Village people resist

FIVE years after the NSW Land and Environment Court rejected Crighton Properties' seniors living development in Jamberoo, Huntingdale Developments will also face opposition from residents.

Huntingdale submitted a planning proposal in 2011 to rezone 7.8 hectares on Wyalla Road currently zoned RU2 Rural Landscape to R2 Low Density Residential and E3 Environmental Management in order to build 30 Torrens title seniors housing lots and 22 detached residential housing lots.

But a group of residents calling itself the "Village People" distributed a flyer throughout Jamberoo last week, warning the development would be placed on floodprone land and damage the village atmosphere.

Resident John Friedmann said the current paddock allowed flood water to spread out.

"The speed is moderated and it's slowed down," he said.

"If you build this area up, you're going to constrict the channel, accelerate the water and you'll end up with the creek going through the golf course."

Fellow resident Roger Lyle questioned the impact of climate change and more extreme rain events.

"Who carries that risk?" he said.

"Is it us, the ratepayers if something happens if council's approved it? Or is it the developer, or is it the poor people who buy into it and have difficulty with insurance?"

Reg Curnow questioned what would make the Huntingdale proposal viable after two other residential developments on the site had been rejected in the past on flooding grounds.

"It's for this supposed need for growth in the town, but there's already growth in the town," he said.

With housing recently built in Allowrie Street, Churchill Street and Tate Place, and an additional 31 lots approved on Drualla Road, Mr Lyle argued the council's nominated three per cent growth rate would be exceeded and 30 seniors lots were unnecessary.

"This is meant to be a village, when does a village turn into a town?" he said.

"Why encroach on good agricultural land that is flood prone?"

Mr Curnow said the property currently supported cows.

"The cows from that [property] actually do walk down this street, it's very Jamberoo, but that'll all go," he said.

Peter Judd said Jamberoo did not have the services, such as transport, a doctor or petrol station, for the development.

While Kiama Municipal Council extended the January 3 deadline for public submissions to January 17 following residents' appeals, Mr Curnow criticised the organisation for setting the first deadline at all during the Christmas period.

A council spokeswoman acknowledged how busy people were during the festive season and said the original date still provided extra time beyond the required 28-day exhibition.

"We make it standard practice to provide an extended public exhibition period in cases where they are scheduled at this time of year," she said.

The spokeswoman said residential land would not be located within the one per cent flood affected area of the site and the application was supported by a flood study modelling the proposal's impact, which had been sent to the NSW government agencies for assessment.

In response to the impact on the village's growth, the spokeswoman said the proposal was in line with the Kiama Urban Strategy, approved in 2012.

"We encourage residents to make their submissions on any aspect of the proposal," she said.

Kiama councillors backed the rezoning proposal in March, arguing the development would help the council increase seniors housing in Jamberoo and the Department of Planning issued a gateway determination in October.

The planning proposal can be viewed at the council's administration building or at kiama.nsw.gov.au.

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