Ku-ring-gai Council responds to NSW Government’s housing pledge. The Council says it does not support proposed development around railway stations unless the government commits to providing essential infrastructure and genuine consultation.

The Council was responding to a letter received late yesterday from Planning Minister Paul Scully outlining the government’s intentions.

In the letter Minister Scully states that the four railway stations of Gordon, Killara, Lindfield and Roseville will have the provisions of the Transport Oriented Development (TOD) policy applied under a new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).

“New controls will be in place from when the SEPP takes effect”, according to Minister Scully’s letter.

The controversial TOD policy is set to swell the population around the four railway stations in Ku-ring-gai by 50,000 new residents. In addition, yet to be announced housing targets by the state government for the rest of Ku-ring-gai will likely lead to the local population doubling from 127,000 to more than 250,000.

The government has not formally announced a start date for the TOD policy but has previously stated it will come into effect by this month.

Ku-ring-gai Mayor Sam Ngai

Responding to the Minister’s letter, Mayor Sam Ngai said the Council’s legitimate concerns regarding infrastructure and services had not been addressed by the government and all councils should be aware of the implications.

“Minister Scully says in his letter words to the effect that everyone will be travelling by train and existing infrastructure can cope with the extra demand.”

“If this policy is implemented, Sydney will be changed forever. The public feedback is overwhelmingly against this wholesale development without the funding needed for new infrastructure and services.”

“Where is the money for the schools, the hospitals, the parks and playgrounds that all these new residents will need? Hundreds of millions of housing contributions will be paid to the state by our residents, but not a single cent has been committed to improving infrastructure in Ku-ring-gai”.

“In fact, Minister Scully said today that ‘the principle that underpinned the discussions with councils is that any local plans must go beyond the NSW Government’s housing expectations, not backwards’.

The Pacific Highway at Roseville

Mayor Ngai singled out traffic and heritage as ‘of great concern to Ku-ring-gai residents.

“There are already massive bottlenecks at the intersections of the Pacific Highway, Boundary Street and Archbold Road for example.”

“The government’s policy completely ignores the fact that many of these new residents will still be driving cars.”

“As far as heritage is concerned, the TOD policy will override any protection the Council has in place, meaning Ku-ring-gai’s beautiful built heritage can be bulldozed at will.”

Mayor Ngai said the Council would continue its campaign against the TOD policy in its current form.

“We are not against providing new housing that is thoughtful and planned in consultation with communities.”

“But we will fight for the interests of Ku-ring-gai residents who have told us very clearly that they do not want this kind of development forced on them without any additional funding for infrastructure and services and other Councils should do the same for their communities.”

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