Over the top development

Lake Macquarie Greens candidate, Suzanne Pritchard has been supporting the Toronto Brighton-Excelsior Action group to oppose a 56 unit development spanning the Toronto ridgeline that is setting a frightening precedent for the local community.

“This development is laying the foundations for the future of this community and it’s a future that is not wanted,” Suzanne said.

The Greens believe that the urban and regional built environments will continue to be degraded unless there is a complete overhaul of the current laws, codes and practices. This will not be possible until there is a complete ban on developer donations to political parties. The public interest must become the dominant consideration in all planning and development decisions.

“The Lower Hunter Regional Strategy which will be guiding development in our region for the foreseeable future is a flawed document with a flawed process. It overrides the Local Environment Planning and it gives the Planning Minister Frank Sartor indisputable control over all development. He can rezone and approve development with a sweep of his pen and in the blink of an eye,” Suzanne said.

The Greens are working towards restricting the Planning Minister’s ability to ‘call in’ and approve developments.

“The situation at Toronto is set to be replayed constantly throughout the city unless planning laws are changed. It’s an enormous ask to expect the local community to have to keep fighting the same battles over and over again,” Suzzane said.

The Greens are working for placing the onus of proof on the developer, to establish that the development does not damage local amenity, heritage, environment, transport and infrastructure facilities.

“The final version of the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy bore little resemblance to that which was put out for community consultation. The development lobby had access to comment and Frank Sartor long after the community were shut out of further input. The original intent of the document as a planning instrument became nothing more than a land use plan. The Greens are calling for a re-exhibition to allow genuine comment on the proposed document.

A Photo opportunity can be arranged with Suzanne and members of the residents action group.

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