December 2020 update
To cap off what has been a challenging year, we spoke with Aaron Nash, Development Compliance Officer, to talk about the key achievements for 2020 at Wyee West.
Since beginning his role in 2016, Aaron has made over 300 visits to the area and is a tremendous asset to the Project Team. If you live in Wyee West, then you’ve probably seen or spoken to Aaron at some point over the last few years!
Q Aaron, completing the property inspections at Wyee West is a huge milestone for the project.
You’re currently finalising the inspection reports - can you tell us a bit about what information is going in them?
Tyler Drake (Senior Building Surveyor) and myself worked with over 70 landowners to inspect the dwellings at Wyee West and create a profile for each property. We’re very grateful to the landowners for their trust in allowing us on their lots. It’s been a lengthy but very important process to complete.
Tyler looked at each dwelling to understand if they can pass the building code – or at least be prepared to pass the building code, and how much work that will take for the landowner.
I’ve been focussed on getting to know the landowners and gathering information to understand their current situation, how long they’ve lived on the property, the services connected to their lot and their intentions / aspirations for the land.
We’re now combining all of this information to create a full inspection report for each property.
Q So how will this information help Council moving forward?
Council staff will use the inspections reports to:
- Decide on resources for the project, particularly in regards to hazard reduction and waste removal
- Help determine the distribution of infrastructure costs for each of the properties. This will be very important information to have for the one-on-one landowner meetings in 2021
- Understand how we can work with landowners and what timelines are needed to allow people to do improvements on the property. For example, Council will look at putting in reasonable timeframes for owners to lodge DA’s and undertake any building work.
Q Would you say that the decrease in unauthorised work at Wyee West is another achievement?
Yes, I’ve noticed that unauthorised works have decreased dramatically over the last year.
A big thank you to the existing property owners who have always seemed to want to comply when seeking advice. It’s hard when a lot of them are wanting to complete works but can’t. We really appreciate their patience as we work towards getting the best possible outcome for the entire community.
Q What are some other key achievements for the year?
We used to get complaints about overgrown vegetation becoming a fire hazard and attracting vermin. Letters were sent out asking people to remove vegetation on their lots and most residents and landowners complied. We really appreciate their efforts. Even though it’s shaping up to be a wetter Summer this year, it’s still important for residents to be prepared and complete a bushfire survival plan.
The Council Project Team also did a great job in finalising the infrastructure engineering designs with Ausgrid and Hunter Water. This meant that the team could get cost estimates from the Quantity Surveyor - which is another major milestone completed.
We’ll be kicking off the year with a Wyee West Reference Group meeting in early February and will be working more closely with landowners next year as the draft Development Plan is prepared.
Q Do you have any updates about road grading?
The community are really wanting the roads to get graded. Tullokan Road is currently the only graded road – there is currently no budget allocated for ongoing maintenance on the other roads. This is another reason why Council is wanting to work with landowners towards the draft Development Plan which will provide the funds necessary to upgrade roads and provide other services like sewer, water, electricity. We want these issues to be addressed and dealt with in a sustainable way.
The roads are currently deemed trafficable for emergency services, but if there are any further concerns about this, landowners can contact council.
With all of the hard work completed to date, 2021 is set to be a milestone year for this project.
A big thank you to everyone who worked with Council staff this year to move us closer towards the draft Development Plan. We wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season.