Deputy mayor ea­ger to reel in overde­vel­op­ment

New term brings fresh re­solve to en­sure suit­able in­fra­struc­ture

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Marissa Ge­or­gopou­los

PEN­RITH Deputy Mayor Tri­cia Hitchen has overde­vel­op­ment in Ox­ley Park on her radar as the new Pen­rith Council starts scru­ti­n­is­ing and act­ing on is­sues in the area.

Cr Hitchen be­lieves de­vel­op­ment in the sub­urb has spun out of the council’s con­trol and some­thing needs to be done to pull it back in.

The East Ward coun­cil­lor said eas­ing suf­fer­ing of res­i­dents — due to lack of park­ing and wider amenity is­sues — was top of her pri­or­i­ties list for this term.

“As much as de­vel­op­ment is re­quired, it’s hap­pen­ing so fast, and council, I don’t think, is get­ting ahead of it in re­gards to in­fra­struc­ture,” Cr Hitchen said.

“By the time they are fin­ished (in Ox­ley Park) there will be 5000 houses.

“There are 5000 houses in Ropes Cross­ing. If you look at the dif­fer­ence in the size of the area, the amenity, parks, shops … there’s no com­par­i­son.”

CoreLogic RP Data fig­ures show 14 sales in Ox­ley Park in two months.

Cr Hitchen said that de­spite the State Gov­ern­ment’s over­rul­ing of res­i­den­tial to medium-den­sity zon­ing and the need to “in­fill older sub­urbs”, Pen­rith Council needed to con­sider de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions with a fine-tooth comb prior to giv­ing the “rub­ber­stamp ap­proval”.

Garbage and park­ing reg­u­la­tions for town­house builds could be al­tered, she said, to free up traf­fic and park­ing along streets.

Kay Hearne has watched the streetscape change “dra­mat­i­cally” since she moved to Ox­ley Park in 1988.

Mrs Hearne said her fam­ily felt forced to re­move their back­yard pool two months ago for pri­vacy, as town­houses sprouted along her fence line.

The res­i­dent, who has ap­proached Pen­rith Council to ex­plain why the sub­urb is over­run, said property de­vel­op­ers reg­u­larly knocked at her door, urg­ing her to sell.

“We wanted to stay here until we were in re­tire­ment age … I think we should wait until we want to move, not have to move,” she said.

Cr Hitchen said of the area’s old­est res­i­dents: “They don’t feel wel­come in their own streets any­more.”

Cr Hitchen said she ex­pected her council col­leagues to back her plans, which in­clude us­ing Sec­tion 94 funds to re­new the Bris­bane St park.

“I want it cov­ered, I want bar­be­cue ar­eas, more play ar­eas for all ages, maybe some sort of bike track around the out­side so kids can ride their bike there in­stead of on the road,” she said. “The up­grade would cost about $70,000 or $80,000 with cov­er­ings.”

She said the need to tidy up the Sydney St shops was an­other ur­gent mat­ter.

Kay Hearne has lost her back­yard pri­vacy and ( right) Mrs Hearne with Cr Tri­cia ia Hitchen in Ox­ley Park. k. Pictures: David Swift

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