Georges River Council has defended a proposal to rezone and acquire six homes at Kingsgrove to expand Peter Lowe Reserve.
The Leader reported on May 13 home owners in Monaro Avenue were shocked to receive letter advising of the plan and condemned the council for acting "under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic".
As the story was about to be published, the council extended the exhibition date of the draft local environmental plan (LEP) and other planning documents from May 15 to May 31.
A council spokeswoman said lack of local green space of high quality was a key issue consistently identified in community consultation on land use planning for the next 20 years.
"In direct response to the community's request for more open space, the draft LEP 2020 identifies areas for potential additional open space, including in Kingsgrove, South Hurstville and Peakhurst," she said.
"The properties in Monaro Ave have been identified for potential acquisition to enable the expansion of Peter Lowe Reserve.
"The acquisition of these properties would improve the quality, function and usability of Peter Lowe Reserve as it would:
- Create a larger park and increase the range of recreation activities that could occur.
- Enable the design of a park that has a number of activities that are available to the broader community (e.g. adventure playground, inclusive play areas).
- Enable the design of a park that is visibly accessible to the wider community.
- Improve public surveillance into the park, which will assist in reducing antisocial behaviour and encourage use by the wider community .
"The property owners are being consulted," the spokeswoman said.
"Council is currently preparing additional information in response to requests from affected residents and council officers will be meeting with them to discuss their issues."
The spokeswoman said the public exhibition period could not be extended beyond May 31 due to legal obligations with the state government under the funding program to accelerate preparation of the new LEP.