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Friday, 19 April 2013

Mid north coast communities under threat from rushed development

Media Update from Better Planning Network
For those of you who did not catch the report on planning by Quentin Dempster last night, you can view it at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-19/planning-game-changer/4640680 .

Today, there were also 2 major articles in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and the Australian Financial Review (AFR). 

The SMH article can be viewed at: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/grand-designs-in-new-blueprint-20130419-2i5mr.html
Ø  Send your letters to letters@smh.com.au


• Mid north coast communities, along with other communities in NSW, are now under threat from development that will be approved without adequate community consultation. Those who live in this unique mid north coast environment could well find it rapidly becoming a confused sprawl of commercial and residential areas.

• Community input at the initial planning design stage will necessarily be sparse and inadequate. Residents should have consultation with each new development as the threat to their property or lifestyle emerges.

• Times change. Traffic flows increase. Flood patterns change as climate changes. Populations increase or decrease. Aging populations have unique needs. Community consultation is required at the time of development, not in the past.

• The results of poor planning will be with us for lifetimes. It takes time to ensure a development is appropriate. There are already numerous local examples of developments being approved in unsuitable areas.

• In Coffs Harbour a hospital was relocated from a hill to a floodplain.

• A major hardware store is now approved where the previous buildings regularly flooded.

• Every time a floodplain area is filled and raised the waters are pushed into other areas. Residents near the recently approved Hearnes Lake development have stated they will have more water in their streets because of the filling of the floodplain for an extra 280 homes. Coffs City Council could not prevent this development from proceeding.

• “The NSW Government’s planning White Paper and Draft Legislation is a cynical betrayal of every promise made to the community,” said Better Planning Network’s Corinne Fisher.

‘Code Assessable development is not benign or necessarily low impact,” said Ms Fisher. “It includes residential flat buildings in town centres, new commercial buildings, mixed use buildings and subdivisions with twenty or fewer villas or town houses. These developments can have a major impact on a neighbourhood or small town centre. The community should have the right to comment and to negotiate for the best possible outcome in such cases.” 

• Greens Councillor James Ryan (Cessnock) says Mr Hazzard's new planning system is a Trojan Horse which offers the appearance of community engagement but in reality presents a mighty gift to the developers waiting with drawn swords for the gates to be opened.

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