Moritorium on Planning Not My Call – Anthony Roberts

In March this year In the Cove requested an interview with our local member and Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts.  The interview’s purpose was to get to the bottom of the housing targets required by the State Government for Lane Cove.

This week Anthony Roberts provided ITC with the following statement:

One of the great things about living in Lane Cove is how much passion residents have for the area.  There is a genuine sense of ownership around how our community steps up to meet the challenges of living in one of the most desirable locations in a growing city.   As many of your readers will be aware I have had the privilege of serving our community in the capacity of Mayor of Lane Cove, your local MP and now as the Minister for Planning and Housing.

Sydney’s population is expected to grow from by 1.7 million people to 6.4 million by 2036. Nearly 15,000 of these people are expected to live in Lane Cove.  At the same time it’s changing as we get older and there is a demand for easier to manage housing.  Together we need to find a way to deliver sufficient housing to meet the demands of a growing and changing population whilst preserving and enhancing what makes Lane Cove unique.

Doing so will provide homes for our children and ensure Lane Cove continues to thrive and is a destination for investment in services and infrastructure.

Through the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) the NSW Government has set housing targets for local government areas including Lane Cove.  As of June this year, Lane Cove has approved 84% of the homes required to meet its GSC 2016-21 housing supply target of 1900 homes.  58% of the homes required to meet the target have been built.

I have been a consistent advocate for the NSW Government worrying about the big picture, such as meeting the State’s housing needs, and councils and local communities planning their neighbourhoods, because that’s what they know. Lane Cove Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP) is the primary tool to guide planning decisions for the Council. Through the LEP, the Council will ensure local development is done appropriately and this includes determination of the best mix of housing types and allowable density and height.

The same principles underpin our approach to the St Leonards Crows Nest 20-year Plan which is being guided by the views and values of the community.The NSW Government is spending a record $87.2 billion on key infrastructure projects over the next four years and the Metro is a once in a generation infrastructure project that will provide faster and more frequent train services.

The Government is planning for better green spaces, schools, transport and infrastructure while protecting local character and heritage. We will continue to talk to the community throughout the planning process.

Working together, the NSW Government, the Council and our community can take the genuine challenges of growth as an opportunity for locally led solutions. These are not empty promises – the new infrastructure and homes being built are as real as the community and sense of place we are seeking to preserve.

The 2016 Census showed that 51.6% of Lane Cove dwellings are flats and apartments, while only 42.5% remain as single dwelling houses. The rest are townhouses, semis, terraces and the like. The character of Lane Cove is changing rapidly.  Development in Lane Cove does not appear to be declining with new cranes being erected.

Source RLB Crane Index

On Monday 17 August 2018 the Lane Cove Council unanimously resolved not to accept any new residential planning proposals until either July 1 2020 or the completion of any gazetted amendments to the Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan (LEP) arising from any Land Use Infrastructure and Implementation Plan produced by the Department of Planning’s Priority Precinct planning process.

Lane Cove Council resolved to ask Anthony Roberts in his capacity as Minister for Planning to amend the State Policy for re-zoning reviews to exclude its operation in Lane Cove Local Government Area for new residential planning proposals.

Anthony Roberts told ITC that the Greater Sydney Commission is the body responsible for considering any council requests for a moratorium or deferral of planning proposals.  He stressed that the Greater Sydney Commission is an independent body.

Lane Cove Planning Alliance Launched

A new group called the Lane Cove Planning Alliance has been launched. This alliance started after local residents’ association decided enough was enough.

The Lane Cove Planning Alliance is a non-party political, independent alliance of community groups in the Lane Cove Council area working together to:

  • ensure all future developments in Lane Cove respect and comply strictly with zoning, height limits, floor space ratios and set back limits as set out in the Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009 and Development Control Plans. We do not support ad hoc proposals by developers to change these rules as this damages public trust and the intended outcomes of the planning process.
  • ensure all development proceeds in tandem with commensurate community and social infrastructure such as: schools, health and aged care facilities, open space, parks and recreation areas and community service facilities, as this is essential to preserve and sustain the amenity of our community.
  • maintain and promote the bush character of Lane Cove including large old growth trees and require all new developments to reflect and respect the importance of trees and green open space to the well-being of the community and the environment. All trees removed for development must be replaced with a suitable native tree either within the development site or on adjacent public land within the Lane Cove Council area, as determined by Council.
  • ensure a broad residential demographic profile across age and family structure through diverse housing options including affordable housing and the retention of low-density areas.
  • promote diverse and sustainable local commercial activity in Lane Cove.
  • improve public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian options, recognizing that this is the most effective way to mitigate traffic congestion.
  • prohibit the sale of public land for private development and ensure that all Council, owned land, Crown land and property are used, or leased only as public open space or for community amenity.

The Lane Cove Planning Alliance endorses “Planning for People: A Community Charter for Good Planning in NSW”.

We will just have to wait and see if the Greater Sydney Commission agrees to the moratorium.


Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at info@inthecove.com.au

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