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SSC Newspaper : June 2011
Planning powers lay foundation for building boom Strathfield Scene 5 “It’s a big win for the community because the community will have a say in all future developments,”– Cr Paul Barron news www.ourstrathfield.com.au 21 storeys, 700 residential units, 31 community facilities and a park in Homebush. To be built at 2-10 Parramatta Road and 11-13 Columbia Lane – bounded by Parramatta Road, Powells Creek and the northern rail corridor – the plan has been lodged with the State Government since last August. It appears in a list of those developments which will not be removed from 3A and returned for community consultation because they are too far down the decision-making track to halt. The development at 330 Parramatta Road Homebush West (currently a flooring warehouse), proposed by a company called Visi Capital Pty Ltd, is described on the State Government list as “mixed-use residential and commercial development”. Silvio Falato, Strathfield Council Group Manager Planning And Environment, said he was aware of the Columbia development. It is mentioned in the minutes of a Planning Committee meeting in December. More than 60 NSW development projects awaiting state approval will be handed back to local councils. A further 102 projects, which had progressed too far, would retain their major project status, but be forwarded to the independent Planning Assessment Commission. “ We are going to continue to encourage major projects which bring tourism, business and investment to NSW,” State Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said. “This includes major road, rail, mining, manufacturing and hospital projects and other projects of genuine state significance. But there are many other projects which do not have state significance, and the local community is best placed to determine them.” By Peter Lynch The State Government’s planning law changes have revealed major new developments bound for Strathfield which will mean hundreds of new units and thousands of square metres of commercial and office space for the municipality. The council will exercise its new planning powers on a big multi-million dollar development at 330 Parramatta Road – but a second in Homebush West, known as The Columbia Precinct and worth more than $100 million, will be decided by the state. The new Liberal State Government scrapped six-year-old powers known as Part 3A which allowed Macquarie Street planners to take over major projects that promised employment or other economic benefits. The move has been widely welcomed by local authorities, including Strathfield Council. Planning committee chair Cr Paul Barron told the Scene: “It’s a big win for the community because the community will have a say in all future developments. “As councillors, we were voted in to be the voice of the people, so they could bring their concerns to us, and now we can decide. Under 3A, you could get something built down the road or next door and have no say in it.” Barron said Strathfield was fully prepared for the change, and had been using resources to carry out environmental and other checks on developments anyway. There would be no delays or blockages. But he said he’d be asking MP Charles Casuscelli to speed up details of the pipeline developments now destined to be decided in Strathfield. building blocks Barron added that he did not have fully detailed knowledge of either of the developments mentioned by the Scene. “ We haven’t seen any full reports,” he said. Columbia Precinct is a major residential and commercial development of five buildings up to For more on how the planning power revamp will affect you, turn to The Big Issue on Page 9 Up she rises: Plans for the Columbia Precinct Supplied by NSW Department of Planning