Kogarah is looking up: more high-rise to meet housing needs – July 31, 2014

Link to the online article:  St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, July 31, 2014

Kogarah is looking up: more high-rise to meet housing needs

By Maria Galinovic, July 31, 2014.

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Changes are coming, have your say: Kogarah Council has taken the first step to provide housing for the future.  Mayor Stephen Agius and Deputy Mayor Annie Tang.  Picture: John Veage.

BUILDING density, overdevelopment and what’s best for the area are expected to be hot topics when Kogarah Council’s plan to meet future housing needs is unveiled.

At a council meeting on Monday, the majority of councillors took the next step to change the face of Kogarah by agreeing the draft planning proposal was ready to be reviewed by the NSW Planning Minister.

If given the go ahead, the proposal, an amendment to Kogarah’s local environmental plan 2012, will be put on public exhibition for community input.

If adopted, the plan will lead to higher-density housing in parts of Kogarah in a bid to accommodate 17,400 extra residents by 2031, in line with the state government’s metropolitan housing strategy.

The major centres of Kogarah and Hurstville (Ormonde Road end) will be allowed 9-12 storey developments, with existing low-density areas immediately to the north of the Kogarah centre identified for 10-storey residential flat development.

“OUR GOAL IS TO TAKE A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO HOUSING TO ENSURE THERE IS A SUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF HOUSING TYPES TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS.”
– CR STEPHEN AGIUS

A 5-7 storey limit is proposed for most of the commercial centres and for the high-density residential zones immediately around those centres, close to public transport routes.

The zones include the Princes Highway, around Blakehurst shopping centre, from Jubilee Avenue to Plant Street, Carlton, and areas near shopping centres such as Ramsgate, South Hurstville, Allawah and Carlton.

Multi-unit buildings of 5-7 storeys will be allowed at some waterfront areas near Tom Uglys Bridge.

Dual occupancy is proposed in all areas and provisions of the state government policy for seniors housing is to be varied to allow independent seniors living accommodation throughout the city.

Kogarah mayor Stephen Agius said the council had undertaken extensive research into housing trends, policies and local housing needs to ensure the housing options developed would suit the community’s expectations for diverse, sustainable, adaptable and affordable housing.

“Our goal is to take a strategic approach to housing to ensure there is a sufficient supply of housing types to meet the needs of our community over the next 20 years,” he said.

LONE VOICE OF OPPOSITION

APART from two community speakers who said Kogarah did not have the infrastructure for such expansion, only councillor Lachlan McLean opposed the planning proposal.

He said the plan did not strike the right balance and would not provide residents with a better lifestyle.

‘‘It is all very well to speak about the needs of future generations but there is no evidence that the necessary infrastructure will be in place to support these changes,’’ he said.

‘‘Our roads will be gridlocked and will struggle to cope with future population growth.’’

‘‘The proposal is an extreme overdevelopment of North Ward and I refer to three key examples that will anger residents and ultimately detract from our lifestyle: the change to allow buildings of up to 11 storeys, or 33 metres, in peaceful residential streets such as Palmerston Street, Victor Street, Victoria Street and Stanley Street; the change to allow buildings of 39 metres in Railway Parade, backing onto Bellevue Street and the Kogarah South heritage conservation area; and the change to allow buildings of 21 metres, or up to seven levels, on the Princes Highway, backing on to John Street, at Kogarah Bay, and Wyuna Street, at Beverley Park.

‘‘OUR ROADS WILL BE GRIDLOCKED AND WILL STRUGGLE TO COPE WITH FUTURE POPULATION GROWTH.’’
– CR LACHLAN MCLEAN

‘‘I’m not saying that everything in the proposal is a negative. Some residents will support the removal of restrictions on dual occupancy. Naturally, there is pressure on council from the state Liberal government to provide extra dwellings.

‘‘If nothing changes, it will be a case of Hurstville comes to Kogarah or even Chatswood comes to Kogarah. That is something I won’t endorse as I am here to represent the residents and nobody else.’’

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