by GRACE JOHNSON
Inner West Council has announced that Mayor Darcy Byrne will convene a summit of all mayors in whose communities the NSW Government has announced new 8 high density zones.
The announcement comes after councils called for the government to include them in plans for high density zones. Though many councils want to play an active role in finding solutions to the housing crisis, local governments have not been included in the discussion about how best to increase supply until now.
A statement released by Inner West Council stated, “The recent disastrous opening of the Rozelle interchange shows what happens when major change is imposed on communities without consulting the organisations that know those communities the best.”
The concern is that without community consultation, people could be living in highly congested neighbourhoods without adequate parking, green space, schools and hospitals.
Mayor Byrne said, “We all have a responsibility to address the housing crisis, but until now local government hasn’t been included in the discussion at all.”
In documents accidentally published by Transport NSW last week, it was revealed that the land around eight train stations will be rezoned to make way for 45,000 new homes within four years.
The first eight suburbs earmarked for rezoning are Bankstown, Bays West, Bella Vista, Crows Nest, Homebush, Hornsby, Kellyville and Macquarie Park. Land within 1200 metres of the Metro and heavy rail stations have been earmarked for rezoning as part of the effort to build new homes and affordable housing.
The other Sydney suburbs where land around train stations will be rezoned are: Rockdale, Kogarah, Banksia, Marrickville, Turrella, Dulwich Hill, Canterbury, Ashfield, Croydon, Wiley Park, Berala, Lidcombe, St Marys, Roseville, Lindfield, Killara and Gordon.
Mayor Byrne said, “Everyone knows there’s more housing density coming around transport hubs and in White Bay but extending high density zoning into all surrounding suburbs is ludicrous and just won’t work.“Why would we consider high density rezoning of the existing suburbs adjacent to the Rozelle Interchange after the traffic disaster of the past fortnight?”
Referring to the “traffic nightmare” following the opening of Rozelle Interchange, the mayor said, “We certainly won’t be considering significant zoning changes in our local suburbs until there’s a functional arterial road getting into and out of the place.”
He also questioned the costs of rezoning plans, saying “Given the massive cost of purchasing a terrace in Rozelle and surrounding suburbs, high density rezoning wouldn’t deliver much new housing at all. You’d have to find a Saudi sheik or a Russian oligarch to afford the astronomical cost of buying up blocks of homes for redevelopment.”
The Mayoral Summit will be held this Thursday December 14 at a time to be confirmed with the Planning Minister Paul Scully invited to attend.