Kiama council releases report on Illuka Reserve public hearings

CONCERNS: Kiama Downs resident David Connolly is among the residents not pleased with the proposed changes to the reserve. Picture: Georgia Matts

CONCERNS: Kiama Downs resident David Connolly is among the residents not pleased with the proposed changes to the reserve. Picture: Georgia Matts

Residents have raised a range of issues regarding proposed changes to Iluka Reserve in Kiama Downs.

Kiama council has released an independent report on public hearings on changes proposed to Iluka Reserve and other council-owned land.

The report covers the public hearings that took place on June 26 and July 3 into planned changes for Iluka Reserve, as well as council-owned land in Irvine Street, Kiama and O’Connell Place, Gerringong.

The report is by Stephen Richardson, the independent planning consultant who chaired the hearings. 

Council is proposing to rezone and reclassify part of Iluka Reserve so that it can be used for housing. 

Council has proposed the land would be suitable for nine residential lots and open space for the remainder of the reserve. 

Last year, Kiama Mayor Mark Honey said from any funds raised by a subdivision on Iluka, “a lot of that money would go into enhancing that reserve”. “It is a totally under-utilised resource at this stage, but if it was enhanced and encouraged people to use it, that would be terrific,” he said. 

However, many residents claim the 1.8 hectare site should be retained as open space. 

Submissions at the public hearings raised a range of issues. These included concerns regarding the suitability of the land for development given it allegedly contains a large waterlogged area particularly after rainfall, and claims that council has provided insufficient evidence to justify that Iluka Reserve is under-utilised.

It was also claimed that rezoning and reclassifying Iluka Reserve will set a precedent for council to rezone other public open space reserves within the LGA for development.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward attended, saying there are many other opportunities for residential land development such as the re-development of Bombo quarry, and aired concerns about loss of public open space.

The report can be viewed at www.kiama.nsw.gov.au

Written submissions can be made until 4pm on July 24 by emailing council@kiama.nsw.gov.au. 

The report from the public hearings and written submissions will be provided to councillors at their August or September meeting, before they decide on the proposals.

READ MORE: Public submissions period extended for proposed changes to Iluka Reserve, Kiama Downs

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