State government hands planning control for Bardwell Park and Turrella back to councils

The state government has bowed to community pressure and dumped the Bardwell Park and Turrellla priority precincts.

Planning for the areas will be handed back to Bayside and Canterbury-Bankstown councils.

One of the results of the announcement by the Department of Planning and Environment will be the end of a proposal to rezone the industrial precinct at Turrella for nearly 5000 new homes in buildings up to 20 storeys.

A department spokesman said the Greater Sydney Commission’s recently published District Plan directed that industrial lands, like those adjacent to Turrella station, should be retained and protected for employment uses.

Rockdale MP Steve Kamper expected the announcement after talks with Planning and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Roberts.

“Ever since the Bardwell Park and Turrella priority precincts were announced a year and a half ago I’ve been knocking on the minister’s door telling him the proposed density was inappropriate for these communities,” he said.

“There’s been a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty surrounding these proposals and I’m glad they’ve now been put to bed.

“I wish to offer my genuine thanks to Minister Roberts for making the right decision here and canning these proposals.

“Thanks to the community who have been fighting these priority precincts with me the whole way.”

Brett Whitworth, the acting deputy secretary, planning and design for the Department of Planning and Environment said in a statement, planning for the two precincts “will be led by Bayside and Canterbury-Bankstown Councils”.

Mr Whitworth said the department would provide a total of $5 million in grants and a draft Local Character Statement to the councils to assist with future planning. 

“The decision for councils to lead planning demonstrates how the department is listening to what councils and communities have told us they want for the future of their area,” he said.

“After thorough investigations of the area and engagement with the people that live in Bardwell Park and Turrella, we have confidence that local councils are ready to meet housing targets and deliver desirable and liveable homes in their area.

“This decision is a win for everyone involved. We have listened to local councils and the community and we are delivering what everyone wants for the future of Bardwell Park and Turrella.”

Mr Whitworth said the decision was made following extensive consultation with the community and councils, and technical studies of the area.

“The department has undertaken technical studies of the area and has developed a draft Local Character Statement in conjunction with the residents to outline what they want to see for the future of their area,” Mr Whitworth said.

“To make sure communities’ voices are actively heard in the planning process, the draft Local Character Statement will be provided to councils to guide their planning for the future of the area.  

“To further assist Canterbury-Bankstown and Bayside Councils, we will provide ongoing support as well as a $2.5 million government grant to each council to update their Local Environmental Plans. 

“Local Councils know their areas best, and it is the role of the Department to help them make the right decisions for their communities while ensuring the right homes are delivered in the right places,” he said.