Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Northern Beaches seeks govt clarification on Frenchs Forest rezoning

Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council is seeking clarification on infrastructure provision and funding for the State Government’s Frenchs Forest 2041 Place Strategy.

While Council says it broadly supports the rezoning package, it would like more clarity on key issues such as provision of transport infrastructure and the cost and funding of infrastructure.

Councillors at yesterday evening’s meeting endorsed Council’s submission to the State Government in response to its planning package.

Mayor Michael Regan said the draft Planning Package is consistent with Council’s vision for a vibrant, new town centre as outlined in Council’s Towards 2040 Local Strategic Planning Statement and the Northern Beaches Frenchs Forest Hospital Precinct Structure Plan. 

“The proposal delivers approximately 2,000 dwellings and 2,000 new jobs, which also aligns with Council’s Local Housing Strategy, thus protecting surrounding areas from overdevelopment,” he said.

“Since Frenchs Forest was identified as a strategic centre by the State Government, Council has been advocating for infrastructure that not only matches the planned growth but is put in place beforehand.

“I am pleased to see the commitment to 15,000 sqm of public open space and significant park upgrades locally that are identified as part of this package. It includes 1.5 ha for the town centre, over $6million in upgrades to Brick Pit, Akora and Rabbett reserves as well as other improvements to local parks. The turn up and go rapid bus from Dee Why to Chatswood has been delivered and ready to be scaled up.

“The requirement to provide an affordable rental housing target of 15% in the town centre and 10% elsewhere in the precinct, in alignment with Council’s Affordable Housing Policy, is also commended.

“There is an opportunity to make sure this precinct is of the highest standard sustainably. We’d like to see high sustainability targets for both residential and commercial buildings. Staff have gone to great lengths to push that with the State Government.”

Mayor Regan said it was good to have a decision on the relocation of Forest High School.

“The new location makes sense for a new school, close to transport and other recreational facilities and close to Allambie Heights where many students come from.

“However, prior to finalisation of the rezoning, we would like to see commitments on additional transport infrastructure, clarity around Development Contributions to help fund infrastructure, and written confirmation that the land for the town centre open space and Police Station will be transferred free of cost to Council,” Mayor Regan said.

Among other matters Council would like to see resolved are ensuring sustainability is a key feature in creating a flagship precinct and support for affordable rental housing contributions.

“We will continue to work closely with the State Government to make the Frenchs Forest precinct a reality,” he said.

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