NSW Premier Chris Minns’ vision for transport-oriented developments across Sydney has come under friendly fire from local government, with two Labor councils of the opinion that the developments would result in a reduction of living standards.
December saw the state government indicate their plan to increase density surrounding 39 railway stations across Greater Sydney. It was said at the time that approximately 110,000 homes would be created as part of the plan, which saw a suite of rezonings made and a promise for developer concessions.
Inner West and Canterbury-Bankstown Council are two Labor-affiliated councils to have joined the chorus of opposition. Just this week Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone indicated he too would oppose the plans, citing the death of backyard cricket and that the plan would “turn western Sydney into Kolkata.”
The pair of councils say that the regulations do not account for the unique nature of each area, damaging the planning work undertaken for many years by local councils. There are also concerns about the radii given for each transport-oriented development (TOD) zone, as there is not enough detail provided by the state government.
Inner West believes that 80 percent of its LGA falls within the radius of the TODs, which could see the amount of houses in its area triple year on year.
Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Bilal El-Hayek says he has no issues with density done well, but the current plan is not the right way to go about it.
“Our streets will be turned into rabbit warrens, bottlenecks and frustrated drivers,” he says.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne says his LGA has a right to be concerned, particularly with the Bays West development (pictured), which is estimated to create hundreds of new homes.
“If you add up all the concentric circles of rezonings being proposed, it looks on paper like the whole of the inner west is getting rezoned, which is contrary to what the Planning Minister and Premier have said,” he tells The Sydney Morning Herald.
“So you can understand why we’re confused and we won’t be the only council in that boat.”
Planning Minister Paul Scully believes that feedback from local councils had been receptive to the proposals, despite some pushback from some LGAs.
“We want to see the best outcome for existing communities alongside the additional housing that we desperately need. Where councils are willing to get on board with these conversations, the outcomes will be best for everyone.”