Plan for more housing in Menangle draws criticism

View from Woodbridge Road, Menangle. Picture: Google Maps
View from Woodbridge Road, Menangle. Picture: Google Maps

A new housing development which could see thousands of new residents calling Menangle home has drawn criticism - but the developers say they will preserve the area's rural character.

Mulpha, the developers, plan to deliver a "mixed-use community that is centred around the natural watercourses and the centre ridgeline at Mount Taurus", including housing, retail, commercial spaces, education and agribusiness infrastructure, alongside open space and walking/cycle tracks.

Nearby residents recently received letterbox drops outlining the vision for the 232-hectare site, bordered by Menangle Road and Woodbridge Road.

A spokesman said the plans are still in their early stages and would be dependent on local feedback during community consultation.

However, Menangle Community Association vice chairman Jason Doust is concerned the development would "destroy the rural surrounds" of Menangle.

"It's quite disengenuous of a foreignly-owned multinational company to come in with the false pretense of wanting to consult with the community all the while they have made up their minds on plans for a massive suburb," he said, referring to a planning image for Mount Taurus (sighted by the Advertiser).

"Let's be clear, if this is to proceed the heritage village of Menangle will be no longer. This development isn't even in any local, regional or state level plans. The Greater Sydney Commission and the Greater Macarthur Plans both highlight the important role Menangle plays as a heritage village that should be retained."

The Mulpha spokesman said the company was "currently engaging with the local community" and "believes that final plans can only be made after this consultation" to ensure it meets community needs.

"Our intention is to introduce strong, architecturally led design controls on built form to ensure they reflect the architecture of Menangle village and its surrounds," he said. "This is in addition to the fact that approximately 50 per cent of the site will be dedicated to conservation, open space and agriculture."

The spokesman said Mulpha wanted to maintain views to Mount Taurus, preserve vegetation and threatened species in the "uniquely beautiful" area that "has links to both Aboriginal and colonial history".

"This land and project speaks to Mulpha's values of authenticity and the need to leave a meaningful legacy," he said. "We also understand the strategic importance of Mount Taurus and its location within the Western Parkland City, with proximity to the Western Sydney Airport and future infrastructure corridors such as the Outer Sydney Orbital."

He said analysis indicated their proposal would create nearly 6000 jobs during construction and about 700 jobs following completion - a figure Mr Doust believes is "woefully short of even servicing half of the proposed incoming population".

Mr Doust said the plans would make the Mount Taurus community larger than any existing village or town in the shire.

Mulpha is holding a webinar on October 14 at 5.30pm to engage with the Menangle community (registrations at mounttaurusmenangle.com.au). More information at 1800 719 881 or mounttaurusmenangle@wsp.com.

A planning proposal is expected to be lodged after the community consultation period, before public feedback is sought again early next year.