Meeting with Brad Hazzard - Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

On June 19, 2012 representatives of FOE and the Alexandria Residents Action Group (ARAG) met with Mr. Brad Hazzard – Minister for Planning and Infrastructure. The purpose of the meeting was to convey to the Minister resident concerns regarding the Ashmore Estate development and the Draft Local Environment Plan (LEP) for the City of Sydney.

 

Specifically the resident delegation raised the issue of inadequate and already stressed public transport infrastructure; the lack of a comprehensive plan for parking and traffic management; planning in isolation when Ashmore is only one of several new developments in the area (Bunnings etc.) and hence the entire development scenario should be taken into account; and increased building heights are out of character.

 

Resident delegates proposed specific responses in the form of a comprehensive Traffic Management and Accessibility Plan (TMAP) ahead of any approval of development applications; the TMAP to consider all developments in the area; and that the development of the site return to the 2006 Local Environment Plan as developed originally by the previous South Sydney Council and which limited building heights to 5 storeys.

 

In response the Minister:

 

·        Advised he was familiar with the area as he had visited and walked around it before making the decision to not allow 19 storey development and to tentatively agree with the COS proposal of 9 storeys

·        Current legislation looked at developments in isolation and not in total as we were requesting – a problem

·        Lord Mayor Clover Moore had been in contact with him regarding development issues in the area

·        Advised he would like to see more evidence from the two groups in relation to objections to proposed building heights

·        Appeared to acknowledge the need for greater investigation of the public transport/traffic/parking ramifications of relevant developments. Minister indicated he needed to seek a private discussion with the Minister for Transport and other officials to learn more. Minister was NOT aware that a transport plan had been completed as part of the original 2006 Development Control Plan for Ashmore, but none had been completed as part of the present proposals

·        Building heights of 9 storeys as presently mooted were acceptable but he would consider alternate proposals

·        Was not aware of the present punitive parking policies of the COS in relation to new developments, and seemed amazed at the present proposal to only mandate 1950 off street parking spaces for over 3500 residences

·        Indicated he would again visit the area and use public transport to see the overcrowding problems for himself

 

Delegates also raised the issue of the present Local Environment Plan (LEP) proposed by the COS, and agreed that they would complete a Ministerial Briefing Paper on their concerns and forward it to the Minister’s office.

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