Fewer properties will need to be acquired for the Western Sydney Airport aerotropolis following the state government decision to reduce the amount of land earmarked for open space by 42 percent and an environment and recreation zoning by a third.
The about face has been given the thumbs up by some, while others have expressed concerns not all of the problems surrounding the establishment of the aerotropolis have been fixed.
Anne Stanley, the federal member for Werriwa, and Liverpool City councillor and mayoral candidate Nathan Hagarty, have cautiously welcomed the changes to the open space zone.
“These changes are a massive win for the community and for the individual landowners who were subject to uncertainty for too long,” Ms Stanley said.
“Following the State Government’s admission of failure with the original planning, I welcome these changes.
“However, it must not be forgotten that the concerns of the landowners should have been answered from day one.
“The landowners were not treated with due dignity and respect by this State Liberal Government and have suffered months on end without knowing what the future would hold for them.
“I am proud of everyone in my community who made a submission to the Independent Community Commissioner, and I commend the landowners on the work they have put in over the last two years.
“I hope that in the future, the needs of the community will come first.”
Councillor Hagarty said the proposed amount of open space in the initial plans was simply unworkable.
“This is a sensible set of changes and will provide some welcome relief for landowners. I congratulate all the landowners on the hard work they have put in to get to this point,’’ he said.
“There is still plenty of work to be done to ensure the State Government follows through on this commitment.
“We also need timely and adequately funded land acquisitions. I will continue to support landowners in their struggle as I have done since day one.”
Liverpool City and Penrith councils meanwhile have expressed concerns relating to the planning for the aerotropolis.
They say key details such as infrastructure, stormwater, development contribution plans and master planning guidelines are not covered in proposed changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) now on public exhibition.
Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller says that both councils agree with the findings and recommendation from the Independent Community Commissioner Professor Roberta Ryan that community consultation should be open and transparent.
“It goes without saying that the community should have a voice, however we believe that exhibiting an incomplete package to garner feedback will mean the community is not getting the full picture of how this new city will be planned, built and maintained moving forward,’’ she said.
Submissions to the exhibition close on November 5, which the councils say does not give stakeholders enough time.
“Planning a new city is an incredibly complex task, and this process proves that nothing is finalised without community consultation,” said planning minister Rob Stokes, who announced the reductions in land for open space and recreation.
“We’ve listened to the community and the recommendations of the Independent Community Commissioner Professor Roberta Ryan, and reduced the amount of land earmarked for open space or an environment and recreation zoning,’’ he said.
“We will still achieve our vision for a Western Parkland City under these proposed changes, while allowing landowners to continue using their property as they do now.
“This means fewer properties needing to be acquired while still ensuring 95 per cent of homes in the Aerotropolis will be within five-minutes’ walk of open space,’’ he said.
The revised open space network will see 16 per cent of land in the initial precincts (869 hectares) acquired for parks and public spaces.
Under the proposed SEPP amendments, the environment and recreation zone at Wianamatta-South Creek will be reduced by a third and a rural zoning re-applied.
Previously permitted land uses would also be reintroduced in the aerotropolis and the government will consider options for the future of Luddenham.
The public exhibition includes proposed changes to the Aerotropolis SEPP; the draft Phase 2 Development Control Plan; and the Luddenham Village Discussion Paper. Submissions will be accepted November 5.
For more information, visit: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/aerotropolis