Key report on Newcastle development “buried”

A report from an independent expert council planning committee highly critical of changes to inner-city height limits was concealed from Newcastle city councillors and the Newcastle community, Greens Lord Mayoral candidate Councillor Therese Doyle revealed today.

Clr Doyle said ”it is simply beyond belief that the report by the Newcastle Urban Design Consultative Group (UDCG) sent to council in July was not distributed to all councillors”

“This report from the  UCGD which has a legal responsibility to provide independent advice to council and the state government on these matters–has been kept under wraps, despite the fact that it is addressed to “Council, State Government authorities and the Minister” and completely and unequivocally rejects changes that would allow the proposed high-rise residential towers on the GPT/Urban Growth site,” Clr Doyle said.

“I have serious concerns about this matter, and I’ll be referring it to the Parliamentary Enquiry on Newcastle Planning decisions before submissions close tomorrow,” Clr Doyle said.

In the suppressed report, the UDCG states that they do not believe there is any evidence that supports the claim that viability of the retail and commercial components of the Newcastle city centre site is dependent upon the inclusion of a large quantum of residential units.

“This expert opinion from the UDGC disputes unfounded claims from vocal proponents, including the disgraced former state member for Newcastle and former lord mayor, that the high-rise was essential to make the project financially viable,” she said.

For further information: Therese Doyle 0434257892

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