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Council Decided - 16 February 2016

Posted Monday 22 February 2016

Mosman, Manly and (part) Warringah Merger Proposal

In response to a Mayoral Minute presented by Mayor Peter Abelson, Council resolved to authorise the Mayor and the General Manager to finalise Mosman Council’s submission on the Merger Proposal for Mosman, Manly and (part) Warringah. The matters to be covered in the submission reinforce Council’s stated opposition to the proposal, and cover a range of issues including but not limited to:

  • The proposal is a completely different concept to anything previously proposed by the NSW Government, its agencies or independent panels
  • The merger proposal does not acknowledge that the Mosman community has consistently voiced its opposition to any amalgamation, through council polls and other independent surveys
  • The merger proposal fails to provide any real sense of impacts on longer term service levels or rates payable in Mosman under a merged council
  • With significantly reduced representation by locally-elected members, Mosman residents and ratepayers will have less control over future service, asset and expenditure decisions affecting Mosman Council
  • Mosman Council has a strong financial outlook. The merger proposal does not accurately depict Mosman Council’s financial position or its capacity to renew and maintain local infrastructure
  • The merger proposal lacks sufficient detail to make informed decisions

Council also noted that the Government’s Delegate, Mr Bullen, had advised he would take note of and report on any Council preferences, and resolved to indicate that, while strongly opposed to any forced merger, on the basis of our resident and ratepayers surveys and on communities of interest Council would consider a one-to-one merger with North Sydney to be significantly superior to any other merger under the criteria in section 263 of the Local Government Act 1993. It was noted that this merger would provide a population of over 100,000 in a few years.

Proposed Amendments to Complying Development

Council noted with great concern the release of documents by the NSW Government proposing the expansion of complying development to include low-rise medium density housing types. Currently a development application is required for this type of development.

As part of the proposed changes complying development would include development up to two stories in height in the form of dual occupancies, ‘manor homes’ and townhouses/terraces. A set of minimum standards are proposed which, if met, would allow development to be approved by a private certifier within 10 days, with no neighbour consultation and no regard for Mosman LEP 2012 or the Mosman Residential Council.

Having discussed this important matter at some length, Council expressed the view that this Council and community values the carefully constructed residential amenity of the Mosman area and believes that the proposed policy change would irrevocably undo years of planning and irrevocably damage the Mosman residential environment for both the residents and others in Sydney.

It was resolved that Council’s submission on the proposal stress the following matters:

  • The effect on sloping land
  • The effect on views, both public and private
  • The effect of overshadowing on adjacent properties
  • The impact of basement excavation on the natural landform and on neighbouring property
  • Vehicular access to State roads and impact on traffic
  • The location of vehicular crossings in relation to street trees and on street parking
  • The effects on neighbouring trees and tree canopy
  • A proper assessment of privacy impacts on adjacent properties
  • Assessment of the site and proposed development within the context of the street and the appropriateness of the infill development

Festival of Mosman

Council noted a report on the 2015 Festival of Mosman and resolved that the Festival of Mosman continue to be held biennially, with the next festival to be held in September/October 2017 with the theme ‘Living Mosman’, celebrating and promoting Mosman’s unique community and identity. In alternate years Council will continue to deliver the ‘Out and About’ series of events, with Pets Day Out continuing on as an annual event. The ‘Out and About’ series in 2016 will feature two concerts at Balmoral, as well as an outdoor movie screening on the Village Green.