Go as high as you want.
That’s the message from the state government to developers wanting to build apartments in Campbelltown’s CBD.
Four days before Christmas last year, the state government released its final plan for the Glenfield to Macarthur Urban Renewal Corridor Strategy.
The strategy will see about 20,000 homes built around the precincts of Campbelltown’s seven train stations in the next 20-30 years.
Plans for Glenfield are yet to finalised due to the proposed redevelopment of farm land on the Hurlstone Agricultural High School site.
The strategy includes 3600 new dwellings around the Campbelltown precinct alone, with existing height restrictions also removed.
Campbelltown councillor Paul Lake (independent) said the strategy “was not a bad idea” though he had several concerns.
He said he wanted to ensure business parks were established so new residents could work locally. Major projects – like the Badgally Road/Broughton Street connection over the railway line – should also be a priority.
“They (the government) did not see that as a priority but they are dead wrong,” he said. “Residents in Eagle Vale, Kearns, Claymore and Blairmount … how are they going to get in and out?”
Campbelltown MP Greg Warren said the rejuvenation of Campbelltown’s CBD was “exciting” though he was still concerned the council would have little say in terms of planning. Any developments over $5 million will be decided by Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAP) not the council.
“Local government is the closest level of government to the community,” he said. “IHAPs have really stripped council of their (planning) powers.”
Department of Planning and Environment deputy secretary, Brendan Nelson, said despite the mass influx of homes the character of the area would not be compromised.
“The plans identify the opportunities for new roads, parks, sports and community facilities and homes while maintaining the character of these areas,” he said.
Some Advertiser readers were not convinced and voiced their concerns via Facebook.
“And no extra parking and no extra trains and no extra hospital space, it's all about kickbacks from developers,” Terry Baker wrote.
Nea Makowski added: “How to uglify a city in 3 easy steps: remove planning powers from councils; tell people they still have a say (when they don't really); water down biodiversity laws so the environment is hardly considered.” Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic is on leave and was unable to be contacted for comment.