Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You should be interested in this!

This excellent article is taken directly from the Pennant Hills District Civic Trust newsletter.

If you haven’t been interested up to now you should be from now on with the NSW Government proposing new planning laws that will limit community involvement to ‘broad area’ development
planning and deny them the opportunity to object to a development ‘next door’.
It so happens that Hornsby Council has a revised Hornsby Shire LEP and a new DCP on exhibition now with submissions closing on August 7. Driven by Government to have a common LEP format across all shires and a single ‘all purpose” Shire DCP (replacing in Hornsby’s case 32 subject specific DCP’s) the result is the 583 pages currently on exhibition.
It might have been easier to respond to if the new LEP and DCP were just a transposition from the old format to the new without introducing any changes, but this is not the case. For example:
- Pennant Hills and West Pennant Hills are predominantly zoned ‘Low Density Residential’ with the intensity and scale of development controlled under the existing LEP by the minimum lot size of 500 sqm (unchanged) and Floorspace Ratio (FSR) which is not in the new LEP.
- Council advises that this control is now covered in the new DCP but when the detail is examined the FSR has increased by 65% and the Site Coverage by 25%.
- The existing DCP restricts dwelling house height on battleaxe lots to single storey. The new DCP does not.
- Council advises that it was impractical to continue this restriction so a 2 storey/8.5m high building is now
permissible in a battleaxe lot.
- The 5 storey Residential Flat Development for the Fisher Avenue / Trebor Road block in central Pennant Hills was approved on the basis of its “relatively low” traffic generation and with no traffic improvement measures.
The new DCP differs.
- the new DCP includes a ‘median’ strip on Trebor Road from Pennant Hills Road to the corner with Fisher Avenue. Why ? Has Council’s estimate of “43 dwellings within this precinct” changed? And what is the new number?
Issues such as these must be addressed by Council, but the advent of Council’s elections in September is important
in this context. Any pre-election attempt to fast track the LEP and DCP approval needs watching.
The new Council must not be provided with the ‘out’ that the new LEP and DCP are a fait accompli.

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