The proposal for a controversial 136,000-plot cemetery in Macarthur’s Scenic Hills went on public exhibition today.
Details of the application show the applicant – the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust – intend to use the site for a cemetery and parklands.
As part of the application, the trust also plans to construct six new buildings on the 113 hectare site including a chapel, gate house, function room, cafe, administration and garden workshop buildings.
Landscaping, restoration of historic buildings, public art sculptures, construction of site access and footpaths, four vehicle crossovers onto St Andrews Road, the removal of trees and the installation of services like stormwater are also included in the application.
The project will cost $38 million.
In February 2016, the trust issued a statement and said development would have a “minimal visual impact”.
Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong (Labor) – a strong opponent to cemetery – said with six new buildings planned for the site, there would be “a major impact”.
“When you start digging up the Scenic Hills there is no such thing as a minimal impact,” he said.
“This is the start in the destruction of the Scenic Hills.”
Campbelltown MP Greg Warren (Labor) said he was skeptical any submissions made against the proposal would actually be taken on board by the decision makers.
“Whilst hopeful, I’m sceptical and far from optimistic given the ignorance our community has received from the NSW Liberal government regarding this issue,” he said.
“My long term sustained position against the cemetery has not and will not change, nor will my strong support for the preservation and conservation of the Scenic Hills as a vital green belt.”
The cemetery – which will also provide ash internments – is expected to take 150 years before it reaches capacity.
In September last year an application to rezone the land was approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
While the application may have been lodged with council, the Sydney Western City Planning Panel will have the final say on whether it gets approved or not, given the significant cost of the development.
The exhibition period will end on Thursday, February 8.
The application can be viewed on the ground floor of the council’s civic centre during office hours.
It can also be viewed at the HJ Daley Library, Greg Percival Library, Eagle Vale Central Library and the Glenquarie Branch Library.