GROWING THE SOUTH-WEST | Middleton Grange development opposed and developer's statement

At its meeting last month, LiverpoolCouncil voted to withdraw support for a proposal to upzone and put 900+ units on the MiddletonGrange town-centre site.

The site was already zoned for units and a town centre. Community consultation in the lead-up was overwhelming, with 600+ at a community forum held by the council and 800+ submissions received (94 per cent against).

At the meeting, the council:

  • Reaffirmed the 2018 resolution opposing the increase in town-centre density and heights;
  • Directed the CEO to write to Middleton Grange residents once a further report is provided to the council in September, clarifying the range of units under zoning controls;
  • Directed the CEO to report back to the council in September with: (1) assumed outcomes for the site's development under current zoning; (2) assumed outcomes for the site's development referencing the document handed over by the proponent to residents on July 28; and (3) assumed outcomes for the site's development referencing the Draft DCP which considers zone boundary changes and road realignments.
  • Commits that if any amendments were to be made by the proponent for the town-centre proposal there would be a 28-day exhibition/community consultation period;
  • Writes to the Department of Planning advising of the council's action and above resolution; and
  • Investigates after six months if no application is lodged for the town centre other areas at Middleton Grange that would be appropriate for retail.

"I congratulate the community on their victory and I'm pleased to see people power win over greed," Councillor NathanHagarty said.

"The council has reaffirmed it's opposition to any upzoning and if the developer continues to drag his feet the council will act.

"We should never have had this debate. It shouldn't have taken a community uproar to get this result."

NOTE: The developer believes there has been misinformation regarding the proposal. The developer's position is reproduced in full here:

MIDDLETON GRANGE TOWN CENTRE FAST FACTS as supplied by developer Manta Group and not endorsed or necessarily agreed with by other parties, including Liverpool Council

1. A motion due to go before Liverpool Council last month would remove the community from the consultation process around the Middleton Grange town centre.

Incorrect. The council motions demonstrate in-principal support for starting roadworks in the Middleton Grange precinct. These roadworks would be funded by the builder. It should be noted that there are no funds earmarked for Middleton Grange road improvements in Liverpool Council's latest budget. The councillor's support also provides for the builders to engage in community consultation, as required by the NSW Department of Planning for the delivery of the hospital and all the proposed development on the land. Final decisions about the project rest with the NSW Department of Planning. Decisions around roadworks are the responsibility of the NSW Government's Regional Planning Panel.

2. According to Liverpool Council, the original zoning for the area permits the construction of just 176 units and 5000 square metres of commercial space.

Incorrect. This information is incorrect and should never have been released. The current land use controls enable the development of about 600 dwellings and 12,000 square metres of retail floor space. The zoning of R1 and B2 has not changed.

3. The builder is still planning to build more than 900 units.

Incorrect. The builder has reduced the size of its development by 25 per cent with plans for about 650 units. In addition, residents will benefit from an extra 4000 square metres of donated open space for the community, a hospital/medical centre and a 500-square-metre community centre.

4. The towers will cause overshadowing.

Incorrect. There are no overshadowing issues. The new plan includes a 30 per cent reduction in height for the project, with a change in design which will allow for a gradual transition of heights, increasing toward the centre of the site. Two-storey terraces are proposed for the perimeter of the site, graduating to the town centre with eight storeys on top of a retail floor. Total nine levels.

5. Liverpool Council is responsible for the final approval for the project.

The final decision about the project will be made by the NSW Department of Planning and the Minister for Planning. Road-upgrade approvals are provided by the NSW Government's Local Regional Planning Panel.

6. The entire project is going to be affordable housing for the socially disadvantaged.

Incorrect. The project is luxury housing. There is no state requirement for affordable housing in this project. While the NSW Department of Planning prefers that all new projects include an affordable-housing component, such requirements are not law but referenced in draft strategic-planning documents as desirable in the future to meet housing needs. That future rate is set at 5 per cent. Affordable housing is not favoured by the builder for this project.

LIVERPOOL COUNCIL responds:

Liverpool Council has budgeted $1.14 million this financial year for road improvements to increase road capacity and improve pedestrian and traffic safety at Middleton Grange. Under current controls, the council estimates the site could yield between 300 and 400 dwellings, depending on how much commercial space was proposed for the development.

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