Yes! It certainly seems that changes in Development Rules is the Flavour of the Month. It is not enough that we have to contend with the Planning & Design Code. Or the Development Plan Amendment in Everard Park.
In recent weeks we have had to deal with a flurry of suggestions for how the old Anzac Highway Le Cornu site could be redeveloped. That was triggered of course by the departure from Australia of the current land owner, Kaufland.
Then, a short while ago, Theo Maras was quoted in the press with ideas for the site adjacent, the Keswick Barracks site. Today I see our Mayor dragged into considering what could be on that site.
That storey, by the Advertiser, can be found here.
The Keswick Barracks is owned by the Commonwealth Government, via the Department for Defence. They have no desire to sell off the land. My information is that they are so focused on keeping their land holding that they are upgrading it.
So why are we having this discussion when there is plenty to keep us occupied right now?
First up, with all Council is focused on right now, let me tell you that Council is not participating in the discussion. We are aware of the Maras proposal. It runs similar to observations made some 6 or so years ago when the previous State Government were promoting the TOD approach to the need for development pal changes.
There was some personal chatter between members of the Council of that day, as you might expect because it is topical. There was no formal discussion however as the Commonwealth, as now, indicated no desire to sell.
When the time comes to have a discussion, it will be driven by the State Government and not Council. Whether Council gets a chance to contribute or not at that time is problematic in any case. We are all waiting on the Government’s public consultation to the Planning & Design Code. Part of this will be to see if Councils will have an opportunity into looking at changes to the Code when proposed.
We have enough to deal with right now with the changes in Development Rules we are already dealing with. I hope therefore that we can be allowed to focus on what we can influence and/or control.