Mayor leads opposition to NSW government housing code

31 May 2018

Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill is leading the Council’s efforts to seek an exemption to the NSW Government’s new Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code to protect the residential character of the Blue Mountains.

“The Code, as proposed by the NSW Government, would undermine our World Heritage Area status, erode our local village character and undermine our tourist economy” he said.

Due to be introduced on 6 July,  the Code introduces a pathway for one or two storey residential land uses like dual occupancies, multi-unit housing, residential flat buildings, terraces and manor houses without having to comply with Council development standards.

The Mayor said the proposed policy for medium density housing is not suitable for areas like the Blue Mountains. “It overrides local planning controls and allows for increased densities, without the need for the Council to assess a development application and consultation with the community”, he said.

“The local community, the Council, and the NSW Government have recognised the unique character and placement of the Blue Mountains. It is reflected in LEP 2015, the blueprint planning instrument for land use and development in the City”, the Mayor said.

“The Greater Sydney Commission has also recognised that the Blue Mountains is outside the Metropolitan Urban Area, yet the Government has imposed one-size fits all standards on the Blue Mountains.”

“The Council remains strongly opposed to the Code on the grounds that it is not compatible with the aims and objectives of the LEP 2015. It significantly increases densities in areas where there would be impacts on the World Heritage National Park as well as the existing character of the towns and villages of the Blue Mountains, which is highly valued.”

The Council will write to the NSW Minister for Planning requesting the Blue Mountains LGA be exempt from the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code. It will also seek the support of Member for Penrith, the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP and the Member for Blue Mountains, Trish Doyle MP, for an exemption.

Council has twice previously sought exemption from the new Code but is yet to receive a formal response from the NSW Government.

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