Friday, July 26, 2024

Sydney councils respond to housing precinct plans

Hornsby Shire Council says it is pleased that the NSW Government’s Transport Orientation Development (TOD) Program for Hornsby endorses the Council’s existing town centre masterplan, but says how the Government intends to support the delivery of the upgrades remains unclear.

The TOD for Hornsby identifies opportunities for more than 4,900 new dwellings and 5,000 new jobs, supported by open spaces, a new multi-purpose community facility, pedestrian, cycling networks and enhanced public transport and road access.

“Hornsby Shire Council has a proven track record of delivering a variety of housing in the Shire that meets our obligations to State and Federal Governments appropriately, while maintaining the bushland character of our area and meeting expectations from our diverse and unique community,” said Mayor, Philip Ruddock AO.

“We are proud that our hard work has put us in good stead to meet our housing target, which is necessary to address housing supply and affordability issues. However, our initial optimism around the Hornsby TOD Program does not appear to have come to fruition.

“From the outset, we liaised closely with the NSW Government, expressing our view that their targets for increased housing would require a whole-of-government approach which would identify funding and infrastructure to support councils in their delivery of the TOD proposals.

“We hoped that the provision of new housing would be supported by the coordinated delivery of essential infrastructure to ensure the current and future community experiences a liveable and sustainable environment.

“While the NSW Government refers to a total pool of $520 million for councils, it is disappointing that there is no indication of how this will be allocated, and whether funds will be committed to support the specific infrastructure needs we have put forward which include open space and transport upgrades.”

Mayor Ruddock said Council will review the exhibition materials and make a constructive submission.

“We also call on our community to read the NSW Government’s proposal and to make their voices heard to ensure that these plans are delivered appropriately and with the necessary support,” he said.

The Hills Shire Council has raised similar concerns with the Kellyville and Bella Vista TOD proposal, which forecasts the creation of a new community with an additional 20,700 homes around two of the newest Metro stations in Sydney, supported by more than 10,000 jobs.

Mayor, Peter Gangemi says the plan must spark significant investment in state infrastructure, such as schools and roads, which “are already buckling under pressure”.

“The proposal would see close to 100,000 people living in the Kellyville and Bella Vista Precincts, not supported by adequate infrastructure. Residents need to have their say on whether this is the type of future they want for our Shire,” Mayor Gangemi said.

“Both Windsor Road and Old Windsor Roads are already a car park during the morning and afternoon peak, even without the additional growth being proposed.

“Intersections along Norwest Boulevard and Showground Road need urgent upgrades to improve traffic flow.

The Mayor said The Hills Shire was home to the most overcrowded schools in the state.

“Without a significant investment in new educational facilities – demountables will cover sporting fields at local primary and high schools.”

“The infrastructure needed for our precincts will cost a lot more than the $520 million set aside for all TOD precincts, let alone the two in our Shire.

“We look forward to working with Government to ensure that they commit to funding this vital state infrastructure should their proposal remain in this form,” he said.

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