Improving Hornsby Shire Council’s DA Submission and Approval Process

HSC Councillor Emma Heyde wrote on facebook on 21/6/2018

Not many things are more stressful than something being built next door that you object to. Council has often been criticised for making the situation worse. But changes are in the pipeline. See what you think … 

  • A senior planner will now be on the desk when DAs are first lodged to make sure that DAs that are erroneous, incomplete or misleading are returned.
  • A new team with staff from Compliance, Trees, Natural Resources, Engineering and Planning will review incoming DAs.
  • DAs that are determined by staff (and not the new Independent Panel because they did not get ten objections) but which are still very contentious may be decided by a new Determination Panel made up of Council staff.
  • All DAs determined by staff will need to be signed off my a Senior Planning Officer.
  • DA guidelines will now require details about any imported fill to be used on a site, and include a construction traffic management plan.
  • All environmental compliance matters will now be investigated by the Compliance team, rather than planners.
  • Staff will more quickly identify and investigate cases where there are complaints from multiple sources.
  • Council is looking at the workload of the Compliance team and comparing it with other councils to see whether they need more staff.
  • PLUS– check out the new DA tracking system. You can see every DA in your suburb lodged in the last six months, and everything that has been approved or refused here: http://hscenquiry.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/…/OutstandingApplicati…

Civic Trust members meet local Councillors

Members of the Pennant Hills District Civic Trust met with the mayor of Hornsby Shire, Philip Ruddock in late February.

[Photo] Hornsby Mayor Phillips Ruddock, Councillor Emma Heyde, and Trust members Noel Oxley and Norman Parris
Hornsby Mayor Phillip Ruddock, Councillor Emma Heyde, and Trust members Noel Oxley and Norman Parris
The Trust had one agenda item only, -the next steps in developing the Pennant Hills Town Centre Plan – although we were also there to listen to what Council had to say. The Trust’s ideas for this had already been flagged in our article published in the March issue of The Monthly Chronicle. We also circulated the article to our members via Gmail and Hornsby Shire Councillors. Continue reading “Civic Trust members meet local Councillors”

Civic Trust members meet local Member Matt Kean

The PHDCT recently met with our State member, Matt Kean to talk about some of the issues affecting Pennant Hills. Our primary concern involves the need for an updated Plan for our local area which recognises the unique character of Pennant Hills, preserves the best features of our community and green environments and provides a vision of how Pennant Hills should be improved to cater for additional residents and a wider mix of housing styles.

Matt is aware of the push back across Sydney to perceptions of over development and advised us that there would be no new housing targets in Hornsby Shire until after next state election ( March 2019). Our Council is intending that any new housing targets will be met from Hornsby CBD redevelopment.

Matt and our Council are working together to find a solution to the financial impacts the 2017 council amalgamation boundary changes had on Hornsby. It’s a complex issue but in Matt Kean and Philip Ruddock we have some skilled politicians on our side.

You will have seen in our recent emails the discussion of opportunities for an exciting new bike track from Pennant Hills to Epping. As a keen bike rider, Matt supports this initiative and is on side for the difficult discussions which need to be held with Transport for NSW in overcoming the safety issues they see in community using the rail corridor land. Again we are fortunate in having support from Matt, Philip Ruddock and Epping State MLA Damien Tudehope.

As a new resident of Pennant Hills, Matt is getting a better understanding of the traffic, parking and transport interchange issues of Pennant Hills.

We agreed to continue meeting on a regular basis so we can work together to make Pennant Hills a better place to live, work and play.
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Development planning

Land Use Planning and Development Control.

The Issue –  It is one thing to get excited about specific development applications, but it is another thing to monitor the total planning system and participate in its evolution.

Participation can be at a number of levels:

1. The Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan     (DCP) level.

Each local government (Council) area has a LEP to control land usage and what can be built where within the Council area. LEPs are prepared by local Councils, in consultation with their community and approved by the Minister for Planning. Continue reading “Development planning”