Randwick Mayor Ted Seng has called for an “urgent” meeting with Planning Minister Rob Stokes following the state’s recent approval to rezone Randwick’s Inglis stableyards site for residential development despite council’s concerns.
Around 600-700 new dwellings in 25m high buildings are expected to be built in the area.
In an April 10 statement Mayor Seng said a similar proposal to rezone the site was brought to council in 2011, but was denied “because the community didn’t support it and the planning proposal had a range of potential negative impacts”.
Despite “minor concessions” from the Department of Planning which reduced maximum building heights and floor space ratios and included a quota for additional open space to be built alongside development, Mayor Seng was not pleased that the new proposal was approved.
“The department took the matter out of our hands and now, almost four years later, has decided to approve the rezoning with minor concessions which I do not believe fully address community concerns about density, traffic impacts and open space,” Mayor Seng said.
“I’m seeking an urgent meeting with the new Planning Minister to make him aware of these concerns and try to work towards a better solution.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Planning said that the minister was willing to meet with Mayor Seng and that a meeting would take place by the end of the month, but would not say if contact has been made.
But the spokesperson also said that the Department of Planning has worked to address community concerns and include council in moving forward with the proposal.
“A minimum 5,000 square metres of public open space has been set aside. This was requested by council and is also consistent with the recommendation of the independent Joint Regional Planning Panel following its review of the proposal. The department included a clause which ensures that the council has the final say on the location and shape of the public open space as part of any future development application,” the spokesperson said.
Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith said he supports Mayor Seng and that local council was the best place to process and make decisions on planning applications.
In the case of the Inglis site, Mr Notley-Smith said that now that the redevelopment had already been approved, local and state governments needed to work together to provide the best possible outcome for the community and prevent poor planning laws from negatively impacting another neighbourhood in Sydney.
“Both parties are responsible for the poor outcomes that we have in planning at the moment — both council and state governments — and both parties have to work together so that we can remove the angst and uncertainty in our planning scheme and ensure that the community has its voice heard in any major development locally,” Mr Notley-Smith said.