No more homes

CUMBERLAND won’t become a “dumping ground” for more low and medium density homes as the State Government looks at ways of tackling the housing crisis.

CUMBERLAND councillors have unanimously rejected a plea from Minister for Planning, Paul Scully, to review its planning policies to allow for terraces, small unit blocks and mid-rise apartments.
A letter late last year from Mr Scully, calling on councils to allow more housing in low and medium density zones “to help increase supply and diversity of homes” has been met with a “big no” from Cumberland councillors.
The Minister wrote that 377,000 new homes were needed by 2029 and councils needed to review their planning policies to help identify areas where terraces, small unit block and well designed mid-rise apartments could be built – but Cumberland councillors rejected the review, saying its own review – endorsed by the State Government – identified the need for 28,000 additional dwellings between 2016-2036, 24,000 of which is being provided through current planning controls, and the remaining through existing strategic planning work at key centres and corridors.
Councillor Glenn Elmore said the council had already put the plans in place to deliver new homes and any more would only put more pressure on the already little infrastructure they had.
“I don’t know that we could take much more,” he said.
Cr Paul Garrard said the council had done the hard yards: “We’ve done everything we possibly can, to address our housing needs and diversity.”
The council has now put its response in writing to the Minister, along a second letter expressing concern about imposing new planning controls within 400 metres of certain train stations, including Lidcombe and Berala, and seek an urgent meeting to clarify their intent and discuss the feasibility and potential merit.
Cr Sabrin Farooqui said residents – like herself – were already frustrated with the transport, traffic and parking.
Speaking of her own experience, Cr Farooqui said she drove around Lidcombe looking for parking on a Sunday for more than 20 minutes so she could catch a train to the city but eventually gave up and drove.