Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne, has welcomed the release of planning for the Showground Precinct and thanked the State Government and the Department of Planning for considering the needs of all stakeholders during the planning and exhibition process.
“We’ve got to get this right for everyone – the people who live here, the people who are going to live here in the future and the people who just want to come into the area to catch the train,” Mayor Byrne said.
“Our main concern was that the exhibited plan didn’t contain enough information about how the densities would work – and we had real concerns,” she said.
“I’m glad the Department has acknowledged that original plans for unit floor space ratios were not sustainable and have capped it to 5000 new homes until the right infrastructure is put in place.”
Mayor Byrne said it is particularly pleasing to see that the plans include an appropriate mix and size of apartments.
“The Minister has listened to us, and has put measures in place to ensure housing diversity is included – diversity is important because every type of family should have the opportunity to have a home in this precinct,” she said.
“This is the sort of model that could be rolled out across the state to make more liveable high-density housing precincts in the future.”
Council’s request for a design excellence clause for buildings more than 25m in height has also been included in the SEPP.
“Insisting on design excellence is critical when planning a new community, particularly one with significant amounts of apartment living, and we are glad this concept has been embraced,” Mayor Byrne said.
“We want to see the highest standard of design and consider how each new building looks, how it relates to its surrounding environment and how it impacts amenity for residents.
“We are now at the start of a long journey that will roll out over the next 20-30 years. During this time, Council, in partnership with the State Government, will work hard to deliver the best outcomes for this community and ensure that the infrastructure needed to support the gazetted densities is delivered.”