment be formally incorporated in the draft DCP 2008 residential controls when formulated.  In the interim, it would be appropriate for housing to progress on the basis of requests being made to vary this control at development application stage.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Waterside Estate - Request to vary landscaped open space requirements be received

2.     Council progress amendment of the landscaped open space requirements for single storey dwellings in Waterside via Penrith Development Control Plan 2008, as outlined in the report

3.     Council advise Stockland that pending incorporation of the amended landscaped open space requirements within Penrith Development Control Plan 2008, Council will support proposals to vary the landscaped open space requirement when considering development applications for single storey dwellings.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

7

Deferred Lands Local Environmental Plan No.188 - Glenmore Park   

 

Compiled by:                Natasha Baker, Senior Environmental Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: New release areas provide for a diversity of housing opportunities, including affordable housing, consistent with emerging community needs and which facilitates the development of diverse neighbourhoods.

Critical Action: Prepare and implement plans for each new release area in collaboration with the development sector and key Government agencies that provide a wide diversity and mix of housing types that meet current and emerging community needs.

     

Purpose:

To seek Council's endorsement to zone deferred lands under Penrith Local Environmental Plan No.188 to allow residential development.  The report recommends that Council forward a Section 68 submission to the Minister of Planning to zone deferred lands under Penrith Local Environmental Plan No.188.

 

Background

In 1989, the Minister of Planning gazetted Penrith Local Environmental Plan No188 (LEP 188) which rezoned rural land to residential to advance the Glenmore Park release area for urban development.  The gazetted plan is appended to this report.

 

Certain lands were deferred from inclusion in the LEP pending further investigation of the impacts of quarrying activities located south of the estate to enable first stage residential development to occur in the western most catchments.  The quarrying activity was located in the vicinity of Bradley Street to the south-east of the estate, in the area which Council has recently advanced for rezoning as Glenmore Park Stage 2.

 

Since gazettal of LEP 188, several amendments have been made to zone deferred lands along the western and southern boundaries of the estate to urban purposes.  This excluded land with frontage to Bradley Street (the subject land) as it was in the buffer area required from the quarrying activities further south, and also provided access to the quarrying activities at the time.  

 

The deferred land subject to this report, is an approximate 100 metre wide segment of land immediately north of Bradley Street which adjoins the Glenmore Park Stage 2 northern boundary.  Appended to this report is the amended LEP map which highlights the deferred area, the subject of this report. 

 

The quarrying activity in Bradley Street has now ceased and the site rehabilitated.  Accordingly, the subject area is no longer constrained and can now be considered for rezoning to urban purposes to enable its residential development as contemplated by the original LEP for the estate.  

Current Situation

Council has received a submission from the landowners of the deferred land requesting that the land be zoned for urban purposes. In August 2007 Council wrote to the Department of Planning (DoP) seeking its position on the process in dealing with this matter.

 

In November 2007, DoP suggested that given the circumstances and previous planning intentions for the site Council should resolve to ‘un-defer’ the subject land and submit a Section 68 submission, which would then enable DoP to prepare a Section 69 report for the Minister’s consideration to rezone the land to urban.  DoP has indicated that the Section 68 submission regarding the deferred lands in LEP 188 would be considered in context with the recently received Section 68 submission for Glenmore Park Stage 2 release draft LEP. 

 

LEP No 188 as originally exhibited showed the future intentions of the land with a 2 (Urban) zone which is consistent with the remainder of Glenmore Park.  It is now open to Council to resolve the matter by ‘un-deferring’ the land and resolving to forward a submission to the Department under Section 68 requesting the Minister make the amendment to the plan.

Glenmore Park Stage 2

Planning for Glenmore Park Stage 2, south of land zoned under LEP 188 has progressed on the basis that the quarrying activity on the land has ceased and that it is no longer viable. Council at its meeting of 5 November 2007 adopted the draft LEP for Glenmore Park Stage 2 and a clause was included which seeks to secure the surrender of any development consents for extractive industries on the land prior to urban development commencement. This will also ensure that there is no longer a buffer required and the deferred status of the subject land under LEP 188 in the existing Glenmore Park estate can be removed.

 

With Stage 2 advancing, it is no longer necessary to provide the previous buffer between development of the subject land and the quarrying activity to the south.

Local Plan Process

The deferred lands under LEP 188 extends to the Northern Road along Bradley Street.  The ‘un-deferring’ of only part of these lands is to provide consistency with the E4 Environmental Living zone under Stage 1 of the draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Local Plan) which was endorsed for public exhibition at its meeting of 15 October 2007.  The appended map shows the extent of the deferred lands.

 

The identification of zoning this portion of land E4, reinforces Council’s longstanding position regarding the land retaining its rural character and zoning to preserve the attractive rural approach along The Northern Road as an important entry to Penrith.  Also, that a semi-rural environment would provide a high visual amenity to the locality and a valuable buffer to the denser residential forms to the west being the now developed Glenmore Park estate.

 

The 2 (Urban) zoning arrangement is only a temporary measure to advance residential development on this land as it will be further considered within Stage 2 of the Local Plan when release areas and residential areas will be included in the citywide LEP.

Next Steps

If supported by Council, a Section 68 submission to zone the deferred land 2 (Urban) under LEP 188 will be forwarded to DoP so they can prepare a Section 69 report for the Minister’s consideration, parallel with their consideration of the Glenmore Park Stage 2 draft LEP.

Conclusion

Now that quarrying activities have ceased in Glenmore Park and the planning for Glenmore Park Stage 2 is advancing, it no longer necessary to retain the remaining deferred lands.

 

DoP has advised that it is prepared to consider a submission which seeks to remove the deferred status of the subject land, and have this considered in context with the draft LEP for Glenmore Park Stage 2 which is with DoP and awaiting reporting to the Minster for Planning.

 

It is recommended that Council endorse the zoning of the deferred land to 2 (Urban) consistent with the adjoining zoning under LEP 188 and forward a Section 68 submission to DoP for consideration by the Minister.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Deferred Lands Local Environmental Plan No.188 - Glenmore Park be received

2.     That Council forward a Section 68 submission to the Department of Planning requesting the deferred lands in Glenmore Park Stage 1 release under LEP 188 be zoned 2 (Urban).

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Glenmore Park Gazetted LEP No. 188

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

Glenmore Park Amended Plan Zoning Deferred Lands

1 Page

Appendix

3. View

Deferred land to be zoned 2 Urban under LEP No. 188

1 Page

Appendix

4. View

Map showing 2 urban zone and E4 zone over deferred lands

1 Page

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 1 - Glenmore Park Gazetted LEP No. 188

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 2 - Glenmore Park Amended Plan Zoning Deferred Lands

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 3 - Deferred land to be zoned 2 Urban under LEP No. 188

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 4 - Map showing 2 urban zone and E4 zone over deferred lands

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

8

Affordable Housing   

 

Compiled by:                Erich Weller, Community and Cultural Development Manager

Authorised by:             Craig Butler, Director - City Planning  

Requested By:             Councillor Ross Fowler

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council's planning approach to the provision of housing across the City addresses the supply, choice, affordability, economic, social diversity and workplace needs of the community.

Critical Action: Review the effectiveness of Councils Residential Strategy, ensuring that it addresses the current and emerging, supply, choice, affordability, and social and economic diversity needs of the City's communities.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of a proposed partnership with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing to progress affordable rental housing outcomes in the City.  The report recommends that Council endorse the proposed partnership with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing as outlined in this report.  The report also recommends an addition to Council's Sustainability Blueprint for New Release Areas in relation to affordable housing.

 

Background

At the Policy Review Committee meeting of 14 August 2006 Council received a report on Affordable Housing.  As a result of that report Councillor Fowler requested a further report “on affordable housing including on the initiatives that can be undertaken by Council in providing group housing for people with a disability”. 

 

The principal matters detailed in tonight’s report were the subject of a paper to the Councillor Briefing on 12 November 2007.

 

Extensive information on affordable housing for people with a disability was also provided in the Briefing Paper to Council.  An advocacy position on this matter will be the subject of a further report in the first quarter of 2008.

 

Council recognises that the Federal and State Governments have principal responsibility for delivering affordable housing outcomes.  In line with the Percy Allan Independent Inquiry into Financial Sustainability this report proposes Council takes a facilitation role and exercises leverage through partnerships to achieve affordable rental housing outcomes.

 

This report focuses on the specific matter of progressing Council’s approach to achieving the affordable housing outcome as outlined in Council’s Sustainability Blueprint for New Release Areas.  The Blueprint states that “a minimum of 3% of all residential allotments to be provided for the purpose of affordable housing”.  Alternatively, in some instances, monetary contribution to enable housing units to be constructed elsewhere in Penrith is possible.  This requirement can only be implemented through a negotiated voluntary planning agreement.

Council has been informed that in principle agreement has been reached with the Glenmore Park Landowners Group on a contribution of $1 million to Council to achieve affordable rental housing outcomes in the City.  This contribution complements the market driven response by the Landowners Group which will see a range of different dwelling types including smaller dwellings provided as part of the Stage 2 development.  The details of this in principle agreement are currently being finalised with the Glenmore Park Landowners Group.  The Environmental Planning Manager is leading these negotiations.

 

Further negotiations on Council’s Sustainability Blueprint Affordable Housing requirement are progressing in other new release areas.

 

The priority for Council at this time is to progress affordable rental housing outcomes in the City, particularly focussing on the most appropriate implementation approach for affordable housing contributions to Council.

 

For the purposes of this report it is useful to distinguish between the term “affordable housing” as outlined in this report and the broader question of the affordability of housing.  The latter deals with a complex set of issues including Commonwealth taxation policy, the state of the economy, infrastructure investment and provision, housing demand, land supply and various purchase or investment incentives.  In different circumstances the various factors listed above will have different impacts.  This report does not deal with this complex set of issues.

Other Affordable Housing Matters

At the two-year strategic program review held at the Policy Review Committee meeting of 29 October, the Director-City Planning raised affordable housing as an issue for the City over the next two years and beyond.

 

In the discussion on affordable housing at that meeting, matters raised included:

 

·        the impacts of the proposed changes to developer contributions on the affordability of housing;

·        the approach to affordable housing by other metropolitan councils.

 

Given the specific purpose of this report, and the still limited information available on the detail of the proposed changes to developer contributions, the matters raised at the Strategic Program Review will be addressed in forthcoming briefings or reports to Council.

 

As part of the preparation of the review of the City’s Residential Strategy, a more detailed overview of the approach to affordable housing by other metropolitan councils will be provided.  In the main, these other approaches have been utilised in inner-City local government contexts.

 

Councillors have also raised the need for an advocacy position for Council on affordable housing including housing for purchase.  It is proposed that a further report or briefing paper be presented for Council’s consideration in the first quarter of 2008.  WSROC has also completed some research in this area of affordable housing.  Further analysis of the new Federal Labour Government’s affordable housing policies is also required.

Partnership with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing

At the Councillor Briefing on 12 November 2007 Councillors received a paper on Affordable Housing including a presentation from the Acting Director of the Centre, Mr Will Roden.  The Centre is a business unit of the Department of Housing.

 

The existing Memorandum of Understanding between Council and the NSW Department of Housing identified affordable housing as a joint priority for further action.  Affordable rental housing is defined as housing for a range of income groups from very low to low and moderate income groups.

 

The NSW Centre for Affordable Housing has developed significant expertise in debt equity affordable rental housing projects, the systems required to ensure the effective targeting of affordable housing to low income households, the financial modelling to ensure viability of affordable housing projects, leveraging other partner equity contributions, as well as instituting guarantees that the affordable housing provided will extend up to and beyond a 40 year period.

 

All of the necessary steps to achieve the above requires the relevant project assessment, financial modelling, legal, management as well as accountability and reporting over time expertise.

 

The affordable housing model outlined by the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing can provide housing for a range of target groups, including people with a disability on very low to moderate incomes.  However, it is important that people with a disability that might be housed in an affordable housing project can live relatively independently.  Some other government funded service support might be required but not extensive live-in or 24 hour care.  People with moderate to severe disabilities with high needs would generally be accommodated in a group home or other more supported living environment. 

 

By partnering with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing, Council can access the necessary expertise and support to maximise affordable rental housing outcomes for very low and low income households.  Through the Centre’s Debt Equity Affordable Housing Program, Council can leverage its new release area affordable housing contributions to double the number of affordable rental housing dwellings that can be delivered.  Between 2008 and 2010 the Centre has $30 million to allocate to the Debt Equity Program.

 

Under the Centre’s Debt Equity Program community housing associations can apply for the Centre’s Debt Equity Program funds.  The community housing association must also commit some of its own funds as well as loan funds to their proposed project.  The Community Housing Association selects the eligible tenants based on income and other criteria (e.g. people with a disability) and manages the affordable rental dwellings and tenants.  The life-cycle maintenance costs of the dwellings are also built into the financial modelling to ensure the sustainability of proposed projects.

 

In the case of the proposed partnership between Penrith City Council and the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing, Council would contribute its affordable housing contributions on the basis that the funds are used for a project in Penrith and Council approves the project.  As the partnership progresses, a further report will need to be presented to Council.  The timing of this will be dependent on when Council receives its first contributions for affordable rental housing under a voluntary planning agreement.

Affordable Housing and New Release Areas in Penrith City

As indicated in the introduction to this report, the Sustainability Blueprint for New Release Areas incorporates Council’s current policy position in relation to affordable housing and new release areas.  The Blueprint requirement states that “a minimum of 3% of all residential allotments to be provided for the purpose of affordable housing”.  Alternatively, in some instances, a monetary contribution to enable affordable housing dwellings to be constructed elsewhere in Penrith is possible.  This requirement can only be implemented through a negotiated voluntary planning agreement with the new release area landowner/developer.

 

From the negotiations between Council and the Glenmore Park Landowners Group on the affordable housing component of the Glenmore Park Stage 2 voluntary planning agreement, it is apparent that some additional policy guidance is required to provide greater direction to Council officers on the Sustainability Blueprint affordable housing requirement.

 

A number of developers have proposed to Council that they can achieve the required affordable housing target in the Blueprint through the provision of a diverse range of dwellings, including villas and studio apartments.  These smaller dwellings will certainly be more affordable for purchase and rental than detached three or four bedroom dwellings.  However this “market driven” response provides no guarantee that a low income tenant will actually reside in the more affordable dwelling.  It also does not provide an affordable housing outcome for low income families.  Research has shown that often higher income tenants (as well as purchasers) are occupying the majority of low cost stock, unless there is a managed process of tenant selection according to agreed eligibility criteria (including income).

 

It is proposed that any affordable housing proposal put forward by a new release area developer meet, at least in part, the following additional desirable requirement:

 

·        that at least some of the affordable housing that is proposed to meet Council’s Sustainability Blueprint requirement of 3% is for long-term and sustainable rental accommodation that guarantees the households allocated the affordable housing are on a range of income levels including the very-low to low income.

 

There are accepted definitions of these income ranges in the context of using Penrith City median household incomes as a benchmark.

 

It must be reiterated that, as with the existing affordable housing requirement in the Sustainability Blueprint, this addition will need to be negotiated on a case by case basis with landowners/developers as part of a voluntary planning agreement.

Affordable Housing in other Urban Areas of the City

The report to Council’s Policy Review Committee meeting of 14 August 2006 summarised the statutory planning arrangements that are currently available to local government to achieve affordable housing outcomes through planning processes.  The principal mechanism that is available are voluntary planning agreements.

 

The development of an Affordable Housing Strategy for established areas will form part of Council’s Residential Strategy Review which will be progressed in 2008.  The Department of Housing and the Centre for Affordable Housing is working with the State Government in the development of an Affordable Housing Strategy, which will inform Council’s policy directions, if it is released.

 

The encouragement of a variety of housing choice and mixed use development, including affordable housing opportunities, is also a key action identified in the City Centres’ Strategies (Penrith and St Marys) endorsed by Council at its Policy Review Meeting on 24 July 2006.

 

Whilst the Metropolitan Strategy’s definition of 'affordable' will be considered, an understanding of what is 'locally affordable' in the context of local wages and local social and economic systems is also needed.  A comprehensive approach to affordable housing, that deals with both affordable buying and affordable renting, and looks at the effects of processes such as gentrification and social polarisation as our City changes, will be required.

Considerations in Council’s Approach to Affordable Housing

The provision of affordable housing or affordable housing for people with a disability is not the core business of Council.

 

For the reasons outlined in this report, Council is most likely to be a facilitator of initiatives that deliver affordable housing outcomes.  It is well understood that affordable housing for rental provides a more sustainable and long-term affordable housing outcome.  Affordable housing developed for home-ownership, depending upon the model, remains affordable for a shorter period (often to the first purchaser) but the capital gain after sale remains with the seller.  Further analysis of affordable housing options for purchase will be the subject of a further briefing paper to Council.

 

The new Federal Labor Government has also made a commitment through its National Rental Affordability Scheme to allocate $603 million over five years to create 50,000 new affordable rental properties across NSW.  State governments will also be required to provide direct or in-kind financial support to quality for these funds.  The Federal allocation targets institutional investors to build new homes or units and rent them to low and middle income households.  Rents will be capped at no more than 80% of market rent.  Further details on this initiative will be available in coming months.

 

The debt-equity affordable housing rental model being proposed by the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing provides guarantees that the affordable rental housing delivered through the Debt Equity Affordable Housing program is sustainable and guaranteed for at least 40 years.

 

Some key factors to be considered in Council’s preferred approach to achieve affordable housing outcomes include:

 

·        transparency and accountability of the process selected to deliver the affordable housing outcome;

·        leverage that can be generated from any Council dollar or other contribution to affordable housing, including Commonwealth or State contributions;

·        the importance of partnerships in delivering certainty and sustainability to Council and the community’s investment;

·        that any affordable housing partnerships that Council facilitates, will provide additional affordable accommodation/beds by the partner/s that may be successful in an expression of interest process;

·        recognise the medium and long-term trend demands for affordable housing;

·        recognise the particular needs of different target groups for affordable housing, including people with a disability;

·        where the affordable housing would most appropriately be located;

·        what additional support or services might be necessary to ensure the sustainability of the household occupying the affordable housing, including in the medium to longer term;

·        what housing management and client support systems are in place to ensure successful housing outcomes for tenant households;

·        whether an independent accreditation process is in place to ensure the ongoing quality of housing and/or support delivered.

 

The presentation by the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing that accompanied the Councillor briefing on 12 November 2007 outlined a robust model to facilitate sustainable affordable rental housing outcomes.  The partnership that is proposed with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing responds in broad terms to the above considerations. 

 

In addition, the expression of interest process that the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing manages as part of the Debt Equity Affordable Housing Program also provides opportunities for partnership proposals from community housing associations and other sponsor agencies, both within the City and in Western Sydney more broadly.

 

As the Council partnership with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing progresses further reports will be submitted to Council.  The timing of these will be dependent on when Council receives contributions for affordable rental housing under voluntary planning agreements.

Summary

Council’s existing MOU with the NSW Department of Housing provides a strong foundation for the proposed partnership with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing.  The partnership with the Centre provides an efficient and effective approach for Council to progress one key component of its evolving affordable housing agenda.  In particular the partnership will deliver affordable rental housing that involves a facilitation and leverage role for Council.

 

The NSW Centre for Affordable Housing’s Debt Equity Affordable Housing Program provides an opportunity for Council to access the Centre’s affordable housing project development and management expertise as well as potential leverage to add value to Council’s available funds.

 

This report also outlines the need for an addition to Council’s Sustainability Blueprint for New Release Areas affordable housing requirement.  The addition will assist Council officers in voluntary planning agreement negotiations with landowners/developers in new release areas.  The addition will indicate that to meet the affordable housing target in the Blueprint, developers/landowners should demonstrate how they propose to guarantee that very low and low income households have access to affordable rental housing.  As outlined in the report the affordable housing requirement must be negotiated with developers/landowners through a voluntary planning agreement.

 

This report also flags a number of other matters that will need to be reported to Council in the first quarter of 2008.  These include:

·        finalising an advocacy position on disability services funding, including accommodation options for people with a disability

·        additional investigations on affordable housing options for purchase.

 

As part of the review of the Residential Strategy for the City in 2008 further opportunities for affordable housing will be investigated.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Affordable Housing be received

2.     Council endorse the partnership with the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing to progress affordable rental housing outcomes as outlined in this report

3.     Council endorse the additional clause to the Affordable Housing section of the Sustainability Blueprint as outlined in this report.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report  


 

 

 

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The City In Its Environment

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

9        South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St site Master Plan

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City in its Environment

 

 

The City in its Environment

 

 

9

South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St site Master Plan   

 

Compiled by:                Grant Collins, Recreation and Cultural Facilities Planner

Authorised by:             Wayne Mitchell, Environmental Health Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Effective land use management policies, regulatory practices and controls are being implemented to protect the environment.

Critical Action: Implement sustainable land use management programs that protects the environment.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council of the outcome of the public exhibition process in relation to the draft South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St Master Plan.  The report recommends that Council endorse the South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St Master Plan.

 

Background

Council’s PLANS Report provided strategies that recommended the development of the Gipps St site into a quality district level active and passive recreation facility for the Penrith community. This included the recommended development of quality sports fields to cater for the growing needs of the City’s growth sports including soccer, rugby league, AFL, the upgrade of an existing athletics facility to a district standard and the development of passive recreation facilities including a skate park, playground and picnic facilities for families.

 

Council successfully applied for Department of Planning Metropolitan Green space funding to develop a Precinct Plan for the South Creek corridor extending from the M4 to the railway line and a Master Plan for the former Gipps St landfill site. Clouston Associates was engaged to undertake the project supported by their and their sub consultants Biosis Research Pty Ltd in May 2007.

 

As part of the Precinct plan and Master Plan process, an extensive analysis of background reports and policy review, on site field assessments and a thorough community consultation process was undertaken with Council staff, external stakeholders and the local community.

Public Exhibition

Council resolved on 15 October 2007 to place the draft South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St Master Plan on public exhibition from 16 October until 16 November 2007. The Penrith City community were notified of the public exhibition via the local newspapers in the Council page and Mayoral column.

 

Displays were set up at the Penrith and St Marys Council offices, the draft Plans were available at Penrith and St Marys libraries, on Council’s web site and  information was displayed at the Claremont Meadows Community Centre extensions Open day held on 3 November 2007.

A total of 6 submissions were received and the major issues raised are summarised below.

 

Wide community support

 

Many residents expressed support for the draft Plans, particularly in relation to the proposed district sport and recreation facilities for the Gipps St site with comments such as “keep up the wonderful planning of our City, it’s great to see” (Claremont Meadows resident).

 

Facility embellishments

 

Suggestions for facility embellishments for the Gipps St site include –

 

·        kiosk with café sitting area inside

·        additional garbage bins that are unlocked

·        tennis courts

·        swimming pools

·        soccer fields

·        volleyball courts

·        playgrounds

·        walking paths

·        picnic areas with BBQ’s

 

Comment

 

Most of the proposed facility development are supported and included in the draft Master Plan with the exception of swimming pools and tennis courts that have major facilities within close proximity at St Marys with the Ripples Pool and the tennis complex in South Creek Park. It is not considered to be feasible to add additional facilities of this nature at the Gipps St site. A centrally located multi-purpose indoor sports complex is proposed within the District Open Space Development Contributions Plan to accommodate a range of indoor sports including tennis, field based sports and volleyball courts.

 

Suggestions for facility embellishments within the South Creek corridor include –

 

·        improved water quality of South Creek

·        protection of areas for local fauna including bats and flying foxes, kangaroos and guided interpretive walks with rangers

·        widening of O’Connell St to cope with additional traffic

·        request westbound off ramp from the M4 be developed soon after the eastbound off ramp

·        additional shops including Big W, Coles and Woolworths

 

Comment

 

The protection and enhancement of the South Creek corridor habitat was highlighted in the Biosis research findings and is included in the South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan. Commentary on proposed road works is not provided in this report but will be relayed to Council’s Transport Planner

 

 Department of Planning submission

 

The Department of Planning provided a submission dated 19 October and recommended the following –

 

·        minor point but suggest altering the report title to the South Creek Precinct Concept Plan

·        within the infrastructure, planning and management strategies, include reference to the Ropes and South Creek Leaders Forum (RASCL) with regards to the implementation of the Plan and when exploring opportunities to address security, integration, and management of powerlines, sub stations and corridor easements

·        DoP will provide commentary on financial plans for the Precinct developed by Council

·        within recreation, access and circulation, the DoP recommend that “Council give consideration to taking on the management of passive recreation areas as they are acquired by the Department of Planning and as Council wishes to develop these areas”

·        Query on the scale of the proposed horse trail and whether it is sufficiently long enough to provide a trail riding experience. Council may wish to consider a longer trail

·        Council may wish to consider the number of creek crossings in terms of necessary approvals

 

Comment

 

The Department of Planning requested the development of a Precinct Plan for the South Creek corridor and this title is appropriate for the work conducted. The reference to the RASCL as the appropriate forum to address issues about the implementation of the Plan is appropriate. With regards to Council accepting the management of passive recreation areas that were acquired by the Department of Planning, Council can consider the management of these areas as is the case with other corridor land where Council has care, control and management, but in order to take this responsibility there needs to be a funding stream associated with it, as current resources cannot accommodate this additional responsibility. The number of creek crossings were rationalised to the major linkages and the proposed horse riding trail was contained to the western side of the South Creek at this stage with potential for expansion at a later stage with an additional bridge linkage if required and the resources are available. 

 

Landcom submission

 

Landcom expressed concern about the proposed location of the youth precinct that would be adjacent to the Landcom site to the north. The concerns were primarily in relation to the potential for –

 

·        Increase levels of noise within proximity of potential future residents

·        Security issues and the potential of conflict to arise between adjoining land owners and residents

·        Loss of privacy and potential stress on adjoining land owners with the potential for youth to be using the facilities at all hours and by continuous use of the Gipps St entrance

·        Impact of lighting on potential future residential development if the youth precinct is used after dark and request that future lighting does not interfere with adjoining residents

 

Landcom also requested clarification on the following - 

 

1.       Confirmation from Council that the likely traffic volumes to the entrance via Gipps St into the site will not adversely affect adjoining land development

2.       Funding – referring to the Department of Planning Circular dated 6 November that states that Councils can no longer recover district wide community and recreation facilities through local contributions and asks whether Council will seek grants to fund this development.

 

Comment

 

Cloustons have considered the feedback from Landcom and have recommended the proposed skate plaza be located adjacent to the proposed Werrington arterial and include a vegetation buffer on the northern side to help reduce the potential for future impacts with adjoining land owners. This is a satisfactory proposal as it actually improves the passive surveillance opportunities for the skate plaza facility. Given that the proposed plans for the Gipps St site are publicly available, it would be expected that any future proposed development or residents would be well informed of the proposed future facilities at the Gipps St site and take this into account when deciding whether or not to live in the vicinity of the Gipps St site.

 

However, the Landcom owned site is currently zoned as rural, with the future use yet to be determined. It is more likely that this site will be used for commercial / highway use and unlikely to be residential.

 

With regards to the remaining 2 issues where Landcom requested clarification there can be no guarantee that increased traffic volumes generated by future potential visitors to the site will not adversely affect adjoining land development but increased traffic flows will also be generated by the future proposed expansion of the Gipps St road into the Werrington arterial, not just the development of the Gipps St site.

 

The issue over funding will need to be carefully considered by Council as it is not realistic to expect that the funds to develop these facilities will be derived through special rate levies or that a significant proportion will be derived through grants. It is reasonable under the current Section 94 legislation and guidelines to seek development contributions to deliver quality infrastructure and embellish the City’s existing district open space land, to make the existing land assets work harder.

 

Implementation of the Gipps St Master Plan

 

Indicative costs for the development of the major facilities proposed within the Gipps St site Master Plan that are included in the current draft District Open Space Facilities Development Contributions Plan are for $9,213,000 worth of works. It was explained at the Council meeting on 8 October 2007, that some of the proposed works contained in the draft Gipps St Master Plan are aspirational and that not all of the proposed works are included in the District Open Space Development Contributions Plan, with the endeavour to maintain the overall rates being sought for district open space facilities at a reasonable level.

It is expected that some of the aspirational elements not covered in the draft District Open Space Development Contributions Plan will be delivered subject to successful application for grants and other funding sources.

 

Next Steps

 

The next step to progress the development of the Gipps St site will be to prepare detailed designs for stage one of the Master plan. This detailed design will allow development applications to be submitted and will provide a more accurate costing for the future implementation of stage one. It would be prudent to resolve the future funding for the works proposed in the Masterplan before this design work commences.  

 

Stage one of the Master Plan implementation for the Gipps St site as suggested by Cloustons includes –

 

·        2 Senior playing fields

·        1 cricket wicket

·        Flood lighting

·        50% of parkland loop road

·        Playground

·        Passive recreation areas and managed lawns

·        Revegetation of Cumberland Plain Woodland and riparian zones

·        30% of Central Avenue

·        50 % of Parkland Trails

Summary

A thorough process of community research and wide community and stakeholder consultation has been undertaken by Penrith City Council, in partnership with the Department of Planning, through their Metropolitan Greenspace Program, to deliver the South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St Master Plan (copies of both Plans will be provided under separate cover).

 

The proposed facilities development at the Gipps St site and within the South Creek corridor are part of the overall District Open Space Facilities Plan that seek to address the increasing demands on open space and the need to plan for district level active and passive recreation facilities, along with the local level facilities.

 

The final South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St Master Plan provide detailed information and the framework upon which Council can continue to build facilities and services for the community. However, if Section 94 legislation is amended to come into effect as of 12 November 2007, the major funding mechanism to deliver quality district open space and community facilities will be in jeopardy. Recent advice recommended that Council proceed under the current guidelines and legislation and seek adoption of our Plans.

 

The Regional City of Penrith has some of the highest participation rates in youth sport in the state, as well as growing needs for quality passive recreation facilities to meet the needs of our growing City. The development of this supporting community infrastructure is a vital component of delivering quality of life opportunities for the City’s residents and the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St site Master Plan be received

2.     Council adopt the South Creek Corridor Precinct Plan and the Gipps St site Master Plan.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.  


 

 

The City as an Economy

 

 

There were no reports under this Master Program when the Business Paper was compiled


 

 

 

 

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The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

10      Penrith Fire District Boundaries

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

10

Penrith Fire District Boundaries   

 

Compiled by:                Barry Ryan, Waste and Community Protection Manager

Authorised by:             Barry Ryan, Waste and Community Protection Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Plans are developed and implemented in partnership with emergency service agencies to provide emergency services and facilities to the City.

Critical Action: Protocols for the City’s response to fire, flood and other emergency conditions are established in partnership with the relevant agencies.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of proposed changes to the boundaries of operational areas of the NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Rural Fire Service in the Penrith Local Government area.  The report recommends that the Waste & Community Protection Manager write to both the NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Rural Fire Service advising that Council has no objections to the proposed changes, as identified on Map 086/07/1, to the Penrith Fire District.

 

Background

The NSW Fire Brigades (NSW FB) and the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) have responsibilities in their own right to attend to and manage fires that are in their areas of expertise.

 

The NSW FB are specialists in responding to structural fires, particularly dwellings, factories and commercial buildings.  The NSW FB are also responsible to attend to hazardous materials (Hazmat) incidents in New South Wales. 

 

The NSW RFS specialises in managing fires that are more akin to a rural environment such as grass and bush fires, but also have considerable expertise in attending to small structural fires.

 

Both Services also co-operate to respond to fires that are of a more complex nature and this is identified in Memorandums of Understanding, and mutual aid zones.

 

The boundaries in which the NSW FB and NSW RFS operate are reviewed and amended as required to provide for increases in urban growth, new industrial developments and to ensure that the existing fire district boundaries are still relevant.  A recent review of the Fire District has been conducted by the NSW FB and NSW RFS, and has been forwarded to Council for endorsement.

Current Situation

The current boundaries of the NSW FB and NSW RFS were defined in 2000.  A joint submission has recently been received from both organisations indicating some changes to the areas in which the NSW FB and NSW RFS have primary responsibility.

 

Whilst the submission indicates proposed boundary changes, these do not necessarily mean that the NSW FB or NSW RFS have not been active in the areas identified.

 

The review is by agreement between the two Services and is provided after the establishment of the area; i.e., the development of roads, infrastructure and substantial commencement / completion of buildings within the defined area.

 

Representatives of both the NSW FB and NSW RFS will attend the Policy Review meeting to answer any questions that may arise.

 

Specifically, these changes include:

 

NSW Fire Brigades

 

Inclusion of:

 

·        The Erskine Park Industrial area

·        A small section of existing commercial/industrial area at the north-western corner of the  intersection of the M4 and Mamre Road

·        A small area of residential development off Caddens Road

·        A proportion of urban development at the eastern end of Glenmore Park known as Glenmore Park Eastern Hamlets

·        A proportion of industrial area off Castlereagh Road at Jack Williams Drive, Penrith

 

NSW Rural Fire Brigade

 

Inclusion of:

 

·        A proportion of bushland at the south end of Leonay

·        A proportion of grassland at the northern end of Emu Heights off Alma Crescent

·        Penrith Regatta Centre

·        An area of grassland adjacent to Tench Reserve

·        An area of grass and bush land at the south-east corner of Erskine Park

 

 

Each year Penrith Council pays the NSW FB a contribution towards the cost of running the Brigades.  This contribution is based on a three year running average of land values within each district within the Sydney Fire District.  The contribution will therefore fluctuate when revaluations are provided and rating values within the fire districts increase.

 

Whilst there is proposed to be a proportion of land transferring to and from the NSW FB, the  land value of those properties within the areas to be covered by the NSW FB is likely to cause an increase in Council’s contribution to the Brigades.  Such an increase is difficult to determine as this needs to be balanced against proposed increases across the Sydney fire district.

 

Council’s contribution to the NSW FB in 2007/08 is $1,015,369.

Whilst there is likely to be an increase in the contribution, this will be negated to some degree in the short term, given that the contribution is based on a five year running average of land values.

 

The NSW FB has been requested to provide information on the impact that the proposed alterations to the fire districts will have on Council’s contribution.  This information has not yet been received.

 

Nonetheless, an increase in the contribution to the NSW FB should be budgeted for the forthcoming financial year and will be provided for in the management plan process. 

 

This report will recommend that the proposed changes be endorsed and that the Waste & Community Protection Manager writes to both the NSW FB and NSW RFS advising that Council has no objection to the proposed changes as submitted.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Penrith Fire District Boundaries be received

2.     The Waste & Community Protection Manager writes to both the NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Rural Fire Service advising that Council has no objections to the proposed changes, as identified on Map 086/07/1, to the Penrith Fire District.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Penrith Fire District Map 086/07/1

1 Page

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 1 - Penrith Fire District Map 086/07/1

 

 

 

  


Leadership and Organisation

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

11      Proposed Policy on 'Advertising on Council Premises'

 

12      Strategic Plan Preparations and Community Engagement

 

13      Preparations and Financial Settings for the 2008-2009 Management Plan

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

11

Proposed Policy on 'Advertising on Council Premises'   

 

Compiled by:                Stephen Pearson, Executive Services Officer

Authorised by:             Glenn McCarthy, Executive Officer  

Requested By:             Councillor Ross Fowler

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council has reviewed its own role and operations and has adopted contemporary practices to best discharge its charter.

Critical Action: Review current structures and procedures supporting Council and Councillors responsibilities.

     

Purpose:

To gain Council approval for a policy on political and general advertising on Council premises.  The report recommends that the information contained in the report be received and that the proposed Policy relating to 'Advertising on Council Premises' be adopted.

 

Background

In Questions Without Notice at the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 13 August 2007, Councillor Ross Fowler requested a report to Council on the formulation of a policy covering political, and other, advertising on Council premises.

 

Councillor Fowler has indicated that the reason for requesting this policy is that there have been occasional instances in the past of unauthorised political advertising on Council premises. He considers that there is a need for Council to adopt an appropriate policy so that it can control this sort of advertising, so that Council is seen as being impartial and not seen as promoting any political ideology or commercial product.

Other Council Policies

Examples of policies/guidelines adopted by other councils in relation to political advertising on council premises are as follows:

Gosford City Council

Gosford City Council has a policy on ‘Advertising on Council Property – Elections’, which prevents the use of Council property for political advertising. It provides that no Council property or Council structures are to be used by political parties, non-political parties, independents, etc, for Council, State or Federal election advertising.

Parramatta City Council

Parramatta City Council has guidelines providing direction on the permissible use of Council or Crown land to place advertisements, hand out political fliers or conduct any other form of political advertising. The guidelines apply to people directly and indirectly involved in election advertising, which may include the political candidate, their staff, volunteers, Councillors, engaged contractors, venue operators etc. Parramatta Council requires applicants to seek approval by completing a form ‘Application for the use of Council owned assets for political purposes’. 

Jabiru Town Council, NT

Jabiru Town Council does not permit political advertising on Council property under it’s control but it is permitted on private property if it is visible from the street, plaza or public place only during the actual election campaign (that is after the election date is announced and up to the day after the election).

Legislation

In respect of election posters,  section 151B (2A) of the NSW Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 provides that a person shall not post up, or permit or cause to be posted up, a poster on or within any premises occupied or used by, or under the control or management of any local authority. In this context, “poster” means “any electoral matter printed, drawn or depicted on any material whatsoever and where any electoral matter is printed, drawn or depicted in sections, such sections, both severally and collectively, shall be deemed to be a poster. This section however, provides exemptions with respect to things like where a room is used by a candidate in connection with an election. The section also provides a restriction on displaying electoral material in certain public places.

 

There is also Commonwealth legislation (Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918) which controls the situation during Federal elections.

Proposed Policy

An appropriate policy relating to ‘Advertising on Council Premises’ has been prepared for Council’s consideration. Despite the fact that there are restrictions in the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912, a policy would clearly state Council’s position with respect to display of political advertising on Council premises, particularly outside election periods.

 

The proposed policy is based on the principle that ‘Political Advertising’ or ‘General Advertising’ is not to be displayed in public areas of Council premises, with the following exceptions:

 

1.       where the General Advertising comprises a product which is part of a display on Council premises to educate and inform the public;

2.       where the Council premises is a Council hall or similar venue which has been hired to the general public for a private social activity, event, conference or meeting and the advertising cannot be viewed from a public place;

3.       where the Council premises is being used for electoral purposes for Commonwealth, State or local Elections on polling day or for pre-poll voting and the advertising is in accordance with the relevant NSW or Commonwealth electoral legislation;

4.       where the Council has specifically resolved that the advertising be allowed;

5.       where the General Manager has sanctioned the General Advertising.

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on the proposed policy relating to ‘Advertising on Council Premises’ be received

2.     The proposed policy relating to ‘Advertising on Council Premises’, as shown in the Draft Policy Document appended to this report, be adopted

3.     The managers of all Council controlled premises, including section 377 Committees, be informed of Council’s policy relating to ‘Advertising on Council Premises’

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Draft Policy relating to 'Advertising on Council Premises'

1 Page

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 1 - Draft Policy relating to 'Advertising on Council Premises'

 

 

 

            POLICY DOCUMENT

 

POLICY NAME:

ADVERTISING ON COUNCIL PREMISES

Policy No:       

Adopted by Council:

    

Minute No:         

Review:

    

File No:              

Relevant Legislation: (if applicable)      

    

Responsible Department:

Legal & Governance

 

 Policy Statement: 

 

That Council premises not be used for Political Advertising and other General Advertising, nor for the handing out of Political Advertising and General Advertising material.

 

Why this policy is required

 

Council should be seen within its community to be impartial and not acting in the interests of any particular individual or organisation.

 

Definitions  

 

‘Council premises’ includes the public areas of all Council owned buildings and buildings of which the Council is the lessee, and the land on which those buildings are located. This Policy does not extend to buildings and land which Council has leased to a third party.

 

‘General Advertising’ includes advertisements, posters, photographs, notices, signs, structures, banners, leaflets, pamphlets, handbills, cards, balloons, public address or use of loud speakers, used or intended to influence the public to buy a product or use a service.

 

‘Political Advertising’ includes how to vote material, advertisements, posters, photographs, notices, signs, structures, banners, leaflets, pamphlets, handbills, cards, balloons, public address or use of loud speakers, used or intended to promote a particular candidate, political party or non-political party or political cause.

 

Exceptions to Policy

 

This Policy applies, with the exception that Political and other General Advertising is permitted in the following circumstances:

1.     where the General Advertising comprises a product that is part of a display on Council premises to educate and inform the public;

2.     where the Council premises is a Council hall or similar venue which has been hired to the general public for a private social activity, event, conference or meeting and the advertising cannot be viewed from a public place;

3.     where the Council premises is being used for electoral purposes for Commonwealth, State or local elections on polling day or for pre-poll voting and the advertising is in accordance with the relevant NSW or Commonwealth electoral legislation;

4.     where the Council has specifically resolved that the advertising be allowed;

5.     where the General Manager has sanctioned the General Advertising.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

12

Strategic Plan Preparations and Community Engagement   

 

Compiled by:                Mark Andrews, Strategic Planning Coordinator

Authorised by:             Ross Kingsley, Corporate Development Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: A commonly shared long-term vision for the City underpins strategic collaboration and community engagement.

Critical Action: Prepare, implement and review Strategic Plans and processes.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council as to intended preparations for its next Strategic Plan for the City; and to overview current community engagement practices and appropriate enhancements to support Strategic Plan development. The report recommends that the information be received.

 

Background

The next Strategic Plan will be formulated with the new Council in late 2008 and will come into effect on 1 July 2009.  It will be accompanied by a four-year Strategic Program (covering the period 2009-2013) to action Council’s strategic directions within that term.  It will be prepared in the context of possible reforms to planning and reporting under the Local Government Act, which, however are largely in keeping with Council’s established approach.

 

Prior to this formal process there is an extensive program of preparations to be undertaken by the organisation with the endorsement of Council.

 

Tonight’s report addresses some of the key steps required to be carried out in coming months, which will involve the direct participation of all Directors, all Managers and many supervisors and specialists as well as opportunities for all staff to have input.  The report addresses the role of Council in setting direction for these preliminary steps.

 

The report also provides an update on community engagement practices and intended enhancements in the context of outlining the key steps for preparing Council’s next Strategic Plan.

 

Council’s Approach to Strategic Planning

Since 1988 it has been the practice for the newly elected Council to fashion a Strategic Plan for the City of Penrith which sets out its long term ambitions for what the City will grow to be.  The process (which has proven to be highly effective) is that of taking the plan determined by the outgoing Council and adjusting that having regard to changed circumstances or approach rather than to re-invent from the ground up a new strategy.

 

One great benefit of this approach to strategy development is the continuity that it brings.  It is one which allows the present Council to express its own ambitions for the City in a context of appreciating earlier and continuing aspirations for what Penrith might become.  It also lays in its turn a platform for ensuing Councils to build on. 

 

Successive Strategic Plans have demonstrated enduring elements.  These include attaching value to the City’s rural qualities, seeking to benefit from the changing social and economic character of Penrith, exploiting the new ideas and energies that comes from this expanding City and preserving an identity and character distinguishable from the general view of Western Sydney.  A constant theme has been one of seeing Penrith is not consumed by the metropolitan area.

 

Derived from the long term plan is a more pointed document with a four year timeframe, the Council’s Strategic Program.  In essence this document outlines what the contemporary Council chooses to do in taking the City forward to that ambition contained in the Strategic Plan.  Conversely, it defines the framework for the tasks that the organisation must attend to in order to deliver the Council’s program for its term.

 

This Strategic Program is the basic building block of how Council moves the City forward. While clearly Council itself can only achieve what is within its own resources, we have been moving for the last decade into a leadership focus by engaging partners across the spectrum of the City.  This involves working with other major agents in the City to support their efforts to secure outcomes with which we agree and which reinforces our own Strategic Program elements.

 

Development of the Next Plan

It is intended to build on and enhance the proven strengths of past experience in terms of the general timetable and approach to formulation of the new Strategic Plan during 2008.

 

This will involve reviewing the present plan, gathering and presenting background information for Council, consulting with Councillors, the community and the organisation, workshop discussions and refinement of issues and concepts towards a Plan format.

 

The next Strategic Plan will, like its predecessor, have an unlimited horizon in its view of a future for the City. It will, of course, carry forward much of that long term view which was captured three years ago with this Council.

 

It is important though to recognise the change that has occurred to the City, to the City’s context and to the social, economic and environmental context at large since the last Plan was made.  It will be important in this light to ensure that in our considerations of the future, the view is seen from a contemporary standpoint and with a fresh perspective, avoiding the trap of accepting conventional wisdom as fact.

 

Importantly, it is intended that the new Plan will be formulated within the framework of Penrith’s Principles for a Sustainable City.  The ten principles, associated objectives and the clear identification of goals for the City and Council’s organisation provides the basis for taking the next Strategic Plan to a new level in terms of sustainability.

 

A more robust and explicit alignment of Council’s services and resources to the delivery of the Strategy will be achieved through the financial and services planning enhancements put in place during the current program. Future-directed Services planning will be a key component of the upcoming process.

The Council Discussion Paper and Retreat

As in the past, a Discussion Paper will be prepared for Council through the planning process which will be informed by:

·        The perspectives of Councillors, both outgoing and newly-elected

·        Professional assessment of the issues by senior management and key staff

·        A well-founded body of factual research.

 

This Discussion Paper will be essentially similar to previous documents but designed to identify and provide the basis for meeting new challenges. Emphasis will be placed on:

·        Contemporary research

·        Use of a facilitation technique which is designed to identify emerging issues and responses to those issues

·        Pre-consultation and engagement of staff, City partners and the wider community.

 

The elements of the Discussion Paper approach are discussed below.

 

It is proposed, as has been done in the development of the last three Strategic Plans, to schedule a weekend retreat for Council in order to provide the opportunity for an informed distillation of the issues presented in the Discussion Paper and a decision by Council on the directions to be taken in the Plan.  This retreat will involve a series of facilitated workshops for Councillors supported by senior management. It is suggested in the draft timetable to be conducted in November 2008.

Timetable

An outline timetable of the proposed Strategic Planning process is provided in the table below. Endorsement of the approach proposed in this report will provide a firm basis for Strategic Plan development.

Outline Timetable of Strategic Plan development

Date

Milestone or Requirement

2007 - 08

December - March

·    Research team of key Managers formed to identify information gaps and secure the research to fill those gaps where practicable

·    Commence preparation of discussion paper for Council consideration

·    Appointment of consultant(s) to guide the visioning process and interviews with Councillors

·    Commence consultation program with staff, community, City and Regional partners, State and Federal government

·    Strategic Program Review (to December 2007)

2008

April

·    Report progress to Policy Review April 2008 and confirm approach and timetable

May - August

·    Further consultation program with stakeholders

·    Research analysis and discussion paper preparation

July

·    Initial workshop with Councillors

27 September

·    Council Elections

November

·    Council Strategic Plan Weekend Retreat

December

·    Finalise plan for exhibition

·    Strategic Program development

2009

February – March

·    Exhibit and adopt Plan

·    Finalise Strategic Program

·    Draft 2009-10 Management Plan reflects new Plan directions

July

·    New Plan effective

 

Researching the City’s Needs

Formulating a well-informed plan for the City’s future involves sourcing, collecting and presenting a substantial body of information to be shared by decision-makers.  The information base on which the Strategic Plan is founded has been improved in each planning process by increasing research capabilities and more structured consultation programs.  This will again be the case in 2008 and some of the key steps of which Council is aware have already been put in place.

 

The preparatory work and the new Council will be informed by a wide range of reports, studies, strategies and background papers prepared by both Council and other organisations over recent years and in the current period. These will include:

·        Strategic Program Reviews and key challenges identified to date

·        Community profile information and local demographic forecasts

·        Community aspirations survey to be carried out in early 2008

·        Long term Financial Model and Asset Management strategies

·        City strategies and policies (such as the Cultural Planning Framework, Biodiversity Strategy, Ageing Strategy etc.)

·        Key organisational plans, especially the Workforce Development Strategy

·        State Plan and supporting documents including Metropolitan Strategy and North-West Subregional Planning Strategy

·        Planning strategies, including the Residential Strategy which is currently under review

·        State government planning reform directions, including the required Citywide Penrith Local Plan and Penrith DCP

·        Penrith Regional City Infrastructure Strategy

·        Penrith Integrated Transport and Landuse Strategy

·        Services review and capacity building

·        Indepth function reviews and plans (e.g. the Library directions plan being developed)

 

Enhancing the consultation and research elements of the Strategic Plan process in the coming year will be assisted by measures including:

·        The establishment of a coordination team based on key Managers who have lead the Strategic Program ‘Cluster Teams’, to harness the key research resources and expertise of the organisation and ensure that efforts are focussed on supporting the Strategic Plan requirements

·        Seizing opportunities for innovation and increased access to research, especially through key partnerships (such as with UWS)

·        The effective use of key research projects which have been recently completed or are programmed, such as those mentioned above and analysis of 2006 Census data, key land-use, social, environmental, economic and transport planning strategies and the Customer research program

·        Ensuring that external research findings on key topics are known and readily available to Council and the organisation;

·        Increased pre-consultation with other principal organisations within the City

·        Drawing in those community forums broadly representing particular interests such as social, economic and environmental viewpoints

·        More sharply focussed enquiries examining our services and the way we discharge our core business.

Community Engagement

A distinguishing feature of Council’s Strategic Plan and Program 2005-2009 is the commitment to enhanced community engagement as described by Term Achievement 29.1: A Commonly Shared Long-Term Vision for the City Underpins Strategic Collaboration and Community Engagement and Penrith Principle 7 ~ Empower people and foster participation.

 

The objective is for the community and City organisations to become advocates for the shared vision which is led by Council, through their own agendas and in a range of forums, which Council alone cannot reach.  Research on successful regional cities around the world demonstrates that this can often be a key element.  There are major linkages with the City partnerships and advocacy requirements found across the Strategic Program, in particular in the regional/metropolitan growth and economic development areas.

 

At a grassroots level, more effective coordination of, and standards for, community consultation and participation throughout Council’s operations, was anticipated.  The extensive dialogue with the community which Council conducts needs to be placed on a more structured basis, relating to the performance and management of the City. Best value needs to be obtained from the wide range of forums which are conducted, with the content of discussions helping to drive issues and priorities for the City’s advocacy.  A major new initiative specified in the Strategic Program was the establishment of an annual City Forum, the precise nature and role of which needed to be considered in the full context of the program.

 

In relation to this, the recent Mid-term Strategic Program Review reported that the determination of these needs and approaches has not been carried as far as intended to date. Council has, however, a very extensive program of community engagement and consultation around both ongoing services and particular projects. Assessment has been undertaken of further appropriate measures, responsibilities and resources for community consultation, City partnerships and advocacy elements of Council's program.

Importantly, additional resources for local community engagement have now been provided by Council through the AREAS special initiative.  An extensive range of forums with the community is being conducted and utilised to strengthen shared vision as well as particular programs.

Coordination and Enhancement of Engagement

The appropriate context for further development and value adding to our existing community engagement practices is now the preparation of the next Strategic Plan.  Critical to that is the effective coordination and integration of consultation steps to be carried out for major exercises required in the present Strategic Program.

 

Within 2008, Council will be engaging stakeholders and residents for several major requirements, including:

·    The Local Plan and Residential Strategy Review

·    Regional City infrastructure and the implementation plans for the City Centres

·    Development of Local Action Plans as part of the Neighbourhood Renewal Program

·    Promotion of the new organics collection and composting service

·    City Sustainability (around indicators now endorsed by Council)

 

It is vital therefore that our overall engagement strategy be carefully planned and managed to achieve effective and coherent outcomes for the community.

 

A cross-organisational reference group has been formed and is meeting on a regular basis to support staff in the implementation of community consultation practices and the use of the Community Participation Manual which was adopted by Council in 2006. This group will assist in developing further enhancements and identifying opportunities for cooperation across Council in the delivery of effective community participation activities and programs.

 

Council has also recently joined a national local government network ‘Just Communities’ which is focussed on ‘action research’ (identification and testing of best practice) in governance and management as well as community engagement. This will assist us in drawing upon (as well as sharing) approaches of proven value.

Options for Further Development

To bring a refreshed focus on community engagement, a brief discussion paper was prepared earlier this year, with the assistance of Catalyst Consulting Solutions, who also assisted the preparation of the Community Participation Manual. This provided a scan of the present range of engagement and consultation measures by the organisation and canvassed, to a preliminary degree, the potential of new or expanded approaches.

 

The consultant’s paper noted the many community engagement techniques being used by local government including:

·    Citizens or residents panels

·    Advisory forums or committees

·    Community based Council meetings

·    Local events and festivals

·    Training in community engagement techniques

·    Surveys

·    Precinct Residents' Associations

·    Community outcome indicators and/or state of the community reports

·    Use of artists, writers and artisans

·    Community management committees

·    Focus groups

·    Grants programs for community groups

 

Clearly many of these techniques are already utilised by Council and again a more cohesive and coordinated approach is seen as integral to achieving best value for both Council and the community.

 

Two particular measures examined by the consultants were an annual City forum as identified in the Strategic Program and the possible means of approaching this and the potential for a Residents Panel or Citizens Panel. In the 2007-08 Project Evaluation process, a nomination was made by Councillor Thain for the establishment of a panel of residents from each Ward and of different backgrounds who might provide valuable ongoing feedback to Council on its programs. The advantages of various models and their resourcing implications will need to be further considered and discussed with Council.

 

Provided as Appendix A to this report is an outline from the consultants’ report of some key options for consideration in enhancing our community engagement. This preliminary information includes a brief discussion of the costs and benefits of areas for further development and discussion which may include:

1.   Expanding existing annual Management Plan Forums

2.   Establishing a Residents’ Panel

3.   Improving Internal Co-ordination and Support

4.   Using Information and Communication Technologies

5.   Self Assessment and Evaluation

 

Time has not permitted a more in depth briefing of Council on these matters, but it is suggested that the appropriate context for the further evolution of new and enhanced techniques of community engagement will be the Strategic Plan preparation. Further detailed discussion of planned and possible measures will be brought to Council in the new year along with more refined elements of the overall program. Each of the directions suggested can be further explored and tested through the 2008 program as discussed above.

Engaging on the Strategic Plan

The extension of community engagement practices of proven value and the careful introduction of appropriate new techniques will form a key element of the Strategic Plan preparations.  This will draw on the particular consultations required for the purposes outlined above.

 

In preparing the next Strategic plan it is intended to more widely engage our communities in addition to key stakeholders, City partners and the organisation itself in an ongoing dialogue or ‘conversation’.

 

Elements of the ‘conversation’ to be conducted should include:

·    building on Penrith’s Regional City status

·    the sustainability framework and outcomes to be pursued for the City

·    the future direction and delivery of Council’s services to the community

 

Part of the intended approach will be an interactive webpage where research can be accessed, comments made, and internet-based questionnaires undertaken to assist the conversation with our communities.

Conclusion

The current Strategic Plan together with the new sustainability framework, developed by this Council, has provided strong leadership to the City and direction to the organisation and is recognised in local government as a leading example of long-term planning.  The strengths of the Plan and the well-established approach to its development will be retained and built upon.

 

From this foundation, the coming Strategic Plan exercise can take Council and the organisation to the next level of sophistication with regard to the matters introduced above.

 

The Strategic Plan must powerfully draw out key future issues and develop contemporary relevant responses to them from an effective evidentiary and discussion base.  Preliminary discussion papers which allow that type of consideration must be provided to Council at an early stage to challenge our assumptions and where appropriate shift the paradigms.

 

A focussed research program at the strategic level will be required to meet these objectives. This will be enhanced by extensive consultation, visioning and engagement with Council itself, the organisation, our communities and key stakeholders.

 

The support and participation of Council both prior to and following the election is an indispensable element of the proposed Strategic Plan preparations, leading up to Council’s formal decision-making on the Plan.  It will be necessary to take the process and the discussion of key issues to an agreed point of development with the present Council, then introduce the concepts and open a discussion with the new Council as early and effectively as possible.  This will ensure that the continuity of vision which elected Councillors have had for the City of Penrith and Council’s ownership of the strategy is properly reflected in the new Plan.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Strategic Plan Preparations and Community Engagement be received

2.     Preparation of the Strategic Plan and the proposed arrangements continue in the terms discussed in this report

3.     Further reports be provided to Council at each appropriate stage of the Strategic Plan preparations

4.     A further report be provided to Council on the development of enhanced community engagement approaches outlined in the report.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Community Engagement options

2 Pages

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Appendix 1 - Community Engagement options

 

 

 


 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

10 December 2007

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

13

Preparations and Financial Settings for the 2008-2009 Management Plan   

 

Compiled by:                Ken Lim, Management Planning Co-ordinator

Geraldine Brown, Budget Accountant

Authorised by:             Ross Kingsley, Corporate Development Manager

Vicki O’Kelly, Financial Services Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council's operating culture is flexible, efficient, integrated and aligned to Council's strategic objectives and program delivery.

Critical Action: Prepare, implement and review management plans and processes aligned to and consistent with Council’s Strategic Plan and Program.

     

Purpose:

To provide Council with information on the preparation, format and financial considerations for the Draft 2008-2009 Management Plan.  The report recommends that Council identify particular matters to be considered in the preparation of the Draft Management Plan, and that preparations continue in the terms discussed in the report

 

Background

The 2008-2009 Management Plan to be adopted prior to 30 June, 2008 will constitute the final annual instalment of Council’s four year program under the Strategic Plan 2005-2009.

 

The approach which is outlined in this report is designed to meet all the statutory requirements for the Management Plan, while also providing the maximum opportunity for Council to guide management as to the shape which the Plan should take. A series of discussions with Council is suggested to consider the draft information submitted by the organisation and provide direction on key issues as the process unfolds.

 

Preliminary preparations for the 2008-09 Management Plan are well underway. Further development of an initial draft Plan by the organisation is to a great degree dependent on the direction which will be given by Council through the steps outlined below.

 

The next Management Plan will be distinguished by:

·        the requirement for the organisation to complete the 2005-09 Strategic Program and deliver comprehensively on the settings and priorities established by Council in the past three years

·        response to any pressing external factors, such as the Metropolitan context and statutory requirements

·        advancing the new sustainability emphasis reflected in the present Management Plan as Penrith’s Principles for a Sustainable City

·        confirming and further developing the approach to the review and reporting of all Services and service levels, as established in the present year.

 

Existing commitments and new initiatives will accordingly be considered against a somewhat different background. The immediate and longer term financial settings will, of course, also be crucial and integral to these considerations at every stage. This includes consideration of the scenarios generated by the Long Term Financial Model.

 

All of these matters are further discussed in the following sections of the report.

Strategic Program Settings

In adopting its Strategic Plan and 2005-09 Program, Council highlighted certain key themes of the Plan for emphasis in the organisation’s response to the four year program. While recognising that Council’s new strategy continues and builds on many of the principal directions set by previous Councils, it was also seen to reflect a number of new or strengthened themes, such as:

 

·     The City considered in a broader context and in its metropolitan role, leadership, collaboration and partnering with government, other advocates and the City’s people

·     Managing the growth, development and change of places so that they are sustainable and satisfying for those who choose to live there, recognising this need not only for new areas but for our older neighbourhoods

·     Quality of life for residents, including accessible cultural, social, economic services and access to readily suitable employment

·     Securing and providing the infrastructure which a growing regional City needs, and managing it in a sustainable way

·     Equipping and managing the organisation to deliver Council’s program effectively in a context of generational change in its workforce, increasing demand for services from Local Government, and increasing insistence for local communities to be more involved in decisions which affect them.

Key Strategic Challenges

Through the Policy Review Committee’s consideration of the Directors’ Strategic Program Mid-term Progress Report on 29 October 2007, Council confirmed the following particular challenges in the delivery of the remaining 2005-2009 Program:

·        Penrith Lakes – an issue which has changed in context since the report

·        Regional City Growth

o   Penrith City Centre Strategy  and St Marys Town Centre Strategy – public and private investment and stakeholder engagement

o   Funding improvements in the Centres and Council’s Property Strategy to stimulate investment

o   Implementation strategy and infrastructure delivery, National Growth Areas Alliance campaign ‘Funding the Gap’, State and Federal support necessary

·        Review of the Economic Development model

·        Childrens Services - Cooperative sustainability and Citywide Strategy for Children

·        Magnetic Places – program and linkages to other Issues

·        Penrith Valley Cultural Precinct – delivery timetable and future management model

·        Library Directions Plan – implication for service delivery models

·        Residential review, affordable housing, implications of reforms to development levies

·        Nepean River management and funding

·        Management of bushland corridors

·        Climate change – City and Council dimensions

·        Penrith Integrated Transport and Landuse Strategy - ‘Buy in’ of State Govt agencies and gaps in infrastructure provision eg arterial roads, bus contracts, UWS station.

·        Parks Asset Renewal and Tree Management strategies

·        Public domain maintenance - link to the provision of safe and well maintained public space

·        Delivering recreation facilities and services

·        Community Engagement

·        Workforce Strategy

·        Future industrial relations framework

·        Entities – governance review to be undertaken

·        Next Strategic Plan development

·        Future shape of Services / delivery models arising from the second stage of Service reviews

·        Resourcing Council’s program while maintaining a sound financial position within the context of increasing budget pressures, infrastructure renewal and maintenance and rising community expectations.

Structure of the Management Plan

Council has a strong and well-established management planning approach, through which its Strategic Program is translated into annual directions for the organisation.

 

Building on these recognised strengths, Council authorised an enhanced Management Plan model for 2007-2008. The current Plan reflects a major reform to better integrate Council’s Strategic Plan and program with the achievement of a sustainable city and the delivery of services to the community. This has begun to provide an even more effective base for accountability, performance reporting and communication to the community on Council’s program.

 

It is intended to maintain the format of the present Management Plan in 2008-09 with appropriate refinements. The suggested format of the document will therefore comprise three volumes: a strategic and sustainability overview, services and budget details and fees and charges. These are briefly explained below.

 

 

 

1.          Strategic and Sustainability Overview

This volume will provide the context of the Management Plan which is based in Council’s strategy. It will be shaped by the framework of Penrith’s Principles for a Sustainable City and include a full statement of the Strategic Program and key initiatives assigned for the coming year to complete that four year program.

 

This will incorporate vigorous responses to those key challenges identified by Council at this point and the priorities determined through the upcoming process.

 

2.         Operational Plan - Services and Budget

This volume will provide details of each of Council’s 65 services, including a description of the service and its objectives, the ongoing activities and initiatives to be undertaken, particular tasks and projects in 2008-09, service budget and key performance indicators. This essential direction for the organisation and its services will be the basis of regular performance reporting by Managers during the year.

 

As discussed below, review of the services is continuing to identify both:

 

·        further improvements to all service specifications in a range of key areas

·        potential adjustments to service levels which may be considered to better deliver Council’s priorities.

 

Proposals arising from this ongoing review will be assessed and significant initiatives brought forward in the development of the draft Plan. Where resourcing implications may be involved, this will be discussed with Council through the process outlined below.

 

3.         Fees and Charges

This volume will provide full details of Council fees and charges, arranged by services in the more user-friendly format introduced this year.

Project Evaluation and Service Level Adjustment

The Strategic Program directs that all programs are rigorously evaluated, prioritised and resourced to reflect community needs and policy settings as reflected in Council’s selection of services and their levels.

 

‘Project Evaluation’ has been the name used for this component of Council’s management planning. Particular project proposals of merit will continue to be be examined and prioritised through this process in 2008-09. However, the great majority of projects are contained within established program settings, which Council, through its Management Plan will confirm or adjust. The contemporary focus of the Project Evaluation process is therefore more strongly on proposed adjustments to service levels, as discussed below.

 

In the first three years of the present Strategic Program, Council has made a number of significant resourcing choices to address key priorities and adjust the direction and level of services. A capacity review was undertaken on all key requirements of the Strategic Program at Term Achievement level. This was the basis for initiatives in the Management Plan including the AREAS special rate variation from 2006-07. In the 2007-08 process, Managers were required to complete an initial review of all services against a set of key criteria as the basis for any resource bids to be considered.

 

In addition to this overall assessment, major service reviews have been carried out in recent years, with the results reflected in Council’s resourcing decisions through Management Plans. Examples include Children’s Services, Roads, Parks, Buildings, Public Domain, Building Approvals and Neighbourhood Renewal. Other important reviews of services are underway and the findings will be progressively brought to Council.

 

The Management Plan development for 2008-09 provides the opportunity for further review of all current service levels and the assessment of any proposals for adjustment. This will form the central focus of the ‘Project Evaluation’ process. Given the budget context discussed elsewhere in this report, the examination of all proposals will be rigorous and any bids will need to demonstrate strong links to the identified stragic priorities.

 

A further essential element of the Project Evaluation process is the nomination by Councillors of particular proposals for assessment and response by management. Further information has been provided to Councillors separately on this matter.

Budget Preparations

Each year Council is required to prepare a budget which represents the annual instalment of Council’s four-year strategic program as part of the Management Plan process.  In preparing the budget, Council must comply with relevant provisions of the Local Government Act, other legislation, Council Financial Management Objectives, and other Council policies.

 

This year Annual Budget Guidelines (Attachment A) have been developed which summarise in one document those issues involved in the preparation of Council’s Budget and associated Fees and Charges booklet. This document provides a general guide and will be regularly updated as new policies are developed or current policies are revised. 

 

As mentioned in the Guidelines, Council’s established practice has been to use the current year’s budget as a base for the following year’s budget, after removing non-recurrent projects, and taking into consideration the decisions of Council during the year that have an impact on the new budget. According to established practice, the initial or ‘base budget’ will include:

·        Necessary provisions for the staff establishment, statutory and external commitments, with any identified adjustments

·        Existing services assumed to remain at present levels

·        Provisions, such as works programs and project funding, which reflect previous Council funding decisions and policy settings.

Financial Strategy and Revenue Policy

The budget process is presently underway and in accordance with Council policy the initial budget is prepared on the basis of continuing existing service levels. The first draft of the 2008-09 budget is prepared by taking the current year’s budget, removing one-off items, making adjustments to wages and other major items, and including any other policy changes as required. Following on from this process the draft budget is presented to management for review and discussion.

 

Changes requested by Managers are reviewed to determine if the item is a required cost change or a service level change. Service level changes require a resourcing bid and specific endorsement by Council. Cost changes, such as CPI increases, or award increases associated with delivering the same program, form part of the base.

 

In addition, any known variations from the current year will be incorporated into the base budget as soon as the information becomes available. Further details are provided on the most significant of these variations later in this report. Any assessment regarding available funds at this time must be highly qualified, as many variables cannot be forecast with accuracy at this stage. Significant factors affecting the level of available funds are again the possible reintroduction of full rates in relation to the superannuation defined benefits scheme and the approved Ministerial Rate rise. Advice will be actively sought in regard to these issues and it is hoped that the information will be available and incorporated into the draft 2008-09 budget prior to the second Management Plan Workshop on 14 April.

 

As outlined in the proposed timetable provided below opportunities for Councillors to review the draft budget will occur at the Councillor Workshops planned for 17 March 2008 and 14 April 2008.

 

In order to prepare the next budget, it is proposed that the following process (similar to that utilised for the 2007-08 Management Plan) be followed:

1.       Non-discretionary costs and charges will be estimated.

2.       Labour costs will be estimated. Continuation of the same extent of service provision will form the base to which Council directives for increased or amended service will be added, in order to determine costs.

3.       Funding which has a particular purpose, such as grants or s94 contributions, will be directed towards that purpose.

4.       Established replacement and renewal programs will be continued in accordance with the relevant Council resolutions.

5.       Rating and other general revenues will be estimated.

6.       Fees will be calculated in accordance with existing principles, which link each individual fee to a particular pricing mechanism.  Income will be estimated from the fee.

7.       A first draft budget is developed.  This draft then forms the starting point for Council to determine its budget.

8.       Further analysis and discussion of any unallocated revenue will take place to consider potential new requirements from Council’s strategy, project evaluation bids, major projects, organisation resourcing, debt management, Council reserves and available funds. 

 

As a result of following this process a draft 2008-09 budget will be completed by March 2008 forming the basis for budgetary discussions at the first Management Plan Workshop on 17 March. A Briefing Paper will be presented at this workshop that will identify available funds, major budgetary changes from the previous year, recurrent or multi-year projects included in the draft budget, and highlight any outstanding issues requiring direction.

 

At this stage of the annual budget process the following assumptions have been incorporated into the draft 2008-09 budget: 

 

1.    Labour Costs

a)           Award increase

In 2006-07 employees received a 4% salary increase from November 2007 as a result of a negotiated agreement between Council and unions. The current industrial climate is changing and it is feasible that future increases in 2008-09 and 2009-10 will mirror the Local Government State Award, (3.2%).

 

It is hoped that there will be more certainty around the likely increases prior to completion of the 2008-09 budget.

                  

b)           Salary System

The salary system provides staff with the opportunity to advance through the salary system by a skills and knowledge assessment. A provision of 2% (the same as 2007-08) will be included in 2008-09 for staff progression through the salary system.

 

c)           ELE Reserve

Council policy is to maintain an amount of 20%, averaged over three years, of leave entitlements (excluding annual leave) in the Employee Leave Entitlements (ELE) Reserve.  This reserve has accumulated over the years and was holding 20.04% of entitlements at the end of June 2006.  The recent financial years have seen major transfers from the reserve to assist in meeting the costs of the resignation of a number of long serving employees.  The reserve currently holds funds equivalent to 18.6% of entitlements.  Analysis of employee leave entitlements, known and probable retirements indicates that a strategy to bring the reserve back up to the agreed 20% over the next two to three years requires a minimum $200,000 transfer to the reserve in 2008-09.

 

d)           Superannuation

The minimum level of superannuation for employees who are not members of the LGSS defined benefit scheme will continue to be 9% of wages.

 

In 2000, the Local Government Superannuation Scheme (LGSS) announced that it had $800m in reserve funds, and that the required contribution from member councils in the defined benefits scheme would be waived from 1 November 2000 for an ongoing indefinite period. This contribution “holiday” ceased from 1 July 2005 and was re-introduced at half rates. At this stage, it may be that the “half holiday” will continue however, the draft 2008-09 budget will make provision for a full reintroduction of the employer contribution, for those members of the defined benefits scheme, until such time as we are advised to the contrary. In 2007-08 advice of the “half holiday” continuing was not received until late February 2007 and as such it will be difficult to predict available funds prior to this time. The cessation of the “half holiday” will impact on the budget by approximately $1.1m in additional costs for 2008-09 with funding of $450K being available from the Superannuation Reserve to offset this resulting in a net increase of $650K in 2008-09.

e)           Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation premiums increase and decrease significantly with claims history. Recent history also shows a significant growth in the premium, independent of claims patterns. Estimates are usually made as late as possible so that the impact of any changes in claims can be included.

 

Current claims estimates, combined with the Work Cover calculation factor, have resulted in a forecasted decrease in premium from the current 2007-08 estimate of $1.9m down to $1.7 million for 2008-09. It is proposed to return this savings to the insurance reserve in consideration of the variability of this estimate in order to allow for any further changes that may occur.

 

2.     Non-Discretionary Costs

a)           Electricity Supply (General & Street Lighting)

There are 2 main streams of electricity supply:

·     Major building sites

·     Electricity supply for street lighting.

 

Major Building Sites

The current provider is Energy Australia, with a 3-year contract that commenced on 1 July 2006, and all unit rates are fixed for the duration of the contract.  In 2008-09, there will be no increase in the supply rates of electricity to major sites.  There are a number of other miscellaneous charges over and above the base rate for electricity, and these are expected to increase slightly. Overall it is recommended that the existing electricity budgets be increased by 3% to compensate. In addition usage patterns will be reviewed as part of the budget process and factored into the draft 2008-09 budget.

 

Street Lighting

There are 2 main components of street lighting costs:

·     Supply of Electricity (Energy Australia)