Council regroups after Land and Environment Court rejection

Ku-ring-gai councillors and staff have begun discussing possible proposals for a way forward following the Land and Environment Court’s rejection of its LEP.
Mayor Ian Cross said councillors had a constructive briefing on the case and its impacts on Tuesday night, and he planned to hold talks with the State Government in coming days.
“The court decision has brought about a lot of understandable uncertainty,” he said.
“It may also present us with a chance to right the wrongs of the past and ensure Ku-ring-gai gets first-rate planning proposals for development that is sustainable, well designed and located in the right places.”
The Land and Environment declared that Ku-ring-gai LEP (Town Centres) 2010 is of no legal force or effect on 28 June.
Council started working towards the Principal LEP for the whole of the Ku-ring-gai local government area, which is required to be gazetted in 2011.
The work to date included initial investigations into open space, employment, bushfire and climate change, built heritage, biodiversity, water management and Aboriginal heritage.
As part of the research for the Ku-ring-gai LEP, an extensive biodiversity mapping and assessment process was also undertaken. 
The information formed part of the Local Environmental Study which was required to guide the LEP. 
Cr Cross said the impacts of the court decision are now becoming clearer.
“Development already approved under the Town Centres Plan is protected under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act,” he said.
While applications still in the system will be determined under the relevant planning instruments in place before the Plan was gazetted,” he said.   
Cr Cross said he was encouraged by the O’Farrell Government’s approach to Ku-ring-gai planning, and he looked forward to continuing constructive dialogue with the premier and planning minister.
“The Government promptly honoured its pre-election promise to disband the Ku-ring-gai Planning Panel,” he said.
 “We’re hoping that in the aftermath of this court decision, council, the government and the local community can work together cooperatively and achieve some positive outcomes for the future of planning and development in Ku-ring-gai.”

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