Jun 15, 2010

Affordable Housing does not mean lower amenity

For Council to initiate legal action against the Housing NSW as we have done over a proposed development in St Helena Parade, Eastlakes, is not something we do lightly. The proposed development breaches the Australian Standards for Aircraft noise.  

Nowhere in Australian would a developer be given approval, by any Authority, to increase population density to that extent given the ANEF (the measure of Aircraft Noise) in which that piece of land falls.  

The Development is under the flight path where residential development is discouraged by the Commonwealth Government, Council and the State Government’s own Department of Planning.  

Housing NSW has not only ignored long standing policies but shows little, if any regard, for the people who would live in the new residential development.

You don’t put people into aircraft affected areas just because they are struggling or on a lower income.

Affordable Housing does not mean lower amenity.

Council had no choice but to take this Development to court.  We don’t have the financial resources of the State Government nor do we have the powers to override local planning policies. Housing NSW is allowed to ignore Australian and local planning policies and approve its own new developments, regardless of what residents or councils think.  They’ve done it across NSW and there’s a lot of community anger about what’s going on.

When Housing NSW decided to acquire a property in St Helena Parade in Eastlakes and replace one house with seven townhouses, Council was opposed. The development is too big for the area and if anyone else wanted to do what Housing NSW intended, they would be prevented by Council, the NSW Department of Planning and probably the Land and Environment Court.  Housing NSW can just ignore all of that and do what it likes. They came out to see us and it was an example of bureaucratic bungling at its best.  They outlined the development and Council officers asked a simple question about aircraft noise.  
Remember, this was on a piece of land Housing NSW had paid $1.1 million to acquire – and that’s not chickenfeed.

It was almost comical as each of the State bureaucrats looked at each other questioningly – did you check? Did you? What about you? None did and that was that.  

Did this mean they would rethink? No, not a chance.

This development is out of place, out of keeping and not in the best interests of the community or the people who will live in it. Now we will test Housing NSW’s approval of its own development in the Land and Environment Court. If what Housing NSW proposes is deemed good planning, good residential policy or a good outcome for local residents, then I’d have to question my own beliefs and policies.  Riding roughshod over councils and communities is not good public administration

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