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Friday, 19 February 2021

Our draft housing strategy outlines how and where housing will be delivered to meet the community's needs now and into the future.  It is on public exhibition and we have extended the consultation period to 7 March to allow as many people as possible to have their say.

We welcome community feedback and thought it would be useful to provide initial responses to some of the issues that have been raised so far.

1. Close down the beaches – we are full.

We understand many people would like to have a zero housing target for the future but the reality is that Sydney’s population is predicted to continue to grow and our area is required by the NSW government to take a share. We are living longer, still having children and still taking migration. And people downsizing on the Beaches want choice and want to stay local. 

Council has always advocated for appropriate infrastructure to come ahead of any proposed growth which is why we have the significant road upgrades around the new hospital and a commitment to increase capacity of the new rapid transit bus system from Dee Why to Chatswood ahead of development planned for Frenches Forest. 

Other local infrastructure and services required for the future would be determined during detailed planning and in consultation with the community and State government.

2. Our housing targets are too high

Our peninsula, topography and lack of transport options mean we have very low housing targets compared with much of the rest of Sydney. For example, the Greater Sydney Commission targets for 2016-2021 for the Northern Beaches was 3,400 whereas it was 11,800 for Camden, 8,250 for Liverpool, 7,600 for Ryde and 4,000 for Ku-ring-gai.

3. The targets will result in rezoning areas and increasing density

Much of the projected population growth can be accommodated in areas already zoned for growth, for example Dee Why and Warriewood, and in areas where growth is planned, for example Frenchs Forest and Ingleside. The Strategy recommends looking at other areas to accommodate the remaining growth, but this won’t need to be of significant scale to meet our targets.

Specifically, the projected overall housing target to 2036 is 11,995 additional dwellings. Our current controls could deliver 10,751 of these dwellings. This leaves a difference of 1,244 dwellings. Proposed development at Ingleside and the Brookvale Structure Plan are likely to assist to meet the full target which means we don’t need to make big changes elsewhere.

4. Our housing mix is fine as it is

Right now we have a lot of detached houses and apartments and not much of what is called the ‘missing middle’. What we need to consider is more townhouses, terraces and shared housing in our strategic centres, within the 1km radius of those transport and employment hubs.

A greater diversity of housing types allow older people to downsize and provides an entry to the market for young people and essential workers such as nurses and teachers, who may not earn sufficient income to afford stand alone housing forms in our expensive housing market. 

5. Mona Vale will be full of high rise

We stand by the undertaking not to increase heights in Mona Vale and we can categorically rule out concerns we have heard of 7-9 storey height limits. We will make that clearer in the next version of the draft document.

 6. The community won’t get the chance to have a say on changes

Where the draft Strategy identifies an area for investigation, that’s what it means.

Investigations would include a study of each area and include extensive consultation with that local community in the development of a plan. Any plan developed would then be subject to a separate engagement process in accordance with State Planning legislation before it would take effect.

 

Learn more about the draft Local Housing Strategy and have your say here.

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