Squeeze in 300,000 without plan

THE State Government’s ‘one size fits all’ approach to helping solve the State’s housing crisis could create “unliveable and uninspiring cities”.

Its proposals to allow low rise terraces, townhouses, manor houses (two-storey apartment blocks) and six-storey, mid-rise apartments in neighbourhood areas around railway stations and possibly other shopping centres, and duplexes in residential zones to have a minimum lot size of 450sqm and 12m wide frontage and one car space per dwelling, have come under attack for the lack of community engagement and detail, with “no plan to support additional housing and population growth, such as road upgrades, open space, schools and hospitals”.
The changes have the potential to increase the local population by approximately 300,000 new residents.
In its submission in response to the proposals, Canterbury Bankstown Council has sought to work collaboratively with the NSW Government on an efficient, ongoing master planning program to deliver genuine centre-based and transit-oriented development, based on the principles of ‘density done well’.
The council said it was well on the way to delivering its own housing targets – 50,000 new homes by 2036 – but approvals have been held up by the NSW Department of Planning.
Councillor Charlie Ishac said the proposals could provide a mass of additional housing and substantial increase with no plan for infrastructure and service delivery … “such as road upgrades, open space, schools and hospitals”.
“They undermine the amazing work the council has done to properly shape this city … where we can live, work and play,” he said.
Councillors George Zakhia and Barbara Coorey also criticised the timing of the proposal’s release over the Christmas/New Year break…”why the secrecy?”, while Cr Linda Downey said it “came out of the blue” and hopes the council’s submission will be given due consideration.
Mayor Bilal El-Hayek said the generational changes are defining, and “will reshape the look and feel of our business centres, our streets, and our neighbourhoods”.
He said that during a recent meeting with the Premier, he pressed the point that by working collaboratively and strategically with the council, “together we can safeguard the character and charm of our suburbs and preserve our green spaces … while at the same time providing a diverse range of housing for families, students, essential workers and our older residents”.