Northern Beaches Council today welcomed changes to state government planning rules which will put a stop to excessive seniors’ housing developments in inappropriate locations.
The changes come following Council and residents lobbying to close the loophole which allowed seniors developments to be approved and then incrementally expanded, resulting in a much larger development than originally considered. It also means that a developer can only apply for a Site Compatibility Certificate on land immediately adjoining existing urban zones and not ‘piggy back’ multiple sites.
Mayor Michael Regan said the changes to the Seniors Housing SEPP were a win for common sense but more still needed to be done.
“We saw the poor outcomes of this SEPP and the farcical State Compatibility Certificate system in developments at Terrey Hills,” Mayor Regan said.
“The sole purpose of a Site Compatibility Certificate is to override local planning controls and permit development that is inconsistent with the local character through the Seniors Housing SEPP.
“We supported calls from the residents of Terrey Hills to push for change and for the government to leave local planning to local authorities.
“This is a good outcome but doesn’t go far enough. It won’t stop large developments from being permitted under state government rules in residential zones that Council otherwise would not allow.
“We know we need to provide housing options for our ageing population. But we should not be doing it at the expense of the local character of our neighbourhoods.”
Mayor Regan said the next job for Minister Roberts is to similarly review the rules on boarding houses.
“It is good the Minister has listened to us and our community and taken action on the creep issues of the seniors’ housing SEPP.
“Now he needs to turn his attention to the other issues with this SEPP and the state government rules on boarding houses.
“Council needs to be given an opportunity to prove we can meet seniors and affordable housing needs in our community without being forced to take large scale developments in quiet suburban streets.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister to fix this issue too.”