Port Stephens Council takes positive action on Development Application notifications
The Tenants’ Union has spoken with many land lease community home owners regarding proposed developments in their communities. Developments can range from small to large scale projects involving infrastructure installation, road repositioning and the relocation of sites and homes. All developments potentially impact the current residents however, those residents often only become aware of a development when work commences, and that is a cause of dismay and concern to many. Port Stephens Council has recognised this in an issue and has taken positive action.
At the 9 February 2021 ordinary council meeting Councillor John Nell proposed a motion that Council:
- Amend the Community Engagement Strategy to require reasonable attempts be made to notify the relevant residents committee or equivalent in the event that a development application for alterations and additions or a modification application is received for a caravan park/manufactured housing estate.
- Place the revised Community Engagement Strategy on public exhibition for a period of 28 days and should no submissions be received, the strategy be adopted without a further report to Council.
The meeting was advised that concern had been raised by land lease community residents that they were not made aware of proposed changes to their place of residence. Council’s Community Engagement Strategy (CES) requires that surrounding neighbours are notified of certain Development Applications (DAs) and Modification Applications (MAs) but residents of the community are not required to be notified.
The background report noted that there are approximately 30 land lease communities in the Port Stephens Local Government Area and that Council does not hold the names and addresses of the residents. However, most communities have a Residents Committee or equivalent. While Council does not hold the names and addresses of the people on those committees, reasonable attempts could be made to obtain this information prior to notification of a Development Application for alterations and additions or a modification application.
The motion was carried, which is great news for land lease community residents in the Port Stephens Local Government Area.
Home owners in land lease communities in other local government areas may want to consider citing Port Stephens Council as an example when advocating with their own Council regarding notifications to residents of development applications in land lease communities.
Full details of the meeting and motion are available on the Port Stephens Council website: https://www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/your-council/about-council/council-meetings-and-minutes/council-agendas,-documents-and-minutes