Councils continue to seek consultation on higher density plans

Councils continue to seek consultation on higher density plans
Image: Daniel Zador, Wiki Commons



Following the recent release of higher density housing plans for Sydney and regional areas, councils are again seeking urgent meetings with the State Government to discuss the role they will play and further details about increased infrastructure.

This is another call from local councils for the government to consult with them regarding plans for increased housing density. Local Government NSW (LGNSW) recently called on the government to involve local councils in efforts to solve the housing crisis.

The call to involve councils comes after it was recently revealed that the government will seize control of 25 suburbs in Sydney alone. The plans, which were accidentally published online on December 5, revealed that the NSW government will rezone land around eight Metro and heavy rail stations to provide for 45,000 new homes by 2027. They will also proceed with the Metro West project between the CBD and Westmead.

The concern is that local councils will be sidelined and local infrastructures not properly consulted before proceeding. LGNSW recently expressed their concern that communities across NSW could find themselves living in congested neighbourhoods unless the State Government consults with local councils.

The President of Local Government NSW, Cr Darriea Turley AM, said Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong will significant increases in density with no community input, if councils are not included in the process.

The government intends to spend $520 million on new infrastructure in the areas, but Cr Turley says communities need more detail on how this will play out.

“It’s not acceptable to drastically increase housing supply and suburban populations without the infrastructure to support them and I question whether $520 million will be enough,” she said.

“Our infrastructure and services are already strained. I urge the government to cooperate and include local councils and their communities in any future planning decisions for these sites.”

In Sydney, part one of the rezoning program involves the state rezoning land within 1200 metres of eight heavy rail and Metro stations: Bankstown, Bays West, Bella Vista, Crows Nest, Homebush, Hornsby, Kellyville and Macquarie Park. In those areas, the land will be rezoned directly by the government “to allow for more new and affordable homes”.

In part two, the state government will establish new planning controls within 400 metres of 31 train stations including Roseville, Lindfield, Killara and Gordon on the north shore; Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, Ashfield, Croydon and Canterbury in the inner west; Turella, Banksia, Rockdale, Kogarah in the south; and St Marys, Lidcombe, Berala and Wiley Park in the west and south-west.

In total, the government’s plans will see 47,800 new homes to be constructed by 2027, including a new mini city on the site of the Rosehill racecourse.

Cr Turley welcomed moves to retain affordable housing outcomes in perpetuity.

“We look forward to receiving more details about how these properties will be delivered and managed,” she said.

“Councils are the closest level of government to the community and need to be a key voice in the process to build community trust and achieve good planning outcomes.

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