Greens to chair inquiry into controversial top down planning reform

Australian Greens

The NSW Parliament has today established an Inquiry into the highly controversial Transport-Oriented Development State Environment Planning Policy (TOD SEPP) as well as the diverse and well located homes program. These changes are part of a series of changes that the State Government is implementing in order to meet their pre-election housing targets and will result in density changes without Council or community consent.

Greens MP, spokesperson for Planning and Chair of the Inquiry, Sue Higginson said “Transport-oriented development is not a new idea, and working towards greater density around railway and metro infrastructure is a positive ambition,”

“I have received dozens of requests, from all across Sydney and the relevant regions, asking for assistance in understanding and challenging the proposed changes. These requests have come from Councillors, council staff and members of the community. There is broad concern that the Minns Government’s heavy-handed approach that will override councils and silence communities, instead of working with them, will lead to unsustainable and poor outcomes for local communities and environments,”

“Without consultation and community consent, Premier Minns’ plan for densification will result in resistance and conflict between Councils and the State Government. Councils are worried about the loss of tree cover, pressure on public amenities and an overall reduction in housing quality that will occur if these changes are not adjusted to allow for meaningful local input,”

“Of particular concern is that publicly owned and operated housing has not been considered at all in these changes despite us living in a cost of living and homelessness crisis. Even the affordable housing that could be constructed under this plan will only be 15% of the total homes and will revert to full price housing after 15 years,”

“This inquiry is a much needed opportunity to help the Government to make any proposed reforms better. Planning reforms need to empower local government and local communities otherwise they don’t work. Social licence in planning and environment policies and programs is fundamental to social and environmental well being and the best possible outcomes for homeowners, renters, the wider community and the environment. To get out of the housing crisis, we need more than just developer led solutions, the silencing of local input and a flat increase in the number of dwellings. We need safe, secure, sustainable and affordable housing that is subject to stringent planning controls that increase community amenity,” Ms Higginson said.

/Public Release. View in full here.