Tuesday, 7 May 2013

NSW Blacktown residents vow to fight rezoning


            Blacktown residents vow to fight rezoning

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Angry residents from Greenwood Grove and Keld Place, Blacktown are furious at the new Blacktown Council Local Environment Plan as their homes have been rezoned as 'Recreational space'. Picture: Jeff Herbert Source: NewsLocal
CHARLES NG was preparing to celebrate Australia Day, hoisting the flag from his Blacktown home, when he received a letter debunking the myth a man's home is his castle.
The Blacktown Council letter told the Ida Pl resident of 28 years his home would be rezoned as "recreational" and the council could compulsory acquire it under the draft Land Environment Plan to expand a nearby park.
Mr Ng said he was "devastated" by the news and has joined with other residents in his neighbourhood, who will also have their homes rezoned, to get the draft LEP changed.

"We are horrified at council's complete lack of social responsibility and appear only interested in planning policy," he said.

The council has earmarked more than 350 lots in Blacktown and Seven Hills for possible acquisition in the LEP, including more than 20 in Mr Ng's neighbourhood, to expand the dilapidated Joseph Frank Park, next to the Sportsman Tavern on Kildare Rd.


Greenwood Grove resident Leigh Watkins said the rezoning would make their homes unsalable and was furious council said it had no clear plans for the areas it could acquire.

"If they've go no plans for it what's the point? Why put everyone through this, devaluing homes," she said.

"It's controlling our lives. If I want to leave Blacktown I can't because nobody will buy my house.

"I was horrified that they can compulsorily acquire a land and only pay market value for the land. It's daylight robbery, I can't believe they legally can do this."

Blacktown plans to be home to more than 500,000 people by 2036 and the Blacktown City Masterplan, which covers the Blacktown neighbour, calls for 82ha of open space and more than 20,000 homes.

A council spokeswoman said the rezoning was not an automatic requirement for the land to be acquired.

"The acquisition of land for a public purpose will take place over a long period of time as the area develops," she said.

"The increase in the density of development within the Blacktown City Centre places a greater need to provide more useable, accessible, functional and a sufficient amount of public open space for the projected increase in population."

She also said the majority of the identified properties were also located within a medium risk flood precinct which would constrain their "development potential".

Ms Watkins said Joseph Frank Park was an overgrown fire hazard and their homes were being sacrificed to build more homes elsewhere in the city.

More than 100 Seven Hills residents met on the weekend to discuss the rezoning of their homes near International Peace Park.

DRAFT LEP

  • More than 350 Blacktown and Seven Hills lots earmarked for acquisition by council
  • 21 homes near Joseph Frank Park, Blacktown, to be rezoned recreational
  • Blacktown residents vow to fight rezoning
  • View the LEP at Blacktown Council's administration centre, 62 Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown