Damien Tude­hope MP

Monthly Chronicle - - Front Page - Damien Tude­hope MP for Ep­ping

The Ep­ping MP joins our team of reg­u­lar po­lit­i­cal con­trib­u­tors, and takes on lo­cal de­vel­op­ers

Re­cently I have been at­tend­ing var­i­ous plan­ning pan­els to speak against high-rise devel­op­ments in Ep­ping town cen­tre, where I joined con­cerned res­i­dents in op­pos­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­vel­op­ment. I am en­cour­aged by the fact that we have been hav­ing some suc­cess, and two of th­ese devel­op­ments have been de­ferred.

Plan­ning pan­els have not been ap­prov­ing th­ese devel­op­ments be­cause of traf­fic and in­fra­struc­ture con­cerns, over­shad­ow­ing, and the need to wait for the find­ings of the Ep­ping Plan­ning Re­view to be made avail­able by the City of Par­ra­matta. How­ever, I can’t help but think that a fail­ure to meet the ex­pec­ta­tions of the com­mu­nity on the part of landown­ers has also played a role in this.

Rightly or wrongly, de­vel­op­ers have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing greedy and look­ing to “make a quick buck”. It is lit­tle won­der why de­vel­op­ers are of­ten met with anger and op­po­si­tion from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

You will of­ten hear that a de­vel­op­ment is “com­pli­ant” or “meets the re­quired stan­dards”, but th­ese are only min­i­mum stan­dards and the com­mu­nity ex­pects them to do a lot more.

In­ter­est­ingly there is a not for profit or­gan­i­sa­tion called the Con­sid­er­ate Con­struc­tors Scheme op­er­at­ing in the UK. It is a vol­un­tary reg­is­ter where de­vel­op­ers agree to abide by a code of con­sid­er­ate prac­tice.

This code of prac­tice “com­mits those sites, com­pa­nies and sup­pli­ers reg­is­tered with the Scheme to care about ap­pear­ance, re­spect the com­mu­nity, pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment, se­cure ev­ery­one’s safety, and value their work­force.”

In ef­fect, the com­pa­nies reg­is­tered with this scheme be­come an ad­ver­tise­ment for best prac­tice in the in­dus­try.

As a former busi­ness owner, I un­der­stand the im­mense value in hav­ing a trusted brand, and a pos­i­tive rep­u­ta­tion for your busi­ness. Main­tain­ing a good rep­u­ta­tion en­sures the long-term suc­cess of the com­pany and max­imises the po­ten­tial for fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­peat cus­tomers. So I fail to un­der­stand why landown­ers do not place greater value on gen­er­at­ing good­will with the com­mu­ni­ties in which they are seek­ing to be­come a part.

Just as we ex­pect com­pa­nies to be good cor­po­rate cit­i­zens, de­vel­op­ers should seek to be­come bet­ter builder cit­i­zens.

If landown­ers don’t want to be at the re­ceiv­ing end of a com­mu­nity which is hos­tile to their plans and op­pos­ing the de­vel­op­ment at ev­ery step, then they ought to make it a pri­or­ity to give back to those com­mu­ni­ties that their projects will im­pact upon.

Put sim­ply, de­vel­op­ers need to start valu­ing the good­will of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and make the nec­es­sary al­ter­ations to their de­signs to re­flect the ex­pec­ta­tions of the com­mu­ni­ties they are seek­ing to change, and not just make com­pro­mises only when forced to do so. This month we wel­come another MP to our reg­u­lar lo­cal mem­ber con­trib­u­tors - MP for Ep­ping, Damien Tude­hope.

Af­ter con­sult­ing with lo­cal coun­cils and com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers, de­vel­op­ers might con­sider ap­ply­ing the fol­low­ing:

• • • • •

Con­tribut­ing fi­nan­cial aid to com­mu­nity projects

In­cor­po­rat­ing the ex­ist­ing build­ing fas­cia and mak­ing ev­ery pos­si­ble ef­fort to re­tain the char­ac­ter and her­itage of the sub­urb

En­sur­ing suf­fi­cient park­ing spa­ces for res­i­dents and vis­i­tors and in­clud­ing ded­i­cated car-share spa­ces

In­cor­po­rat­ing ex­ist­ing fauna and flora into the de­sign where pos­si­ble

En­sur­ing when build­ing res­i­den­tial devel­op­ments in town cen­tres that ad­e­quate pro­vi­sion is made for com­mer­cial space com­plete with cafes and restau­rants, as well as ser­vices and of­fice space.

In­stead of clash­ing against the com­mu­nity, landown­ers need to re­alise their projects are part of a big­ger pic­ture, with real op­por­tu­ni­ties to make neigh­bour­hoods fam­ily-friendly and places ev­ery­one can en­joy.

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