A Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP) is the blueprint for how development will proceed throughout their local government area for many years into the future. It sets out where people will live, work, shop and go for recreation, what sort of buildings they will live in and what sort of facilities are available.
Making sure such plans are in line with community expectations is one of the most important jobs a Councillor has and it is for this reason that I felt I had to vote against the adoption of the City of Sydney’s new LEP.
I made this decision after much contact from residents of Erskineville and surrounding areas of Alexandria and Newtown whose submissions had been ignored when they objected to the insufficiently justified increased density the plan slated for their suburbs. I feel it is important to protect the heritage and conservation values of our villages and the new plans failed to do this.
The information available also left some ambiguity about what other parts of the City these inappropriate changes were going to take place in, meaning I couldn’t confidently support the plan.
However the Clover Moore Party Councillors and the Liberal Councillor voted in favour of the plan so it will now go to the Planning Minister for adoption.
The one positive to this story is that shortly after Council approved the LEP the state government announced that they would no longer be imposing a 19 story development on Ashmore Estate, also in Erskineville, though the site may still accommodate towers up to 9 stories, which combined with the blanket up-zoning of the rest of the suburb is likely still more than the area can cope with.