The Association is backing a call for the Greater Sydney Commission to consult with stakeholders prior to their release of the Draft District Plan in November.
The Greater Sydney Commission
The Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) was established by the NSW Government to develop a plan for growing Sydney.
There are six Sub-Regions covering Sydney prescribed by the Government. Willoughby is part of the Northern Sub-Region that also comprises: Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Ku-Ring-Gai, Lane Cove, Manly, Mosman, North Sydney, Pittwater, Ryde, Warringah.
This plan will be implemented by a series of District Plans. These plans will override Council’s Local Environmental Plans (LEPs).
The Commission talks about consultation, but to date this has been just rhetoric. So, along with other community groups from the sub-region we are calling in the Commission to meaningfully consult before releasing their draft plan.
Call to consult
Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO
Greater Sydney Commission
PO Box 257, Parramatta NSW 2150
Dear Chief Commissioner
Re: Sydney Northern District Plan – community consultation
As established community groups with considerable knowledge of, and long-term engagement with, planning issues in our respective communities, we, the undersigned, write to you to ascertain the details of community consultation by the Greater Sydney Commission (the Commission) in the Sydney Northern District Region.
We understand that draft District Plans (the Plans) will be released by the Commission in November 2016 for community comment. However, we are unaware of any plans for community engagement prior to the release of these draft Plans.
We note that one of the objectives of the Commission, under the Greater Sydney Commission Act 2015, is to ‘to provide increased opportunity for public involvement and participation in environmental planning and assessment in the Greater Sydney regions.’
Given the powers of the Commission to override Local Environmental Plans and assess rezoning proposals and the chaotic nature of current Council amalgamations, direct and comprehensive community consultation prior to the release of the draft Plans is essential.
We are aware that the Commission is considering the use of citizen juries as a means of engaging with communities. Whilst citizen juries have their place, these cannot replace broader consultation with experienced and knowledgeable representatives of local groups engaged in planning for their respective communities.
Specific questions we seek information on are outlined below:
- What is the scope, nature and timing of community consultations planned by the Commission prior to the release of draft Plans in November 2016, including any consultation that has occurred to date?
- How does the Commission propose to include our various community groups into this community consultation?
- What will be the role of, and weight given to, community consultation conducted prior to the release of draft Plans?
In the interest of transparency, and given there are only 4 months left until the release of the draft Plans, we would appreciate receiving an answer to the above queries by 12 August 2016.
Should you wish to clarify any aspect of this letter, please contact Mr Doug Stuart, Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society Committee Member, on 9428 2527.
We look forward to your response.