Sunday, 17 November 2013

NSW Hunter Valley East Maitland has taken a step towards higher-density housing.

NSW Hunter Valley East Maitland has taken a step towards higher-density housing.
Melbourne Street rezoning By MATT CARR


A MAJOR retail precinct in East Maitland has taken a step towards higher-density housing.
Melbourne Street, one of the main commercial areas of the city’s east, could be rezoned under plans before councillors.

Its  zoning – ‘‘enterprise corridor’’ – discourages stand-alone residential projects.
If the rezoning goes ahead, it would become ‘‘mixed-use’’.
A council report said that could allow higher-density housing to develop around the street’s northern end.
Other enterprise corridors in Maitland include Thornton’s Weakleys Drive and Denton Park Drive at Rutherford.
A public exhibition on the project drew just one submission from Roads and Maritime Services, who raised no objections to the changes.
Councillor Peter Garnham was the only Maitland councillor to speak on the matter at last night’s council meeting, saying it was ‘‘just procedural’’ to send the plan on to the state government.
Councillors were told in August there was ‘‘conflicting direction’’ on Melbourne Street’s future and higher-density housing suited the area.
With the Hunter Expressway’s imminent opening, a council report predicted traffic through the area would dwindle and push businesses in the area to mainly serve residents crossing the river at the Harry Boyle Bridge.
‘‘The northern section of the Melbourne Street precinct is identified as an area suitable for urban consolidation given the proximity of the area to East Maitland train station,’’ the report said.
‘‘The consistent message is that a mixture of uses – commercial, retail, light industry and higher-density residential is appropriate for the precinct.’’
The council proposal will now go to the state government for consideration.