MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE SUFFOLK PARK PROGRESS ASSOCIATON HELD 17 SEPTEMBER 2009 AT 7PM AT THE SUFFOLK PARK COMMUNITY HALL
The meeting commenced at 7pm.
CLIFFORD STREET DEVELOPMENT
Chris Pratt, Town planner from Planning Resolutions, and Ernie Ramsay Jnr presented a proposed plan to redevelop the site of 7 – 13 Clifford Street, Suffolk Park.
The proposal consists of 9 x 1 bedroom (loft beds) apartments (one of which would be disabled access), 10 shops, 1 Café/Deli, and 36 car spaces. There would be 2 lifts in the building, and the buildings would be aligned in the centre of the block of land with parking and trees/gardens around the perimeter.
Currently the land is zoned residential with a small western portion zoned commercial, and the proposal is to rezone the entire block as commercial.
It is used as a mix of affordable housing / commercial currently. Ernie Ramsay Jnr and Snr spoke of how for the past 8 years that they have owned it, they have made every attempt, at their own expense, to keep the rents as low as possible.
Issues raised by the attendees of the meeting were:
The plan to have only one loft-style bedroom prohibited families from living there.
10 shops + 36 car spaces use up space that could be used for affordable housing.
Traffic concerns over increased commercial activity – as traffic is already a problem in that part of Clifford St, how would it be handled?
Takeaway cafes – questioned whether they actually increase or decrease traffic; added environmental concerns due to takeaway packaging.
Even though the Ramsay family assured current tenants that they would have the option to stay on, they would of course have to relocate during construction.
Wildlife currently inhabits area, which would be disturbed and possibly disappear under new design with tree removal , etc.
Water drainage issues – increased concrete puts added pressure onto Tallows Creek.
Although not designed for short term letting, not having larger family-friendly homes increases the chance of holiday lets.
If there is currently vacancy at the Shops now, how would 10 new shops be filled?
Would this mean that franchises , now common in Byron Bay, would come into Suffolk Park?
What about the possibility of increasing the current shops capacity (developing top-shop offices etc) for increased commercial?
In summary, most attendees favoured less commercial and more affordable housing options for the site. A Café that was eat-in was favoured over takeaway, as a social point for the community. Garden space for growing food was suggested.
Increasing commercial along Clifford St does mean that the BP land would not have a valid argument for large scale commercial.
Mayor Jan Barham noted that there are many government incentives for developing low-cost housing initiatives at the moment, and encouraged the Ramsays to meet with Council.
Parking and traffic issues could be looked at in the same DCP (Development Control Plan) as the current study for the Hotel and Shops, resolving both issues with a planned precinct development.
SUFFOLK PARK CARAVAN PARK
Mayor Jan Barham reported that the Council staff’s Strategic Planning Committee has prepared a report for next week’s council meeting on the reclassification of the Caravan Park. Their recommendation is to classify it Operational (except for the area where the Hall is located), arguing that it is unable to continue legally operating on community title land. They are also slating new evidence that the land was not a gift but a commercial transaction. The Report is available on the Council website.
SUFFOLK PARK HOTEL DA
It was moved that Peter Wegner act on behalf of the SPPA re. this matter – proposed D Ridoutt seconded M Wiles. He is to talk with publican Andrew Sheridan re. concerns raised at the last SPPA meeting; and also to Council Staff.
SPPA 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
Lucille Atkins has volunteered to coordinate the activities for Sunday October 25th. Proposed time is 12 – 2. Lucille is preparing a media release. Please note: we are seeking volunteers and sponsors to help with this event!
The meeting finished at 9.45 pm