The President Writes

Jim A

CBD Urban Plan Review

Council’s CBD Urban Plan Review is to be undertaken early this year and is expected to take place in the form of a workshop. He expressed concern that if the Minster for Planning’s, Brad Hazzard’s, planning laws are adopted this and similar meetings may represent the only opportunity for consultation that the community will have.

It appears that Council staff will offer a single integrated plan to the Councillors at the workshop,and only after the Councillors and staff review and agree the plan, the crystallised plan will be displayed for community response.

Consequently he considers that members of the community, either through their PAs or delegates to the Federation, should be represented at the workshops either as participants or observers.

It was agreed that all Associations should be notified and that he would email Councillors seeking their support for our attendance. “Willoughby,the City of Diversity,should present a broad spectrum of early concept plans for exploration of community preferences, before choosing and prioritising the functions, locations, and change timing , and the infrastructure support to be provided. “

” The evolution procedure for the Concourse design should serve as a prototype, one whose strengths and weaknesses are deeply understood by Council staff; and which can benefit from their team experience in marshalling community visions and objectives.”

Permitting Spot Development will reverse the objectives of planning.
A former CEO of the Urban  TaskForce(\who was incidentally a former Chief-of-Staff to Joe Tripodi) advised a State Parliament C\ommittee that it was essential to retain developers’ rights of appeal at all stages throughout consideration of a developer’s application for a spot re-zoning. He claimed that many developers relied on acquiring cheap land whose price was reduced by adverse community pressure through the Local Environment Plan (LEP), Developers would use spot re-zoning to dramatically increase the unimproved value of the site and obtain a far greater mortgage with which to fund construction. The consequence  is that high density developments will mostly occur in localities which the community LEP view regards as much better used for a different function, rather than in the precincts planned for them.
This reverses the objective of plans without any adjustment to provision of infrastructure such as roads, parking, utilities, and services such as schools and hospitals. Mirvac, Meriton, and Metro are building residential skyscrapers where community-approved plans had specified much smaller commercial towers, reducing the ongoing job opportunities essential for balance with other low-job locations in the larger Metro Plan.The essence of a community plan is that the whole area and its functions are considered at the one time, to enable more efficient installation and operation of services; and that necessary healthy diversity of land use ks achieved. The market forces that decide in favour of spot re-zoning place cost penalties on other neighbours that emerge as higher charges and more insidiously as losses of sunlight, quietness, and health.
Certificates of “Variation” proposed in the new state planning legislation are only relevant and hurtful when they annul the local environmental plan  constraints. They become Certificates licencing Violation, and leave  neighbors traumatised by the deterioration of their refuge and principal investment, long after the developer has decamped to seize opportunities elsewhere.
JIm McCredie.

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