WHAT could be more divisive for Sydney than the Medium-Density Code for more of its Housing Supply that cannot meet the foreign demand?

Rob Stokes On “Sexist” Handshake Policy

ON the surface it may appear that former Planning Minister Stokes makes some valid points … however, if one digs a little deeper …

WHY is Roberts continuing to publicly champion the code … afterall what were those 53 meetings with developer groups from January to September 2017 about?  If not the low-rise Medium Density Housing Code?

CONTRARY to Mr Stokes what is depriving young Australian First Home Buyers from entering the housing market is the FIRB Ruling and the Budget Reg of May 2017 that allows developers to market Australian housing to foreign buyers particularly in China.

THIS REGULATION allows developers to continue to market overseas 100% of new developments of 49 dwellings or less.

SO how can it be alleged the Medium Density Housing Code is creating affordable housing for a whole Cohort of Australian First Home Buyers?

TO date much of the townhouse, duplex and terrace development is priced above that of a detached home on a full block of land!


Failing on medium-density housing will lead to a divided Sydney: Stokes

Failing to create more medium-density housing throughout Sydney’s suburbs will inevitably lead to a more divided city, the Education Minister and former planning minister, Rob Stokes, says.

Mr Stokes delivered a rousing defence of the state’s controversial “missing middle” housing policy this week, even as the government continues to grant exceptions from the code to different councils.

Mr Stokes’ successor as Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, also continues to publicly champion the code, which makes it easier for residents to subdivide suburban lots into terraces or so-called manor homes.

The former NSW planning minister, and current education minister, Rob Stokes, has championed more terrace housing across Sydney's suburbs.
The former NSW planning minister, and current education minister, Rob Stokes, has championed more terrace housing across Sydney’s suburbs.Photo: Anthony Johnson

But Mr Roberts this month started to grant councils temporary exceptions from the policy. Some councils have said they needed more time to determine areas in which the policy should apply.

In a speech to Parliament on Wednesday night, Mr Stokes used the example of a retired Mona Vale couple who wanted to turn their large suburban lot into two or three terraces.

Current planning law prevented them from doing this, Mr Stokes said, even though it potentially allowed the couple to turn their block into apartments, which they did not want to do.

“Old, rigid, bureaucratic” zoning laws threatened to “lock older people into homes that do not meet their needs, and deprive young people of the opportunity to purchase a home at all,” Mr Stokes said.

“Without meeting the need for lower density attached housing, we will inevitably create a city that is divided, spatially and socially, between those with land, and those without; those with resources and those without; those with access to private open space and those without,” said the Pittwater MP, who pushed for the medium-density policy in his time as planning minister.

“The city I envisage is a just city, with opportunities for all sorts of housing to cater for all sorts of families in all sorts of areas –not a two-tone city split between unit towers and endless sprawl,” he said.

Without a diversity of housing, the Pittwater MP said, parts of the northern beaches were at risk of being “less inclusive, locking out younger families, and in danger of becoming Australia’s version of the retirement estates of Florida”.

Northern Beaches Council is one of those that have been granted a reprieve from the medium-density housing code. The council’s mayor, Michael Regan, has said he supports more townhouse-style housing, but needed another year to determine where it should be.

Some planners and developers reacted with alarm to Mr Roberts’ suspension of the medium-density code.

The NSW president of the Planning Institute of Australia, Jenny Rudolph, said the government should not link community opposition to high-rise apartment growth “with the growing need for more modest medium-density housing – especially terraces and dual occupancies”.

A spokesman for Mr Roberts said the Planning Minister was thrilled Mr Stokes was publicly supporting the policy.

The Mayor of Ryde, Jerome Laxale, was a particularly forceful opponent on the medium-density housing code. Mr Roberts granted Ryde an exemption from the code and also suspended the consideration of new planning proposals in the area.

Cr Laxale said the government should also suspend development zones in North Ryde, Macquarie Park and Epping.

As planning minister, Mr Stokes considered applying the medium density housing code across all areas in Sydney. But the policy adopted under Mr Roberts applies the code only in areas in which medium-density housing is allowed by council rules.

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/failing-on-medium-density-housing-will-lead-to-a-divided-sydney-stokes-20180525-p4zhkn.html