Georges River Council will write to Premier Chris Minns expressing its support of efforts by the NSW Government to address the shortage of housing supply, affordable housing of affordable rental housing.
NSW Planning Minister Minister Paul Scully has announced the NSW Government will make changes to allow dual occupancies (duplexes) in R2 residential zones in NSW as well as permit more terraces and town houses near transport hubs and town centres in R2 zones.
At the November 27 council meeting, Councillor Nick Katris submitted a Notice of Motion calling on the council to support the State Government's efforts.
"We need to show good faith in the various attempts and initiatives being introduced by the State Government such as fast-tracking development applications for terraces and development applications for mid-level flat buildings that are quality design and meet the standards in a specifically developed pattern book," he said.
Cr Katris' Notice of Motion also asked that council:
- endorses the approach to fast-track development applications through the complying development pathway for terraces and mid-level residential flat buildings (up to six storeys) that are of quality building design and meet the provisions of the pattern book;
- requests information on the resources that will be allocated to councils and the process to enable the fast-track determination on applications for terraces and mid-level residential flat buildings.
- supports the mandating of increased densities within appropriately identified commercial centres that are located around railway stations and any other forms of transport infrastructure.
- requests that the Government consult with councils to identify the appropriate locations for where the increased density should occur within their LGAs.
- further requests that the NSW Government and the NSW Opposition act in a bipartisan manner in order to assist the ongoing efforts and actions of the NSW Government that are intended to address these serious shortages.
- acknowledges that officials from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment had previously listed more than 50 train and metro stations that could take increased residential development.
But deputy mayor Elise Borg requested several amendments, firstly regarding the call for council to endorse the approach to fast-track development applications through the complying development pathway for terraces and mid-level residential flat buildings .
"I have real concerns about council endorsing any approach that we have such little information on," Cr Borg said.
"We don't know what this fast-track development process will look like. This council has outlined concerns we have with complying development process already. We don't know the implications on the residents or staff."
Cr Borg also had concerns with the call for council to consult the government on the appropriate locations for increased density within the LGA.
"I don't see why we would want to ask the government to consult with the council of this," she said. " I think council should be the decision makers on where increased densities are within our LGA. I would like the council to retain that responsibility."
Responding to a question from Cr Katris, the Council's Director of Environment Planning, Meryl Bishop said the council in its Local Environmental Plan 2021 had rezoned an area for medium identity housing.
"600 lots were created. We have not had one development application for terraces or townhouses in those areas," she said. "It's not something that's been taken up at this stage."
Following this, Cr Katris was happy to accept Cr Borg's amendments.