The Growth Infrastructure Plans for Urban Activation Precincts went on exhibition last June.  This is the submission from Randwick City Council.

Support from the Precincts from University of NSW.

Herald Sun 30th January 2013:  PLANS to rezone huge slabs of Sydney near transport hubs to squeeze in thousands more homes have been attacked for lacking transparency.

Sydney councils were sent letters proposing the first “urban activation precincts”, flagged at State budget last year, just four days before Christmas.

It calls for two staff and two councillors to join new State Government steering committees to plan for more growth in “high quality urban environments”  – including the new light rail corridor in Randwick.

Randwick mayor Tony Bowen called on the NSW Government to reveal details of its plans, which were accompanied with a “blurry map” showing proposed boundaries of new precincts which included hundreds of homes on Anzac Pde as well as Department of Housing properties in South Maroubra and Malabar.

“There’s no detail about exactly how big this precinct will be, what they want to rezone it to or how high or how dense it will be,” he said.

“What is for sure is that ‘substantially increasing housing supply’ means massive changes for this area with potentially thousands of new apartments in high rise up and down Anzac Parade. This will have an enormous impact on an area which is currently dominated by low to medium density homes. It will put even more pressure on our existing infrastructure, our roads, our public transport and our open spaces.”

Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said while some councillors wanted to maintain the status quo, “if taxpayers are going to pay $1.6 billion for light rail….consideration has to be given to how local areas can evolve to make maximum use of the new infrastructure.”

Mr Bowen said a second precinct in Randwick around the UNSW and Royal Randwick Racecourse area would affect thousands of adjacent residents.

“The Government needs to guarantee that any changes in planning controls are put on hold until the community has been comprehensively consulted,” he said.

“For a government that promised to return planning powers to local government, I am very concerned at the lack of openness at this stage of such an important project.”

NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said the government was committed to getting the NSW economy moving _ and one way to do that was to encourage local councils to get involved in urban activation precincts.

“Once finalised, these precincts will go out for public consultation so communities can have a say on the future of their suburbs,” he said.

“Instead of the piece meal approach to planning that favoured behind closed doors deals by the former Labor government, the urban activation precincts process is completely transparent and reliant on extensive council and community consultation.”

Mr Hazzard said community reference groups would work with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to investigate potential opportunities for growth.

“As Planning Minister I well understand some local councils desire to have no development, or next to no development. This is unrealistic in many parts of Sydney, where the community wants to live,” he said.

“The challenge for government is to make sure we are providing communities with the infrastructure to support the inevitable growth, and to enhance people’s lifestyle and living.”

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