See the Forum presentation (19 April) on historic Berry and the impact of the development here >>Forum Presentation
Council’s Heritage Advisor has advised that “the development will have an acceptable level of heritage impact”. However, Council has received 80 submissions objecting to the application.
The additional submission from the Berry & District Historical Society identifies the key issues –
- The cost of the development and the financial resources of the developer should not form the basis of a decision to approve or not to approve a development.
- The Council’s heritage report, which advises that the development has an acceptable level of heritage impact, treats each heritage item as a separate entity. It decides that the impact is acceptable because the space between particular heritage items and the development is sufficient or because there is enough vegetation in between the two.
- This ignores the fact that they are a part of a continuous settlement and that the retention of the relationship of Pulman Street with the Princes Highway is historically important due to it being originally a continuous strip of settlement. The development sits in the centre of this area and will disrupt the heritage nature of the area.
- The heritage report also only considers the effect of the motel when looking from each of the heritage items. It does not consider the effect of the development on them when approaching the area and driving through it. It also does not consider the effect when approaching along Tannery Road from where the heritage nature of the development along the whole ridge can be appreciated.
- The development is totally out of character with the heritage nature of the area from both perspectives. This is particularly significant for a town which is visited for its heritage. Each change that decreases the town’s heritage nature decreases its ability to draw visitors to the Shoalhaven and tourism is one of the main industries supporting the Shoalhaven.
- The size of the buildings and the size of the carpark in front of the building is out of perspective with the other buildings in the area when viewed from the highway and from Tannery Road.
- The bulk and scale is excessive. The existing motel is already large, especially from Tannery Road. To add the extra two buildings and the car parking makes the development way out of scale with the surroundings when viewed from the highway. It is even more so when viewed from Tannery Road as all three storeys will be visible with little screening planned or possible. The amount of screening on the Highway side will be limited by the development’s need for significant signage.
- The development is not compatible with the residential and heritage nature of the area. The existing motel is already out of character and the development will greatly increase this impact through the look and size of the buildings and the amount of car parking. It is jarring, unattractive, inconsistent and incompatible with the nature of the area.
Thus, in summary it is an overdevelopment in the context of the surroundings with respect to height, scale and interference with the heritage and residential nature of the area as well as its aesthetics.