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SSC Newspaper : August 2012
6 Strathfield Scene news Residents VOiCe FeARs OVeR neW LeP august 2012 council news Thumbs up for Strathfield blueprint By Peter Lynch Strathfield’s blueprint for the next decade and beyond has been passed by an extraordinary council meeting attended by 70 residents at the Town Hall. Many residents submitted pleas for change, and all were told they could apply and have their issues individually assessed. The Local Environmental Plan (LEP) – the biggest change to regulations in decades – involves rezoning large tracts of the local government area, pushing major development onto the Parramatta Road corridor and preserving the residential character of Strathfield. The council has been ordered by the state government to find room for 8300 new residents and allow for 1500 news jobs under the plan, which will operate until 2031. The consultation exercise involved four weeks of exhibition and 607 submissions. The meeting heard from residents impacted by the rezoning in the plan – some of who wanted higher densities; some of who wanted less development. Most vocal were the residents of Smallwood Avenue – a street divided between those who want high-rise development and those who want the area to remain medium density. And there were those like Nicholas Soulos, owner of the Strathfield Private Hotel at the Town Square and whose son Andrew is standing for Council, who reminded the meeting the Town Centre was a public asset. He recalled Council sold a car park for $280,000 – it is now the site of Strathfield Plaza. By the end of the meeting , the six remaining councillors agreed to pass the plan, with the proviso that those who had raised anomalies could put in applications and debate the issues. Even Council, which supports the protection of the “green corridor” at Enfield, where the State Government is building an internodal link, will need to submit an application to ensure the area is preser ved for the green and gold bell frog. The approval followed one abortive attempt at a previous meeting to pass the new planning laws. The meeting failed to get a quorum. Dozens of residents attended the two ARouND 20 Strathfield residents spoke at an extraordinary meeting last month over Strathfield Council’s Draft LEP – from changes in height restrictions and floor space ratios to rezoning of land use. The hottest issue of the meeting was council’s plan to rezone Loftus Crescent, Bridge Street and Smallwood Avenue in Homebush from low- density to high-density housing. There is a split between the residents of Smallwood Avenue, with around half in support of the change. According to the state government, Strathfield must accommodate an additional 8300 residents, but those living in the Smallwood Avenue locality are upset the already heavy flow of traffic will increase. They claim high-density housing will destroy the neighbourhood. Joyce Towsa has lived on the street for around 30 years and alleges these residents purely have investment interests. “Council cannot change the density and allow high rise apartments to be built along Loftus Crescent and Smallwood Avenue because it will just increase the already heavy traffic,” she says. “The reason why these people want the change in density is because they have investments in the area which they can sell off.” other major issues included rezoning sections of Parramatta Road from industrial sites to include residential opportunities. A spokesperson from urbis Planning spoke on behalf of a developer who wished to reclassify their property from industrial to mixed use, which will include the potential to build businesses and a residential building. But council’s urban planners said industrial sites are not allowed to be rezoned to allow residential blocks to be built. CounCillor Hope Brett-Bowen t 0423 777 734 F 9764 1034 firstname.lastname@example.org CounCiL and Committee meetings First tuesday of the month Ordinary Council at 7pm, Council Chambers, 65 Homebush Road, Strathfield second tuesday of the month Planning Committee at 6pm Iron Bark meeting room, Strathfield Library and Information Centre 65-67 Rochester st, Homebush third tuesday of the month (as required) • Environmental Committee • Social Committee • Economic Committee CounCillor tony Maroun t 0411 372 111 F 9764 1034 email@example.com CounCillor paul Barron Mayor of Strathfield t 9748 9924 F 9748 9902 firstname.lastname@example.org CounCillor Bill Carney t 9267 7546 F 9264 6667 email@example.com CounCillor Helen McluCaS Deputy Mayor of Strathfield t 0406 703 044 firstname.lastname@example.org CounCillor KeitH Kwon t 9715 2500 F 9715 2400 email@example.com Please call 9748 9924 for further information Business papers for council and committee meetings are available from council’s customer service centre, public libraries and at www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au – from the saturday prior to each meeting. meetings, along with Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli, and some expressed anger when the first meeting had to be abandoned. Manager of Strategic Planning David Hazeldine outlined changes to the LEP at both meetings. Some minor adjustments have been made to major areas such as the Strathfield Town Centre, Columbia Precinct and the maximum heights and floor space ratios on Parramatta Road. Liberal council candidate Guilian Vaccari has also congratulated Council on preserving Strathfield’s residential amenity, but says the council needed to ensure something like the proposed expansion of the Australian Catholic university (ACu) could not happen again. He said Liberal candidates did not support either the recently withdrawn development for two 32-storey towers in Homebush nor the ACu. Independent candidate and Strathfield Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Soulos has commended council in reverting the classification of the Town Centre from operational Land to Community Land. “Council has done a service to the community by giving back the Town Centre,” he says. “It would also be an option to give Council back the Town Centre lease so it will ensure that the area stays as a community space.” FareweLL and thanks It’s not often councillors get a pat on the back from residents. But there was even applause when Leon Booth, a resident and meeting regular, told Council they had done a good job over the past four years. The Mayor Cr Paul Barron was presiding over the last session of this council before the September 8 poll. “It is appropriate to acknowledge the contribution of all councillors, particularly with the majority choosing not to recontest the upcoming election,” he told the meeting. “to those contesting the election, good luck, and for those bowing out, thank you for your contribution during your time on Council and best of luck in the future. “Despite our different views, what bounded us was our passion and commitment for the community.” Councillors also thanked general Manager David Backhouse and his staff for their hard work during the term. Manager of Strategic Planning David Hazeldine talks to residents about the Green Paper.