Councillors dispute support for Black Hill industrial development

Councillors dispute support for Black Hill industrial development

Posted 4 hours 52 minutes ago

Three Cessnock councillors have lodged a rescission motion over a parcel of land at Black Hill that the Catholic Church is seeking to have rezoned from rural to industrial.

Councillors James Ryan, Rod Doherty and Cordelia Troy have called on council to rescind a motion that would see the planning proposal for the land placed on public exhibition.

The Councillors say a Council report about the rezoning is inaccurate regarding community consultation.

Councillor Ryan says they also have concerns about traffic.

“Essentially, there is no plan to deal with the traffic generated by an industrial estate of this size,” he said.

“The RMS has officially told council that the data supplied by the Catholic Church is inadequate.

“It seems to me that if we really do believe that residents deserve a say on development that affects them, the least we can do is provide accurate information which informs them of what the impacts will be.

“We’ve lodged the rescission motion on the basis that the report is so inaccurate that it misleads the public as to the real state of affairs.

“It’s quite alarming to have Council present a report to the Councillors and the public claiming several things, one of which is that the community is in support of this proposal.

“Well the community is desperately opposed to this proposal, so it is disturbing as a Councillor to have a report of such inaccuracy tabled and put out as a public council report.”

Councillor Ryan says they also have concerns about the amount of land set aside for conservation.

“It gives the impression that bio-banking or offsets will be engaged with and there’s no guarantee that will happen,” he said.

“It simply says we can deal with this later and let’s delegate to the general manager the authority to sign off on a voluntary planning agreement.

“None of the residents know what is going to be in a voluntary planning agreement, so it’s unfair to put this on public exhibition when we don’t know what the end result will be.”

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