A Michael Daley Labor Government will immediately scrap the contentious Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code for all councils if elected on 23 March, bringing to an end the Liberals and Nationals’ chaotic approach to medium density housing.
The Code, which permits a range of housing types to be approved and constructed without the consent of councils or consultation with neighbours, has been plagued by indecision and heavy-handedness from the Liberals and Nationals.
Under the Liberals’ scheme, yet another planning control would be seized from local councils, enabling private certifiers to approve medium density housing proposals in less than three weeks, bypassing the standard DA process and community consultation.
Under the Code’s fast track process, a private certifier can sign off on duplexes, townhouses, terraces, and manor homes, and permit construction without the more rigorous consultation requirements or independent checks of the standard DA process.
“This process benefits developers by silencing the voice of local communities and overriding council authority,” said Labor’s planning spokeswoman Tania Mihailuk. “Under the Liberals, if you aren’t a developer you don’t have a say and you don’t matter – we will restore people’s say.”
NSW Labor Candidate for Lane Cove, Andrew Zbik, said, “The complying development process was made for minor construction and alterations, but the Berejiklian Government has greatly expanded it to strip away the rights of people to have input into proposed changes in our neighbourhoods.”
Ms Mihailuk said at least 50 councils, including Lane Cove Council, Hunters Hill Council and Ryde Council in the electorate of Lane Cove, had applied for a deferral of the Code due to the chaotic implementation process and fears that local planning rules would be compromised in the Liberals’ pursuit of overdevelopment in low rise neighbourhoods.
“Once again the Berejiklian Government has brushed aside communities and councils and imposed its overdevelopment agenda and one-size-fits-all rule on New South Wales,” she said. “The environmental and social costs of overdevelopment cannot be underestimated.”
Labor supports a diversity of housing types to ensure that communities have a range of options when it comes to housing, and recognises that the preference of the community is for low rise development.
“We will work with councils and communities to identify appropriate locations and design provisions for low rise housing. We will work on local solutions that benefit everyone, not just developers,” said Ms Mihailuk.