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State Government misses the mark on boarding house controls

State Government misses the mark on boarding house controls City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour has labelled the NSW Government’s new measures
on boarding house developments as completely short-sighted. No  

​City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour has labelled the NSW Government’s new measures on boarding house developments as completely short-sighted.

The NSW Government recently announced new measurers to address the issue of boarding houses in low-density residential areas, which would only see the number of rooms allowed in a development limited to 12 per site.

"It seems that instead of making a serious attempt to address boarding house controls, they have remained short-sighted by looking at only one small component, and claim that they are introducing "sweeping reforms"," Mayor Asfour said.

"The real issue does not lie simply in low-density residential areas, but across medium and high-density areas as well.

"But, more importantly, boarding house developments don’t have to comply with the State Government’s rules on good design, which are outlined in the Apartment Development Guide.

"This means that controls around the size of the apartments, sunlight to rooms, airflow, and the availability of parking aren’t applied or even considered.

"Boarding houses also receive a significant density bonus for being affordable, yet there are absolutely no systems in place to make sure the rents are affordable. This makes the buildings much bigger than surrounding development, and landlords are able to charge whatever they like for the units.

"These are matters the State Government should be addressing."

Mayor Asfour highlighted that what the Government has announced is actually weaker than what Council already has in place.

"In 2015, the former Bankstown Council became the first council in the state to use the courts to stop boarding houses being constructed in low-density residential areas, after introducing new measures approved by the then NSW Planning Minister.

"These additional controls in the Bankstown Development Control Plan 2015 addressed the bigger issues such as setbacks, solar access, accessibility, privacy, open space, landscaped areas and parking.

"Also, Council has recently resolved to exhibit proposed changes for the Canterbury Development Control Plan 2012 in order to bring consistency on boarding house controls across the entire City.

"By aligning our boarding house controls, we will put a stop to these poorly-designed developments from occurring."

 12/02/2019 9:51 AM