14 November 2023
Dear Mayor and Councillors
FOKE wishes to express its support for the Mayoral Minute of 21 November, 2023 that outlines his initial response to The Hon Paul Scully MP, NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces letter (dated 30/10/2023 and received on 9 November, 2023).
It is important that the integrity of Ku-ring-gai zoning controls or Local Environment Plans (LEPs) be upheld to ensure Ku-ring-gai’s environment, heritage, character and amenity, especially in its R2 Low Density Residential Zones, be protected for future generations to enjoy.
FOKE commends the Mayoral minute for its clarity and careful consideration on the challenges ahead for Ku-ring-gai.
FOKE strongly supports a rigorous and transparent public consultation process to allow residents to have a say. We recommend that Council refer to the 2002 questionnaire sent to all residents that was used as part of the consultation process for the then Ku-ring-gai Residential Strategy.
FOKE shares the Mayor’s concern about the unacceptable loss of tree-canopy and asks that an audit be done on the cumulative loss of trees since 2004 as well as what planning controls are needed for climate-change resilience as we face increasingly dangerous bushfires, wild storms, flooding and extreme heat stress that will endangers the lives of residents and threaten the natural environment.
FOKE shares concerns townhouses in low residential areas in R2 zones would considerably alter the heritage character and environment of Ku-ring-gai.
FOKE shares the Mayor’s concern about significantly increasing Ku-ring-gai’s population without necessarily the funding for or provision of adequate infrastructure (transport, stormwater, education and recreation and environmental restoration projects) to support the increase.
FOKE requests that the four baseline studies (Heritage and Neighbourhood Character, Infrastructure, Environment and Traffic and Parking Studies) carried out for the preparation for the Ku-ring-gai Residential Strategy in 2002 be assessed in light of the development that has occurred since 2004.
For over twenty five years FOKE has argued that Ku-ring-gai requires planning controls that protect, threatened and endangered ecological communities, national parks and environmentally sensitive areas.
We thank and commend this Mayoral Minute.
cc Matt Cross MP Member for Davidson
cc The Hon Alister Henskens SC MP Member for Wahroonga
cc The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Member for Bradfield