Monday, 1 December 2008

Housing Free-for-All Will Trigger Neighbourhood Disputes

The number of neighbourhood disputes will skyrocket as new government housing codes allow new and renovated houses to overshadow neighbouring homes with those affected having no right to object, according to Sylvia Hale NSW Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson.

"This is the next step in the development free-for-all this government is attempting to inflict on communities across the state," said Ms Hale, responding to reports that the new codes will not stipulate a maximum floor space ratio, and therefore allow for overdevelopment of housing sites.

"The government has not consulted on these new codes, it is just forcing them on residents."

"Under new planning laws if a house meets the code it can be approved by a private certifier paid for by the proponent. The local council and the neighbours need only be notified when building is about to start. Even then they will have no right to object."

"Drafts of earlier codes were available for comment but it is clear that they were merely a diversion during the debate on the changes to the planning laws. Now the Bill is through those draft codes are withdrawn and the free-for-all codes that the government and developers always wanted are being imposed."

"A typical tactic of both developers and this government is to push controversial matters through over the Christmas break to short circuit community opposition. That is exactly what the government is trying to do with these codes."

"This government continues to treat communities and local councils with contempt. Once again it is failing to consult, failing to consider the impact on existing residents and failing to consider the needs of anyone other than the development lobby that continues to pour millions of dollars into Labor's campaign funds," said Ms Hale.

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