In May 2018 Planning Minister Roberts responded to the pressure caused by the rapid growth of apartments by stating he will put a suspension on new residential developments in the areas of Ryde and Canterbury Bankstown Council.
Has our State Government and their mouthpiece, the Greater Sydney Commission, finally listened to the uproar among residents regarding the rapid spread of high-rise developments and the new laws allowing increased medium density in our R1 and R2 residential areas? The Government may have finally realised that it is the residents, not the developers, who will determine whether they are re-elected next March.
This Government has to listen to their constituents and suspend or dramatically reduce new residential development across Sydney until infrastructure and services can absorb it. It also needs to rescind its flawed Medium Density laws which essentially crowd more people into smaller spaces in existing suburbs. As complying development, this destructive and irresponsible medium density law does not require Council, transport or services to assess whether an area can even support it.
This Missing Middle code is so flawed that already four councils have been granted a 12 month delay from its July 2018 introduction, with another five councils seeking deferrals and more to come. Minister Roberts states there was extensive consultation, with FOKE among hundreds of submissions. However, the Planning Minister never altered the proposed code in the face of nearly universal opposition, from both communities and councils, for the medium density code to be complying development!
What is the Medium Density Housing Code? The Medium Density Housing Code, extends medium density development throughout current low density single dwelling (R2 zone) residential areas as complying development. As complying development, developers will not need to get development application approval, with neighbours only required to be informed of these developments without the right to object. As long as these developments meet a predetermined set of guidelines they can be fast-tracked through Council. Currently the R3 zone has been specifically designed to deliver medium density. The proposed plan is to allow complying medium density development on residential R1, R2 land where multi-dwellings are allowed, with a street frontage of 12m or more and a minimum lot size of 400sqm, with 5 townhouses on a lot of 1000 square metres.
These medium density complying developments include townhouses, terraces, manor homes (2up, 2 down) and dual occupancies. This proposal applies an extended rezoning for medium density (with minor exceptions) to low-density residential land. It does not take into account the cumulative effects of intensifying development on local infrastructure, services, traffic, street car parking, social services and amenities. It overrides local environment plans and planning controls to the detriment of residents. Also please read FOKE’s Media Release Low Density Residential Zones to Disappear.