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Victory for people power

Victory for people power Canterbury-Bankstown has claimed a big victory over the latest NSW Government proposal, aimed at further fast-tracking housing development. Yes  

Canterbury-Bankstown has claimed a big victory over the latest NSW Government proposal, aimed at further fast-tracking housing development.

Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, backed down from introducing the new Medium Density Housing Code in Canterbury-Bankstown on 6 July, following a meeting with Mayor Khal Asfour, where serious concerns were raised.

"It was clear the Government hadn’t thought through the potential ramifications of this policy, on areas like Canterbury-Bankstown," Mayor Asfour said.

"It would have been disastrous for our suburbs, which have R2 residential zonings, where there’s low density housing."

Currently, medium density housing, such as villas and townhouses, can only be considered in appropriate zonings, where a block of land is at least 1,200m². It is also assessed and decided on by Council, applying rules and conditions under the Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

Under the Government’s proposed changes, blocks only need to be half that – 600m² – the size of a standard lot, and the property owner could use a Private Certifier to avoid Council assessing the application.

Mayor Asfour said the changes would have meant residents would only know such a development is proposed, when work actually started and they couldn’t do anything about it.

"I’m happy and relieved sanity prevailed in the end and the Minister ended such madness," Mayor Asfour said.

The Minister used the opportunity to present the Mayor with $2.5 million in funding, to enable Council to begin work on establishing a new Local Environmental Plan (LEP) for the whole of Canterbury-Bankstown, the largest council area in NSW.

"It’s time they moved aside and allow us to plan for future growth in a responsible manner," Mayor Asfour said.

"I’ve told the Minister, his Government’s housing targets, which require us to accommodate an extra 50,000 dwellings and 150,000 more people over the next 20 years, are unrealistic.

"We know we have to plan for growth and we’ll do that, but the Government must meet its responsibilities and support that growth by providing the necessary schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure required. We haven’t seen anything which remotely shows they have a plan to address this.

"They can start by undergrounding Bankstown Railway Station, to ensure the Bankstown CBD is no longer divided, and address the parking lots which are our major state roads, such as Stacey Street, Milperra Road, Canterbury Road, and Henry Lawson Drive."

 22/05/2018 12:18 PM