The April 6 meeting of the Local Planning Panel could be interesting.
It’s the second meeting in a row focussed on a proposal for a three storey unit complex at The Entrance.
The March 9 meeting deferred the matter so council staff and the applicant could discuss the reasons why refusal was recommended.
This week’s meeting sees the matter return to the panel with a council staff report that continues to recommend refusal.
The applicant wants to build 15 units on a corner block at 33-35 Torrens Avenue, The Entrance.
In a letter to the panel, the architect for the applicant says they do not believe the application has been handled fairly or reasonably and they have been continually disappointed and frustrated with the assessment process.
“The above Development Application was lodged in December 2020, 2 years and 3 months ago, and during that period numerous Council and consultant planners, including the Department of Planning, started assessments, most of the time, it appeared, starting from scratch,” a letter states.
“A variety of feedback was provided by the varying assessing officers throughout the process.
“There were also extensive delays with the application because of the inability for the applicant to meet with Council staff, face to face, and the staff shortages within the Council framework.
“During the assessment process, we have made a genuine effort to address and resolve all issues raised by Council.
“We have diligently worked with each planner assigned to looking after the application throughout the DA process and requested meetings with Council staff on several occasions to work through any issues with Council, but we were not given this opportunity as the Council policy has become a no meeting policy, at least in our case,” the letter states.
For their part, the council staff say that the applicant has not adequately justified the requirement to increase the height by 20% above the mapped maximum permissible building height.
Council staff also have compliance issues with communal open space, parking, setbacks, visual and acoustic privacy, landscaping and waste management.
Tune in from 2pm, April 6, via Youtube to hear the applicant address the panel.
In the latest minutes of the Council’s Audit, RIsk and Improvement Committee (ARIC) CEO David Farmer said Council is reviewing staff levels in Development Applications due to the delay in DA timelines. He told the committee the delay is due to a surge in development applications and difficulty in
attracting and retaining assessment staff.