The release of higher density housing plans for Sydney and regional centres has forced councils to again seek urgent talks with the State Government on the role they will play and specifics about increased infrastructure.
The government will seize control of planning powers potentially sidelining 23 councils in Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong and possibly firing the starting gun on further unregulated property speculation in these locations.
The President of Local Government NSW, Cr Darriea Turley AM, said if councils are not part of the process parts of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong will face significant increases in density with no community input.
Cr Turley acknowledged that the government intended to spend $520 million on new infrastructure in the affected areas but said communities needed more details about how specific projects are going to be identified, assessed, and funded.
“It’s not acceptable to drastically increase housing supply and suburban populations without the infrastructure to support them and I question whether $520 million will be enough,” she said.
“Our infrastructure and services are already strained. I urge the government to cooperate and include local councils and their communities in any future planning decisions for these sites.”
The government’s plans will see 47,800 new homes to be constructed by 2027, including a new mini city on the site of the Rosehill racecourse.
Cr Turley welcomed moves to retain affordable housing outcomes in perpetuity.
“We look forward to receiving more details about how these properties will be delivered and managed,” she said.
“Councils are the closest level of government to the community and need to be a key voice in the process to build community trust and achieve good planning outcomes.
“We all want liveable communities with high-quality housing.
“Home buyers investing their life savings in these higher density developments have a right to know the homes they buy are long-lasting, quality builds that are well supported by schools, hospitals, libraries and community spaces as well as places for active and passive recreation.
“We need to ensure all these conditions are met to give communities fresh confidence in higher-density housing and our planning system more generally.”