Liberals' broken promise on planning laws threatens Panania Village with high rise overdevelopment

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Panania’s village atmosphere is set to be shattered by a flood of high rise apartment buildings because of the Liberals’ failure to honour their pre-election commitment to return planning powers to local communities.

Before the last election, the Liberals promised to return planning powers to local communities but their proposed planning laws, put to Parliament, failed to live up to that promise. The Liberals shelved the legislation  and have since refused to negotiate on amendments proposing greater community consultation.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley today joined Labor Candidate for East Hills Cameron Murphy and a group of concerned local residents to discuss the potential impact of unrestrained development on Panania.

Mr Foley noted that the Liberal Government’s Sydney Metropolitan Strategy – a document that will guide the growth of Sydney in coming decades – has identified the East Hills rail corridor as an “urban renewal corridor” which means it is a likely candidate for high rise residential development.

“The Liberals’ one-size-fits-all approach to planning the growth of our city fails to take into account the unique character of areas like Panania – we need a planning system that allows them to flourish without being lost in a sea of high rise apartments,” Mr Foley said.

“I want to see the Liberals honour their election commitment to engage local communities in a genuine consultative process about the future of their town centres before the green light is given to dramatically transform the very character of villages like Panania.

“Labor proposed a series of sensible amendments to the Liberals’ planning laws, when they were put before the Parliament. These would have given local communities a greater say. Instead of sitting down with us and working to improve the laws the Liberals took their bat and ball and went home.

“Now the Liberals are drawing lines on maps where massive redevelopment is likely to take place. Areas along the East Hills rail corridor like Panania are squarely in the Baird Government’s sights.”

Labor Candidate for East Hills Cameron Murphy added: “Local residents are very worried that the charming village community where they have been living and raising their families is set to be bombarded by high rise development.

“We need a planning system that respects local communities and gives them a voice in the future of their towns and suburbs.

“A wall of high rises along the rail line from Wolli Creek through to East Hills is not appropriate for every community.

“The Panania community should have the right to be consulted on how their town centre will develop in coming years.”