Randwick expresses ‘serious apprehensions’ about State Government top-down approach to housing reform

NSW Government housing reforms that would deliver an estimated 20,000 new homes in Randwick City over the next 20 years have been strongly rejected by Randwick Council in a submission endorsed by Councillors at their meeting on Tuesday 27 February 2024.

The low and mid-rise reforms would see up to 6-storey (21m) development permitted within 800m of light rail stations or town centres with a supermarket. The State Government proposal would also reduce the minimum lot size for dual occupancy development in Randwick City from 550m2 to 450m2.

“Randwick Council has always carried more than its fair share in terms of providing housing for a growing Sydney,” Mayor Philipa Veitch said.

Currently 74 per cent of all dwellings in the Randwick LGA are medium or high density compared to 46 per cent in the greater Sydney area.

“I am very concerned about wholesale changes to planning rules imposed on councils with no regard for impacts on communities, the environment, local character or the existing planning controls. These reforms will not address the root causes of the housing crisis, and there is no provision for infrastructure to meet the needs of the increased population.

“Council is already well on track to meet our 6-10 year housing target of 4,300 new dwellings.

“Our community is reeling from the impacts of the housing crisis but throwing council planning controls out of the window will only benefit developers at the expense of local residents. It won’t solve the problem.  If the State Government wants to increase dwelling densities it needs to consult with the local community and work constructively with local councils.

“It’s essential that with any uplift that comes there is also increased affordable and public housing to ensure that key workers have the opportunity to live close to where they work.

“The NSW Government’s approach in only providing affordable housing for 15 years is pitiful and any uplift should provide affordable housing in perpetuity. The NSW Government should also get serious about building more public housing for people on long waiting lists that are on very low incomes.

“Poorly planned and dense development with no regards to the local context will result in poor amenity for both current and future residents,” Mayor Veitch said.

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