South Du­ral build fest canned

Monthly Chronicle - - Front Page - Jenny Bar­lass

The death knell of the con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal to build 2,900 new homes in South Du­ral was fi­nally sounded last week when Hornsby Coun­cil­lors voted unan­i­mously to ask the Greater Syd­ney Com­mis­sion not to pro­ceed with the plan.

The State Gov­ern­ment won’t pay for roads as­so­ci­ated with it. The an­nounce­ment was swiftly fol­lowed by de­vel­oper Lyon ad­mit­ting that “it’s com­mer­cially un­fea­si­ble for us to con­tinue”.

The pro­posal sought to have ru­ral land in Du­ral re­zoned as res­i­den­tial. Fol­low­ing a peer re­view of the plans, technical gaps were iden­ti­fied. Fur­ther, Lyon’s Op­tion Agree­ments on lo­cal land parcels had lapsed.

The hous­ing scheme was from the start highly un­pop­u­lar with lo­cals, with an­gry packed pub­lic meet­ings and Hornsby Coun­cil re­ceiv­ing over 5,000 let­ters of op­po­si­tion last year alone.

Coun­cil en­gaged a team of town plan­ners, traf­fic en­gi­neers, bush­fire risk as­ses­sors and en­vi­ron­men­tal and her­itage experts to eval­u­ate the pro­posal and re­view the is­sues, funded by the Pro­po­nent Lyon. This re­port went be­fore Coun­cil last month, with Coun­cil­lors vot­ing unan­i­mously against the re­zon­ing.

Lack of pro­vi­sion for schools, aged care, recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties and af­ford­able hous­ing, plus a lo­cal road in­fra­struc­ture that nei­ther copes now nor when promised up­grades would have taken place, and de­vel­op­ment en­croach­ment into vi­tal wildlife cor­ri­dors and en­dan­gered for­est were all high on the list of con­cerns of the per­ceived in­ad­e­qua­cies of the in­ten­sive hous­ing plan.

The main sticking point for the State Gov­ern­ment was who would pay for the roads needed to be built around the de­vel­op­ment. Lyon of­fered to pay for part of the road build­ing, want­ing Gov­ern­ment to pay the lion’s share.

But the De­part­ment of Planning and En­vi­ron­ment (DOPE) wrote to Hornsby Coun­cil re­cently say­ing it was not pre­pared to pay for the build­ing of

new roads as­so­ci­ated with the de­vel­op­ment.

A Hornsby Coun­cil spokesman says it has never openly sup­ported the pro­posal, but had in­di­cated it would con­sider sup­port­ing it as long as ap­pro­pri­ate in­fra­struc­ture – par­tic­u­larly for roads and util­i­ties – was part of the de­vel­op­ment.

“We’re not against de­vel­op­ment, as we‘re all too aware of the hous­ing short­age that’s mak­ing the great Aus­tralian dream of home own­er­ship a dis­tant fan­tasy for too many peo­ple,” Hornsby Mayor Philip Rud­dock said.

“I want to make it clear, though, that we’ll only sup­port re­spon­si­ble de­vel­op­ment that’s ac­com­pa­nied by the ap­pro­pri­ate in­fra­struc­ture.”

Af­ter four years at Gate­way de­ter­mi­na­tion stage, the de­vel­oper has fi­nally drawn a line un­der the Pro­posal.

Lyon spokesman Mike Mil­liken said that the de­vel­oper re­ceived “un­fair” treat­ment over state road in­fra­struc­ture at the hands of DOPE, given de­vel­op­ers build­ing on land re­leases at Box Hill weren’t asked to make any road con­tri­bu­tions for this in­fra­struc­ture, and that much of the traf­fic con­ges­tion in and around

South Du­ral to­day is the re­sult of these land re­leases.

“Re­gard­less of the re­lease of res­i­den­tial land in South Du­ral, up­grades to New Line and Old North­ern Road would still be re­quired,” he said.

“We re­main res­o­lute that the Pro­posal was a unique op­por­tu­nity for pri­vate en­ter­prise to sub­stan­tially fi­nance crit­i­cal up­grades to fail­ing State-owned roads and in­fra­struc­ture in and around South Du­ral, and to de­liver new and di­verse hous­ing types, a range of den­si­ties around pub­lic open space and to pre­serve and celebrate the unique nat­u­ral bush­land.

“Our land op­tions have now ex­pired, and it's com­mer­cially un­fea­si­ble for us to con­tinue.”

South Du­ral rain­for­est

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.