NSW GOVT WOLLONDILLY SHIRE HOUSING PLAN LEAVES FARMERS FENDING OFF DEVELOPERS

 

THIS is where the clear and present danger is!

WHY do they say so little about the developers?

WHO are they?

WHERE is the money coming from? ….

 

IT would appear all those ministerial developer lunches dating back have brought their rewards for speculators landbanking farmlands in the Wollondilly, and a planning department which dictates that having consulted the community extensively on the LNP Government’s plans for the area …

THAT a levy of $55,000 has to be met by the developer initially and passed onto the home buyer for infrastructure!

Wollondilly Shire Council believes there is a $500 million shortfall in funding for critical infrastructure

Mayor Deeth also has concerns about the impact thousands of new residents would have on water supplies in the area.

And what of the rights of the incumbents now faced with “a sea of houses and nothing else”?

How can we believe that there will be jobs and training for local youth while the Visa worker racket persists?

 

 

 

NSW Government’s Wollondilly Shire housing plan leaves farmers fending off developers’ offers

TUESDAY 12 MARCH 2019

Tony Biffin’s family has run the same dairy farm at Cawdor for more than a century.

Key points:

  • The NSW Government has earmarked suburbs in the Wollondilly Shire for significant development
  • In Appin and Wilton alone, 33,000 new homes are planned over the next 20 years
  • The Government says there’s been extensive community consultation about its plans

 

He is incredibly proud of his family’s contribution to food production, and their ability to run their agricultural operation on Sydney’s doorstep.

But developers are circling — and their visits are becoming more frequent.

“Somebody driving up the road, all dressed up usually in a trench coat, that’s what they wear, and shiny shoes,” Mr Biffin said.

“You know that something is on and they intimate there is tens of millions [of dollars] to loosen your grip — it puts a lot of pressure on.”

Development in Sydney and its outskirts is shaping as a major issue for voters ahead of the NSW election on March 23.

The family farm, about 80 kilometres south-west of Sydney’s CBD, is in an area earmarked by the NSW Government for significant housing development.

 

Under the plan, released in November 2018, several towns around the Hume Highway would swell significantly over 20 years.

In Appin, for example, 18,000 new homes would be built, meaning its population of 2,600 could grow to 54,000.

Another 15,000 houses are planned for nearby Wilton, with the potential to increase its population of 3,000 residents to 45,000.

Mr Biffin admits the drought that has gripped NSW has left him feeling tempted to sell up.

As development creeps closer, the sheer number of offers for his farm have also been hard to turn down.

“The proposed developments are coming through thick and fast, we have no control over that but they are planned for within kilometres of the farm,” he said.

“It got to the point we got sick of people coming up the driveway.”

Mr Biffin said a significant amount of land had been purchased by land bankers or speculators seeking rezonings to turn the area into “wall-to-wall housing”.

“You think you are mad not taking it, but then you take a look and analyse [the offer] and think, is that what life is all about?” he said.

“It can get a bit unerring when you are trying to produce a good-quality product and play an important role in society and then these guys come along, it is not that helpful.”

 

A spokesperson for NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said the Government had initiated extensive community consultation about its plans for the area.

“Wollondilly only has a five-year housing target of an additional 1,550 dwellings — an increase on the current existing stock of houses of 11 per cent,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the 1,348 square kilometres that makes up Wollondilly has a housing density of 10 dwellings per square kilometre.

“This compares with Mosman, which has a housing density of 1,708 dwellings per square kilometre,” they said.

The NSW Government has long maintained Sydney will require an additional 725,000 homes over the next two decades.

Critical services missing

The local council has raised several concerns about the Berejiklian Government’s blueprint and has conducted its own analysis about the project’s viability.

Wollondilly Shire Council believes there is a $500 million shortfall in funding for critical infrastructure, including land for additional health facilities and schools, police stations, ambulance stations, a court house, council depots, waste stations and cemeteries.

The Government decided funding for infrastructure to support the expansion will be collected through a Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC), via a levy of more than $55,000 on each dwelling for developers.

Government planning documents estimate the SIC will provide about $1.58 billion for key infrastructure.

 

 

Wollondilly Mayor Matthew Deeth said the Government had to reassess its plan.

“There is a lack of health, school, basic emergency services, public transport, if it is not resolved it will end up costing our rate payers, which is not sustainable,” he said.

Council modelling estimates the Government’s plans for nine new primary schools and two new high schools in the area would not be enough.

However, the Planning Minister’s spokesperson said “the council is wrong” and that its $500 million shortfall could be because it “has not finalised its contributions plans” for the area.

“The Minister encourages Wollondilly to move quickly on this issue to ensure important council-funded community infrastructure does not lag behind,” they said.

Mayor Deeth also has concerns about the impact thousands of new residents would have on water supplies in the area.

 

Glen Atkinson and his wife Milly moved from the north coast to Bingara Gorge in 2014, aspiring to retire somewhere quiet and close to their children and grandchildren in Sydney and Wollongong.

Now they are worried their semi-rural lifestyle might get swallowed up.

“It is just going to be a sea of houses and so it will just be houses and nothing else,” he said.

“This was offering a rural lifestyle, it was advertised as part of Wollondilly character, it was attractive 1,200m [squared], large blocks of land,” Mr Atkinson said.

Master Builders Association of NSW executive director Brian Seidler said the project would create jobs for young people in the region.

“This will provide the chance for young regional kids to get a trade and that can take them all over Australia and the world,” he said.

“There is an incredible amount of opportunity in the pipeline.”

 

SOURCE:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-12/nsw-election-sydney-urban-sprawl-in-spotlight/10889090

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