Residents oppose rezoning Jamberoo's 'character threatened'

Jamberoo resident Diane Thompson.
Jamberoo resident Diane Thompson.

A SURVEY has reiterated Jamberoo residents's calls for a town meeting to discuss the village's future, saying their views are being ignored by Kiama Council.

Huntingdale Developments submitted a planning proposal in 2012 to rezone 7.8 hectares in Wyalla Road in order to build 30 Torrens title seniors housing lots and 22 detached residential housing lots.

At the February meeting, the council adopted the planning proposal.

Sixty-five submissions were received during the exhibition period, including 54 objections.

A DA is yet to be lodged.

Councillor Warren Steel said the project was "long overdue" and would save Jamberoo, which he believed was dying.

Phil Lewis, of the Jamberoo Valley Ratepayers Association agreed.

"The town lost its doctor, petrol station, the school is teacher-less this year," he said in February.

Jamberoo Valley Watch was formed in response to the council's decision.

The group recently circulated a survey, seeking thoughts on Wyalla Road, potential future development and whether a meeting should be held.

"As a result of the recent council meeting, Jamberoo now has an extended town boundary behind Wyalla Road and down to the creek, which could allow for the subdivision of prime rural land," the survey read.

With housing recently built in Allowrie Street, Churchill Street and Tate Place, and an additional 31 lots approved in Drualla Road, residents argue council's nominated 3 per cent growth rate would be exceeded and 30 seniors lots were unnecessary.

Residents are reportedly taking advice on potential Land and Environment Court action.

"Quite a few people who are against the rezoning are not opposed to appropriate development within the town boundary or even rezoning of the town boundaries in the future in consultation with the residents, when and if it is ever necessary," the survey results said.

Diane Thompson, a Jamberoo resident for more than 25 years, is a member of Jamberoo Valley Watch.

She received 80 survey responses within eight days.

Mrs Thompson said the majority wanted to maintain Jamberoo's village character.

"About 82 per cent are not happy with having the additional building blocks out the back of Wyalla Road," she said.

"Also, 85 per cent of people said they would like a town meeting to discuss the future of Jamberoo."

She refuted claims the village was dying.

"We lost our doctor as he had too many patients and was short-staffed... The petrol station closed because of problems with the fuel tanks.

"The butcher does a fantastic trade, the pub always seems to do well, and when the new IGA is opened, it will be fantastic and reinvigorate the town."

A council spokesperson said in previous years, council had held meetings to discuss Jamberoo's future, and the need for retirement living.

"Council also prepared, exhibited, and adopted an urban strategy for the municipality following extensive community consultation.

"Planning & Infrastructure (NSW) stated in its Gateway Determination... That a public meeting is not required. "Council extended the public exhibition period and council considered the submissions received when making its final decision.'