Council rejects Greater Sydney Commission housing targets

Published on 21 October 2020

Ku-ring-gai Council has this week formally voted not to proceed with increased heights and additional new development, after the NSW Minister for Planning told the Council that Greater Sydney Commission dwelling targets were not legally required.

The Council voted on 20 October not to proceed with a draft housing strategy based on future development targets set earlier this year by the Greater Sydney Commission.

The Council’s decision comes after the NSW Minister for Planning and Open Spaces Rob Stokes wrote to the Council on 8 September, following Mayor Jennifer Anderson’s letter to Premier Berejiklian seeking clarity on Ku-ring-gai’s housing targets.

Minister Stokes told the Council the Greater Sydney Commission’s target for new housing is not a legal requirement by the state government and that the Council “is responsible for deciding the number of dwellings in its local housing supply target.”

The Council voted this week to instead adopt a housing strategy that would provide new housing to the year 2036 from existing capacity within Ku-ring-gai’s current planning controls.

Speaking after the Council meeting, Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the vote meant that the target set by the Council through its current planning controls (LEPs) would be the benchmark for future development.

“This better reflects the overwhelming views of our community against more of the over-development foisted on Ku-ring-gai by the previous state government”.

“Council has adopted a housing strategy based on our LEPs which will deliver new housing in keeping with community expectations of no further increases to building heights or dwelling targets beyond existing zonings,” Mayor Anderson said.

“It is clear is that the Greater Sydney Commission’s dwelling targets which were the basis for the draft housing strategy were never wanted by anyone – except property developers”.

“The people of Ku-ring-gai do not want local planning dictated by developers or their lobby groups. Four years of working with the Greater Sydney Commission and the NSW Department of Planning has not provided our community with an acceptable outcome and has unnecessarily wasted a lot of ratepayers’ money.”

“Our community and the local state MPs Alister Henskens and Jonathan O’Dea have told us to reject the Commission’s dwelling targets and the draft housing strategy created to meet those targets, which were developed before the pandemic”.

Mayor Anderson added the Council was also continuing to meet its housing obligations through a number of state government planning controls already in place, such as seniors living SEPP developments and secondary dwellings.

She thanked the hundreds of residents who had written to the Council ‘expressing their love of Ku-ring-gai and their wish to retain its cherished character’.

“That sentiment is the reason I have served as a Councillor for the past 14 years, in the sometimes challenging task of protecting what we value most here”.

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