Department of Planning’s Exhibition of Wilton Proposals is Premature
Posted on: 08.08.2017
Wollondilly Council is disappointed that the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has proceeded with the exhibition of two key matters relating to the proposed new town at Wilton, without first resolving a number of Council concerns.
The Wilton South East Precinct Plan – this is a proposal for one of the main precincts of the future town submitted by Walker Corporation (the landowner) and is for approximately 3,000 homes with a neighbourhood shopping centre, new primary school and other facilities and infrastructure.
The Interim Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plan for Wilton (ILUIIP) – this is a document which purports to provide a framework for the new town at Wilton, particularly in relation to delivery of essential infrastructure to support new homes and jobs.
Why is Wollondilly Council concerned about the exhibition?
• A number of issues concerning the provision of critical infrastructure are yet to be resolved. (These have been raised by Council in correspondence to the NSW Department of Planning & Environment on 2 March 2017).
• The public exhibition of any rezoning proposal or precinct plan within the Wilton Priority Growth Area should only occur after a Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plan has been exhibited and community feedback carefully considered. Any such plan needs to demonstrate that the Wilton Priority Growth Area will be adequately serviced with public transport, health and education infrastructure.
• If the Wilton South East Precinct Plan proceeds in isolation, it would allow 3,000 houses in an area where there is no overarching strategic framework for the delivery of public transport, a high school or health services.
• Placing an “Interim” infrastructure plan on exhibition at the same time as a specific proposal for 3,000 homes will not provide the public with confidence that a rigorous assessment of the proposal against an adopted strategic planning framework has been undertaken.
• The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has still not finalised the Transport Study which is supposed to outline an integrated transport network to service the Wilton Priority Growth Area. This study has not been subject to Council or public scrutiny and it is unclear as to whether the rezoning can be considered without reference to the findings of the study.
• Council has long advocated for a single coordinated exhibition and rezoning for the delivery of one whole new town rather than the current fragmented approach.
• Council hasn’t been given enough time to prepare a local infrastructure contributions framework (Section 94 Plan) and negotiate a Voluntary Planning Agreement with the proponent. Funding from the Department to do this work was only paid to Council in June 2017.
What does Wollondilly Council want to happen?
Council considers that there should be no decision on the Wilton South East Precinct Planning Proposal submission until:
• Public submissions on the ILUIIP, for the whole Wilton Priority Growth Area, are considered and the ILUIIP is finalised to the satisfaction of NSW Government AND Wollondilly Council;
• Finalisation of the Transport Study prior to the finalisation of the ILUIIP;
• Proposals for the three other major precincts have also been exhibited and public submissions on all three considered collectively;
• There is an agreed and coordinated process for considering all Planning Proposals for the new town in its entirety;
• A local infrastructure contributions framework (Section 94 Plan) has been finalised; and
• The Western Sydney City Deal has been announced as it may have significant implications for the Wilton Priority Growth Area’s future infrastructure capabilities
Council has been advocating for a best-practice approach to the planning of the new town at Wilton, particularly in relation to infrastructure commitments and all agencies and stakeholders needing to work together collaboratively. We are concerned that the decision of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to commence this exhibition does not give adequate time for careful consideration of all key issues including community feedback.
Mayor of Wollondilly, Judith Hannan, said “Pressing on ahead with the exhibition despite Council’s concerns once again reflects a narrow focus on housing delivery without adequate consideration of critical infrastructure and planning issues”.
Council’s General Manager Luke Johnson said “Creating a new town from scratch is an outstanding opportunity and an inter-generational responsibility. We particularly need to ensure that the process of finalising the Land Use and Infrastructure Plan is thorough and robust”.
Want to know more?
Our advocacy paper “Wilton… a GREAT new town or no town at all” sums up what is needed. Head to our website and click on the Wilton Advocacy tab on the home page to find out more.