My Thoughts on the Draft LEP

The release of Willoughby’s Draft Land and Environment Plan (LEP) has generated over 580 submissions from residents opposed to density rezoning.

Why is Council announcing this plan? The NSW State Government directive is that Council must generate an additional 6,800 dwellings within our city limits by 2031 – OR ELSE. The Council must find the space for these dwellings or, NSW Government will find the space for them.

It is of no surprise that I am against the destruction of the residential ambience we cherish. No surprise that I am against massive increases in traffic flows and infrastructure pressures from additional residents. State Government will not provide funding to accommodate the increases and will not allow Council to use Heritage or Conservation site listings to avoid changing densities. If Council were to seek a conservation area listing it would cost thousands of $$$ with no likelihood of it being supported by the NSW Government.

So where can we go from here? What can you or Council do?

Council can only evaluate the many submissions and then it’s game on. I know that other suburbs are already unhappy with their projected allocations; it will require serious juggling to attempt balance with minimal impact on existing residents.

Where do I stand on this? In Willoughby today, there are 24,000 residential dwellings. By 2031 this will be 30,800. The Chatswood CBD and the immediate surrounding vicinities have adequate infrastructure, transport, parking, shopping and entertainment and, I believe is able to absorb a higher concentration of future dwellings, and it may add to the CBD buzz.

Any development will over-stretch surrounding suburbs and as a Council we need to find an equitable solution to a complex State Government induced problem.

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