Kogarah city housing plan under the spotlight – May 14, 2015

Kogarah city housing plan under the spotlight

St George & Sutherland Shire Leader    By Maria Galinovic May 14, 2015

Follow this link to the St George & Sutherland Shire Leader’s online article.

Kogarah city housing plan under the spotlight | St George & Sutherland Shire Leader
Take a stand: Kogarah.org is urging residents to take a stand before it is too late. Picture: Chris Lane

WITH two weeks to comment on Kogarah’s New City plan, the United Kogarah City Residents Association has stepped up its efforts to inform as many people as possible that the plan is unacceptable.

The association, also called kogarah.org, has planned ward meetings for the next two weekends and insists there is still time for councillors to explain their position to the public and answer questions.

Association members believe the recently exhibited plan for additional housing in Kogarah is pushing overdevelopment without explaining how the existing infrastructure will accommodate the increased population.

They have come up with their own figures suggesting that population targets could be met with natural growth within existing density guidelines.

They said if the plan went ahead there could be an oversupply of dwellings.

A group spokeswoman said the council was short-sighted to plan for increased housing without factoring in amenities residents needed to live comfortably.

“This type of planning leads to further problems for residents in the future,” she said. “If, as predicted the population is to grow by 30 per cent, along with the need for housing, how will the increased need for car parking and roads to transport the people and goods be managed, such as the visitors into the area (friends, family), workers (more staffing in the hospitals, the banking HQ, commercial shops, etc), patients visiting doctors and allied health professionals?”

If adopted, the plan will increase densities in parts of Kogarah, including waterfront areas with five to 12-storey developments; abolish foreshore and waterfront scenic protection areas; and increase the number of waterfront lots by reducing the minimum size of blocks.

Association members said the plan did not take into account the need for additional open space or playing fields for an increased population; ignored Department of Planning and Infrastructure guidelines that discouraged developments near busy roads due to the serious health risks associated with traffic noise, pollution and vehicle emissions; would create loss of privacy and overshadowing from multi-storey buildings in low-scale residential areas; and did not provide solar access or wind studies.

Environmental lawyer John McCarthy claimed the plan was invalid because it did not include a biodiversity plan or promote ecologically sustainable development.

“The plan offends the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and has very little in common with the principles pronounced in agenda 21,” he said.

“The plan is developer-driven and amounts to planning misconduct by the council.

“Is the council aware of Sandon Point and what happened to Wollongong City Council?”

■ North Ward and East Ward meeting: 3pm Sunday, May 17, Kogarah School of Arts.

■ Middle Ward and West Ward: 3pm, Saturday, May 23, St Mark’s hall, 10 The Mall, South Hurstville.

The plan is on exhibition until May 29.

■ Do you support the new city plan?

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