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Collapse Issue 575:<br />7 Aug 2023<br />_____________Issue 575:
7 Aug 2023
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
After-hours medical service faces closure
Read Peninsula News on your mobile phone
Rotarians drive across Australia for children's charity
First Rotary Exchange student since Covid
Quick thinking prevents spread of kitchen fire
Vietnam memorial day to be held at Ettalong
Woy Woy businesses eligible for facade grants
Ausgrid fells 'oldest street tree' in Pearl Beach*
Men's Shed makes beehive roofs for arboretum
Council cemetery team tells about memorial trees
Registration opens for oyster-eating competition
Volunteers wanted at Mary Mac's Place
Pre-school students join in National Tree Day planting
Woman goes missing twice in a week
Service NSW introduces Quiet Hour
Surfers association welcomes disability parking*
Women receive donation for Cancer Council*
Extra $2 food option to help sick children*
Awards for supporting Lions fundraising over 10 years
Sausage sizzle to raise money for Mary Mac's Place*
Central Coast 'Run for The Voice' ends at Ettalong
Coastal Twist shop window competition opens
New pedestrian refuge welcomed*
Tesch joins calls to save Empire Bay Boat Shed*
Consider applying for Seniors Festival grant, says Tesch*
Information about services for older people
Holly speaks of her archery
Restaurant owner welcomes energy bill relief*
Grocery donations for Mary Mac's*
Grants available to support volunteers*
Christmas in July at Rotary*
Rotary club holds coffee meeting
Widows group holds Christmas in July*
CWA branch holds Winterfest*
Donations wanted for trivia night*
Tesch to speak at disability summit*
Only four days with rain in dry July
Two-storey multi-dwelling proposal for Britannia St
Council gives list of reasons for refusing dual occupancy
Council planners recommend refusal of dual occupancy
Development application for new mooring
Application seeks changes to 2017 development approval
Proposal to double Booker Bay child centre capacity
Panel to hear of three appeals for 'deemed refusal'*
Everglades upgrade proposal to go to planning panel
New ambulance station almost finished
Planning process deprives residents of sunlight
When a promise is not a promise
Has estuary health changed since 2001?
Celebrating Aged Care Employee Day for a whole week
Flower arranging workshops held regularly
Deaf residents inspire others to learn Auslan
Quilts donated to Elsie's Retreat
Medicare changes 'unlikely to help after-hours service'
Aged care home expects to start stage two next year*
Coronavirus numbers lowest since December 2021
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Everyone is welcome at monthly play readings
Choir to hold concert in Woy Woy*
'Wonderful works' produced by patchwork group*
Students 'take home the chocolates'
Banksias replanted in Melbourne Ave
School hosts second rehearsal for choral festival
Leadership team get their hands dirty
Children take home native plant*
Savannah's cross-country success
Skipping challenge raises money for Heart Foundation
Students encouraged to speak publicly
Dancers and choir perform at variety night*
Chosen as soccer coaches of the year
Mixed pairs final was 'great game to watch'
Triples championship final played at Umina
SEU have 1-0 soccer win over The Entrance
Umina United in match of the round in women's soccer
Second soccer win of the year
East Gosford women have 9-0 victory over SEU
Terrigal meets Woy Woy in rugby union
Senior cricket training starts on Saturday
Sisters swim at national pool rescue event
Surf club offers bronze medallion course
Ocean Beach surf club offers First Aid course*
Softball registrations open*
Bowling club to hold annual meeting
Development team visits Woy Woy rugby league juniors*
Sydney Swans Academy holds trials*



Planning process deprives residents of sunlight

Alas for the Peninsula!

Fate, developers and the council seem to have combined and conspired here to deprive many residents of reasonable levels of sunlight access.

If you live within an R1 Zone with a side boundary facing north and adjoining another property, then the chances are your property is either badly overshadowed or will become overshadowed at some point in the future.

A trawl of the NSW Planning Portal reveals that the area comprising Blackwall, Ettalong Beach and Umina Beach contains a vast area of R1-zoned land, probably the largest single R1 area on the Central Coast.

Zone R1 allows virtually any form of residential building to be built on it, as long as it complies with the height requirements.

This includes dual occupancy, multi dwellings and residential flats, all two storeys high, allowed to be built close to the boundary.

When it comes to the amount of overshadowing that the council allows over an adjoining property one would think that they would be keen to see that existing residents don't get "shafted".

However this is not borne out by the casual way that solar access is measured, or is not measured, in the building assessment process.

It seems to be treated as a matter of opinion, not scientific fact.

The exact area of shading or solar access that an area will receive is never quantified on drawings.

It is quite common for development applications to exaggerate the amount of solar access and underrate shadowing.

Sometimes the drawings are obviously wrong.

There is an example on public exhibition right now at 10 Brittania St, Umina, where the north point on the drawings is not actually pointing north. It's 7.2 degrees off.

This has happened before on previous applications.

Between 8am and 9am on June 21, the sun only traverses through 11.51 deg. Therefore 7.2 degrees represents about 37 minutes.

This error means that the shadow diagram submitted for 9am actually depicts the shadowing at 8:23am.

The other two diagrams for this application are similarly incorrect.

Applicants routinely claim that the private open space and internal living areas of both the proposal and the adjoining property will receive at least 50 per cent sun for three hours between 9am and 3pm on June 21.

Council assessors apparently take this statement at face value.

A prime example of this was 36 Kourong St, Ettalong.

There the applicant managed to convince the council planner and the Local Planning Panel, at a public hearing, that contrary to demonstrable scientific fact the sun would somehow shine around the corner of the building and give the Unit 3 private open space the requisite amount of solar access.

An elevation in the plans described as "south west" was also a misrepresentation, with the actual elevation being 38 degrees away from south west and only seven degrees away from south, serving to add to the inaccuracy and confusion.

The fact that these assertions were made in public proves that the people making them were confident that the system would back them up.

And it did.

What chance has the ordinary resident got to fight predatory development applications in the face of this kind of united front?

It's quite laughable that politicians claim that ensconced residents are holding back housing approvals and their rights need to be curtailed even further.

The provision of three shadow diagrams depicting shadowing at 9am, 12pm and 3pm on June 21st is all the planning provisions of the Development Control Plan require and even that is only for development applications of two storeys and above.

These are often small-scale shadow diagrams, if they are not missing from public exhibition altogether.

They are somehow meant to enable interested members of the public, including local residents, to assess whether private open space and living areas will receive three hours of 50 per cent sunlight over the course of the day.

Of course, they do no such thing.

They give a rough idea at best. They are merely an indication.

Why is something as important as solar access treated in such a casual manner?

It hasn't happened by chance.

Looking back at the Gosford DCP (2013) as amended in August 2017, we find more detailed and stringent requirements for documenting the amounts of shadowing and solar access.

The amount of internal sunlight for instance was to be shown by overlays on the floor plan using solar azimuth.

As for the main shadowing diagrams, they were to be supplied for at least 9am,12pm and 3pm (and "at least" was underlined).

The "dumbing down" of the solar access clauses were introduced with the current Central Coast DCP (2022).

Among them is a clause that implies that existing adjoining properties are to blame, if they haven't been designed to be over-shadowed.

The changes seem to have one obvious underlying purpose - to expedite approvals.

In doing so, the new provisions have sacrificed accuracy and made it much more likely that neighbouring residents and home buyers will be short-changed in one of the most obvious measures of livability, access to sunlight.

The planning processes seem willing to ignore scientific fact, planning objectives, and community well-being and liveability when they don't align with some unspoken doctrine, vested interest or outcome.

The Peninsula Residents Association, of which I am a member, attempts to do something about this.

We monitor current development applications and often make submissions where we believe developments are trying to take unfair advantage of the process and the community.

To this end, some of us speak at Local Planning Panel meetings and Land and Environment conciliation conferences.

The rules of the DCP should be a compact between the council and the community and bind the council in the way that it assesses applications as much as it binds developers and the rest of the community.

At the moment there is an almost insane clamour for more "housing", no matter what form it takes.

We don't believe that such politically-motivated fervour should allow developers to virtually hijack the planning process and such fundamental democratic principles as "the rule of law".

Information about the residents' association and its policies are available on its website and social media page.

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