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Thursday, 18 June 2020
Page: 5011

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (10:12): Our community in Little Bay continues to fight the big developer, Meriton, and its disgraceful plans for overdevelopment. The Meriton Group proposal to impose high-rise towers on Little Bay Cove is a shocker. It ignores the approved master plan for the site which already permits low-density, low-rise residential development. Instead, Meriton want to increase allowable heights by four times the master plan.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 10:13 to 11:00

Mr THISTLETHWAITE: The Meriton Group proposal to impose high-rise towers on Little Bay cove is a shocker. It ignores the approved master plan for the site, which already permits lower density, low-rise residential development. Instead, Meriton wants to increase allowable height limits by four times. Their plan translates to nearly 2,000 more units, in blocks of up to 22 storeys, along with a hotel. But the community campaign to help save Little Bay got a boost last week when the Randwick local planning panel unanimously rejected the Meriton proposal. The panel is an independent hearing and assessment panel that assesses development applications and provides expert advice on planning proposals. The panel handed down clear advice to Randwick Council. It recommended that the planning proposal should be rejected. The case against this plan is clear. Randwick Council's own planners previously released their assessment reports on the plan, and the planners recommended it go to the local planning panel. It said that it does not support the planning proposal and that it should not proceed to a gateway determination because, 'It fails to meet both the strategic merit test and the site merit test.' The panel said that the approved masterplan should not be changed, saying, 'There are no changed circumstances which warrant changes to the existing planning controls for the site.'

The existing master plan was put in place when Meriton bought the land in 2017. They knew what they were buying. Yet, the Meriton proposal wants to double the population in an area that's already struggling with traffic congestion and poor public transport. Meriton's Little Bay plan would increase the share of high-density housing in the area to nearly 80 per cent. That would make Little Bay one of the most densely populated areas in Sydney. It would be 7½ kilometres away from the first light rail station and 12 kilometres away from the closest train station. It doesn't make sense, and fast-tracking the proposal is not in order either.

Common sense has prevailed, and Meriton must now abide by the planning panel decision. If Randwick Council rejects it, Meriton should accept the council decision on behalf of the community and reduce the size of this development to comply with the master plan. Ten thousand people have objected to this proposal, and I will continue to fight this ridiculous development— (Time expired)