NAC Development - too much, too little or just right?


tonyhMon, 08/02/2021 - 12:03pm

We can imagine that early settlers came to the Cove and loved its isolation and back-to-nature character.

We have heard that some later packed their bags when the streets were paved and urbanisation took hold.  For them, there was already too much going on in NAC.

But for others today, NAC is far from ‘full’. More intense development is seen as necessary for its potential to improve investment returns through asset appreciation and rental arrangements such as Airbnb.

And councils everywhere are under pressure to find ways of increasing the availability of land to meet a rising demand for housing. There have been, and are now, development applications before the council for battle-axe type subdivisions or dual occupancy in the Cove.

The old GLC opposed higher density building largely because of the fragility of on-site sewage treatment systems and the threat to our waterways. The MCC’s solution is for a separate pump-out system for each house on a block, thereby opening the door for more houses per lot.

Then there’s another group of villagers who chose to live here, happy to be without amenities available in towns and cities.  To these people, other things are more important. They like space. They don’t live on top of neighbours. They see their environment as predominantly one of grass, trees, shade, of native animals and birds. Not one of concrete and roofs. A style of living which doesn’t require curtains and fences for privacy or to screen neighbours’ noise and lights.

For them, being here is all about enjoying a vanishing style of living.

For them, North Arm Cove is just about right.

You will guess by now that Pat and I are in the latter camp where we believe that an increase in housing density will create a precedent for this village. It will see the end of a style of living which is increasing in both demand and rarity. We are concerned that, if our council starts to open the gate, it will be an endorsement of a new pattern of development for our village.

Embodied within the council’s DCPs for the Great Lakes region are provisions to ensure the character of a locality is not destroyed by inappropriate development. The MCC calls these provisions ‘Character Statements’ which clearly imply that local community expectations of appropriate development will be taken into account.

“A DCP helps to make sure development is consistent, sustainable and meets the community's expectations.”

If the council is true to its word, it will listen to us and framework its planning decisions around our expectations.

But first we as a community must decide what we want for our village in the future.

Perhaps we should be defining NAC’s Character Statement now and getting the council to agree to it before it’s too late.

Pat and I are just two members of the community expressing our opinions here.

But what does everyone else think? Do we face a problem, or is it all going to be just right whatever happens?

Tony Hann and Pat Brennan


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