NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 20 October 2011

 

LATE AGENDA                                                                                        Page

 

1        ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

 

  

8        General Manager Report

8.10   Notice of Motion - Tree Maintenance and Removal Application Policy (SF629, SF265)

8.10   Compulsory Acquisition by Australian Rail Track Corporation of Part Lots 10 to 13 in DP 258204

9        Director Environment and Planning Report

9.10   Further report - Request to Defer, Request for comment for SEPP 71 waiver of Masterplan Lot 2 DP 1119830. Alexandra Drive, Bellwood   


      


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                20 October 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.10    SF1595            201011         Notice of Motion - Tree Maintenance and Removal Application Policy (SF629, SF265)

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Anne Smyth, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

A member of the public has contacted me to discuss the refusal of his application for removal of a Norfolk Island pine tree on Council land which adjoins his property - refer to attached photograph. The applicant has offered to pay for the removal of the tree. Council staff have assessed the tree to be “healthy”.  As required by Council’s Tree Maintenance and Removal Applications Policy, an Arborist’s report must accompany the request for tree removal, in circumstances where a tree is deemed to be healthy by Council staff.  In this particular case, the applicant feels that he should not have to pay for an Arborist’s report when he is not disputing the health of the tree.  The issue relates to the likelihood of the tree causing damage to his property, due to its close proximity to the house. 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That the application from Mr Curtis for the removal of the tree in Piggott Street, Nambucca Heads, and a brief report, come to Council for consideration at the next Ordinary Meeting.

 

2        That Council amend its Tree Maintenance and Removal Application policy as soon as possible, to provide greater clarity with regard to application assessments.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Councillors could choose not to consider the application or amend the policy.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

An application to Council for removal of a pine tree on a Council reserve (between Piggott and Bismark Streets, Nambucca Heads) was refused on the basis that the tree is healthy.   The tree is extremely close to the house on an adjoining property.  The owner is seeking its removal (at his own cost), as there is the strong probability of damage to the building in the future, as the tree grows larger.  Given that the health of the tree is not in question, the applicant does not feel that he should have to pay for an Arborist’s report.

 

In this case, where the unsuitable proximity of the tree and the potential liability to Council is apparent, it would be appropriate for Councillors to use their discretion in determining whether it would be reasonable to remove the tree without the need for an Arborist’s report. 

 

It is also proposed to amend the policy to give greater clarity for future applications.

 

A photograph of the tree which prompted this Notice of Motion is attached.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Mayor

Director, Engineering Services

Manager, Civil Works


 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                20 October 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.10    SF1682            201011         Compulsory Acquisition by Australian Rail Track Corporation of Part Lots 10 to 13 in DP 258204

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Steven Williams, Property Officer         

 

Summary:

 

LATE REPORT – Transport Express Joint Venture (JV) is conducting rail works within the Shire on behalf of Australian Rail Track Corporation.  JV advise that they have been liaising with RTA with regard access and compulsory acquisition of required land. RTA have recently advised that they were mistaken as to land ownership and have referred JV to Council as the correct land owners. This report is submitted for Councils urgent attention to enable JV to commence work as planned and to avoid the additional cost of de mobilising equipment shipped to the work site.

 

Council has been approached by Transport Express Joint Venture (JV) to seek approval in principle to the compulsory acquisition of a portion of land required by them as part of a curve easing project on rail tracks traversing the Shire.

 

JV are undertaking the work on behalf of the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

 

The work is focused on reducing the travel times by reducing the number of curves in the existing rail line between Sydney and the Queensland border.

 

JV has indentified that a portion of the land required to complete the project is owned by Council.  ARTC has a statutory right to compulsorily acquire this land and seeks to exercise this right pursuant to the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act and is accordingly seeking to acquire the land with the agreement of Council.  Consideration for the land will be determined by independent valuation.

 

In the interim JV seek access to the land under license to enable them to commence construction works associated with the program.  Such work will include clearing of existing vegetation as detailed in and pursuant to an approval under Part 5 of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).

 

A further request is to hand for permission to commence vegetation clearing.  JV have mobilised the necessary machinery to commence work. De-mobilising this machinery will cost in the order of $35,000.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council provide in principal support for the compulsory acquisition of part lots 10 -13 in DP 258204 by the Australian Rail Track Corporation for the purpose of the North Coast Curve Easing Project at site 44.

 

2          That Council grant a licence to Australian Track Corporation to enter onto lots 10-13 in DP 258204 to undertake construction works at site 44 as required by the North Coast Curve Easing Project at site 44.

 

3          That Council authorise the General Manager and the Mayor to finalise negotiation and execute on behalf of Nambucca Shire Council all necessary documents to give effect to the compulsory Acquisition by Australian Rail Track Corporation of part lots 10-13 in DP 258204 and the grant of licence of lots 10- 13 in 258204 to enter onto the land to commence work as required by the North Coast Curve Easing Project at site 44.

 

 


OPTIONS:

 

There are no real options regarding the proposed compulsory acquisition of the land. Council may however contribute to the process to seek to ensure maximum benefit is obtained for the alienation of the land.

 

Council is at liberty to refuse a licence to enable works to commence. In this instance the benefits of the curve easing process will potentially benefit the broader community in reduced travel times and foreseeably reduced operating cost for public transport.  On this basis it would be difficult to justify action that would delay the delivery of such benefits.

 

Similarly a grant of license would increase, albeit nominally, council income. JV haS proposed an annual licence fee of $1000 per annum.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The Australian Rail Track Corporation is undertaking a curve easing project to reduce travel times between Sydney and the Queensland border.

 

The project affects a number of sites within the Nambucca Shire one of which (Site 44) affects land outside of the existing rail corridor.  This land will be acquired by ARTC under the Land Acquisition (Just terms compensation) Act.

 

The consideration payable will be determined by an independent registered Valuer.

 

Site description

 

Site 44 is situated on the section of track between Nambucca Heads and Raleigh, 4 km north of Nambucca Heads.

 

The surrounding lands are predominantly comprised of rural and agricultural areas, with small residential areas to the north-east and south-east, and a wetland area located approximately 500 m east of the proposed works. Some linear patches of remnant vegetation occur on both sides of the alignment, including Scrub and Blackbutt –Tallowood communities.

 

There are scattered residential properties in the vicinity of the proposed works, particularly along the western side of the alignment.  The closest residential property is located approximately 80 m west of the

existing track alignment.

 

The area required is approximately 1.008ha. There are no improvements on the subject land and Council does not actively maintained the land to any significant degree.  A plan of the relevant area is attached for reference.

 

Review of environmental impacts

 

The review of environmental factors submitted to Council for reference states that the Flora and Fauna Assessment assessed the potential impacts of the proposed works on protected areas, Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs), threatened flora and fauna species, and migratory and other marine birds.  It was determined that the proposed works, including the removal of up to 1.5 ha of disturbed and fragmented vegetation, is unlikely to have a significant impact on any adjacent protected areas, EECs, threatened flora or fauna, or migratory birds.

 

Council planning staff advise that under clause 79 of SEPP Infrastructure (2007) Public authorities can undertake rail infrastructure facility works on any land (except NPWS land) without consent.  The ARTC would be the public authority responsible for the works and the rail track improvements fit within the definition of 'rail infrastructure facility'.  Therefore under Part 5 of the EPA Act consent is not required from Council and the ARTC only need satisfy themselves that work will not have a significant environmental impact - in this case they have prepared an REF.

 

Planning staff also advise that they are not aware of other legislation that would require a greater level of assessment such as an EIS and are of the view that ,in this instance an REF is appropriate.

 

 

Request for Licence

 

The Australian Rail Track Corporation also seeks access to the land to commence project work prior to finalisation of the Compulsory Acquisition process.

 

The proposed licence term is for 1 year with provision for an extension of a further year if required (depending on the progress of the compulsory acquaint application).

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Council strategic planner

Manager Technical Services.

Water and Service Manager Richmond Valley Council

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The recommendations do not give rise to any environmental issues

 

Social

 

The recommendations do not give rise to any social issues. Whilst not a matter for this report, the construction process as an aside may impact adversely on the neighbour properties in the short term insofar as construction noise, dust and machinery movements.

 

Economic

 

The sale and licensing of the land will return a nominal sum to Council.

 

Risk

 

The recommendation does not give rise to any significant risk.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The consideration on sale and the licence fee will contribute to Council revenue albeit nominally.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The recommended actions do not require access to additional funds.

 


 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.  


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                20 October 2011

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.10    LF4148             201011         Further report - Request to Defer, Request for comment for SEPP 71 waiver of Masterplan Lot 2 DP 1119830. Alexandra Drive, Bellwood

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Greg Meyers, Director Environment and Planning         

 

Summary:

 

In accordance with normal Council process, the applicant/consultant seeking the waiver for the need to prepare a Masterplan was advised that a report was being presented to Council at the 20 October 2011 Ordinary meeting.

 

After being advised and reading the report and recommendations, the applicant/consultant on behalf of his clients sought a meeting with the Mayor, General Manager and Director Environment and Planning.

 

This meeting was held on Friday 14 October 2011. As a result the applicant/consultant is going to request the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to defer the matter to give Council the opportunity to consider the full documentation not just the summary of the preliminary information which was presented to Council.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Item 9.4 contained in the agenda for the 20 October 2011 Ordinary Council meeting be deferred to enable the additional information and investigation reports which were required by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to be perused by the Director Environment and Planning prior recommending to Council whether to support or oppose the request for a waiver to prepare a Masterplan under SEPP 71 for Lot 2 DP 1119830 Alexandra Drive Bellwood.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

No real options as the additional information needs to be considered.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Following advice to the applicant/consultant Geoff Smyth Consulting, of the report being presented to Council at the 20 October 2011 Ordinary meeting. He, on behalf of his clients sought a meeting with the Mayor, General Manager and Director Environment and Planning.

 

This meeting was held on Friday 14 October 2011. During the meeting it was identified that considerable additional work and numerous other investigations had been undertaken which were requested by the DoPI from the date of the Preliminary Assessment in September 2009 when the application was being pursued as a Part 3A Major Project. These additional works/reports have not been provided to Council. 

 

As a result it was agreed that the best course of action was for the applicant/consultant to pursue the DoPI to seek their approval to defer the request for comment by Council until the additional information and investigation reports are perused by the Director Environment and Planning as the applicant considers that all the necessary investigations have been done which were identified in the Directors report - Item 9.4 20 October Council meeting.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Applicant/consultant and landowners (Geoff Smyth of Geoff Smyth Consulting, Joe Saliba and Tim Stuart of Sys Nambucca Developments Pty Ltd)

Mayor

General Manager

Department of Planning and Infrastructure

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Not applicable with this later report for deferral.

 

Social

 

Not applicable with this later report for deferral.

 

Economic

 

Not applicable with this later report for deferral.

 

Risk

 

Not applicable with this later report for deferral.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Not applicable with this later report for deferral.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Not applicable with this later report for deferral

 

Attachments:

1View

29019/2011 - Request to go to Council meeting 20.10.11 re Lot 2 DP 1119830, Alexandra Drive, Bellwood

 

  


Ordinary Council Meeting - 20 October 2011

Further report - Request to Defer, Request for comment for SEPP 71 waiver of Masterplan Lot 2 DP 1119830. Alexandra Drive, Bellwood