O'Farrell and Hazzard follow the advice of developers in deciding where to build next

Housing urban sprawl

Housing urban sprawl

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by StreetCorner
30/01/2012

In a radical approach to city planning, Brad Hazzard and Barry O'Farrell have asked developers where they would like to build houses. But less resurprisingly, developers have responded saying they would like to build more houses on greenfield sites on the outskirts of western Sydney. Unsurprising, because if developers can get the government to rezone land, this is the easiest and most profitable option for developers.

It would also most likely, be the worst outcome for Sydney in terms of physical and social infrastructure, transport and environmental impact. Sydney is already the size of Greater London, with a quarter of the population, with very low density in most suburbs and adding to the urban sprawl will bring more pressure to bear on already over-stretched infrastructure in Western Sydney.

The Greens Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge today accused Barry O’Farrell being ready to has grant large developers in Sydney a free gift, with a fast-tracked rezoning process without any strategic planning saying O'Farrell would be delivering ' developer profits at the cost of sensible strategic planning in Sydney’s suburbs.'

There is a good degree of irony in Hazzard's threat that State government will rezone where Council's decide it is not in the community interest, given that the Liberals benefitted from their stance against Labor's Part 3A Planning laws which like this plan by the Liberals took decision for large development projects out of the hands of local communities and Councils.

“Even the discredited Labor administation did not set up a central committee, headed by the Premier’s department, to gift developers spot rezoning opportunities and cash windfalls," said David Shoebridge.

“NSW is in the middle of a state-wide planning review which this govenment is just ignoring. It looks like NSW has changed governments, but the developers are still holding all the cards when it comes to land allocation in Sydney," Shoebridge said.

Shoebridge is among those who argue that 'fast tracking' greendfield development in Sydney's west will only add further pressure on already over-stretched road networks, public transport, schools & hospitals in Western Sydney and that the housing stock lose to schools, employment, public transport and services which is in most demand, will not be stimulated by Hazzard's rezoning plan.

“Premier O’Farrell and Planning Minister Hazzard have spent years saying they are returning planning powers to local council, yet at their first opportinity they are seizing rezoning powers from Sydney’s councils. “What Sydney needs is strategic land planning, delivered by well resourced and empowered local communities, not another series of one-off developer bonanzas," David Shoebridge said.

What do you think of Barry O'Farrell's and Brad Hazzard's idea of asking developers where they would like to build and then the State Government rezoning that land if Council's do not approve a rezoning?


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Darth Vader posts

Mr Shoebridge, the Planning Commission was all about telling councils how to suck eggs on behalf of the previous labor government, they also had Panels to rubber stamp approvals over community objection. The need is for housing to be moved from in-filling in the suburbs to the northern,western and southern extremities of the metropolitan area and as far as possible away from the CBD as possible to develop and get the best out of existing infrastructure while improving it along the way, not the put the houses there and we will build the infrastructure later.

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