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26 October 2014 Posted by 


Council wants them family-friendly

THE Hills Council wants to encourage apartments in the shire - as long as they are more family-friendly than proposed State Government regulations allow.

Mayor Andrew Jefferies said apartment living had to be an an attractive option for families, as the Hills was a family-oriented area.

The Hills Council accepts that apartments are in demand in the once-house dominated shire because people want to have options, including families not attracted to the traditional house.

Clr Jefferies has met with NSW Planning Minister Pru Goward to discuss council’s concerns with the government’s planning instrument SEPP 65, which removes requirements for developers to provide parking in apartment buildings and minimum apartment sizes.

“I was pleased that the Minister took the time to hear our concerns about SEPP 65 and the policy's intent to increase the number of one bedroom apartments. Minister Goward understands that The Hills is a family shire and will continue to be in the future,” Clr Jefferies said.

At a recent council meeting, Hills councillors were opposed to proposed changes to SEPP 65 including removing requirements for developers to provide parking in apartment buildings, minimum apartment sizes and how the proposed State Government policy allows the residential apartment guidelines to over-rule council’s locally adopted planning controls.

“We are concerned with the lack of options for family friendly living as presented within this policy. As a global city, Sydney needs choice within the apartment mix to entice familiesto consider apartment living," Clr Jefferies said.

"The draft guidelines seem to only consider single households which for The Hills, is simply not the predominate living type – not now and not in the foreseeable future.  We cannot see the point of providing housing choices in The Hills Shire that fail to meet the needs of our current and future community.”

Clr Jefferies said the council understood the need for greater future density, to make housing more affordable and to give choice.

He said here was a precedence to gaining an exemption from this policy as council did in the mid-1990s, having proved that our housing strategy of the time was appropriate for the shire.

“Our council is well on track to meet its housing and jobs targets to accommodate an expected 100,000 new residents over the next two decades,” Clr Jefferies said.


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