Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

Important Information About Our Area

Man holding a megaphone

Chris Minns and the NSW Government is proposing to significantly change the planning rules which will impact everybody in our local area.

If these new rules go ahead they will drastically change the character of the neighbourhood where you live in the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Shire Council areas.

We need more affordable housing in NSW but these changes are not the answer and will not address in a sustainable manner the issues that have caused the current housing shortage. In the Government’s own information document, it states that building approvals have fallen since mid-2021 because of multiple factors “including shortages of construction materials and labour, limited market feasibility and rising interest rates.” None of these factors relate to the local planning instruments that these new rules will override. With the planning regime without these changes in the year to November 2018, more than 75,000 dwellings were constructed in NSW. This is the target that Chris Minns says he cannot now achieve.

What are the changes?

The proposed Minns Government changes will:

  • override zoning, heritage (including Heritage Conservation Areas) and environmental considerations in the Local Environment Plans inconsistent with the new rules;
  • allow dual occupancy on standard low density housing blocks in our area regardless of its location. Tree canopy targets will be as low as 15% of the site area;
  • within 800 metres of a railway station or for certain shopping centres regardless of their location (possibly including Westleigh, West Pymble, St Ives, East Wahroonga, Eastern Road Turramurra and Fox Valley Road shops), multi-dwelling housing like terraces and two storey apartments as well as dual occupancy will be allowed on standard low density housing blocks. For E1 and R3 zoned housing within 400 metres of these railway and shopping centres, apartments can be as high as 6 or 7 storeys (8 to 9 storeys if they include affordable housing) and for the 400 to 800 metres from these stations or shopping centres 4 to 5 storeys (5 to 6 storeys if they include affordable housing);
  • Hornsby CBD will be one of only 8 accelerated precincts in Sydney and will have special rules for all houses within 1.2 kms of Hornsby Railway station. It is unclear whether the masterplan work of the Hornsby Council will be accepted as sufficient to discharge the housing obligations required of the NSW Government.
  • on every standard low density housing block within 400 metres of Gordon, Killara, Lindfield and Roseville Stations, residential apartments can go to as high as 6 to 7 storeys (or 8 to 9 storeys if they include affordable housing).

Impact of the changes

The proposed changes by the Minns Labor Government will irreversibly allow construction of apartments and other housing that will:

  • damage the special character of our neighbourhoods;
  • destroy tens of thousands of trees in our local area and greatly damage our local wildlife and environment (I do not have a Hornsby Shire estimate but Ku-ring-gai Council estimates up to 40,000 trees will be lost in its Council area);
  • overcrowd our public schools which cannot take more students - more than 50% of schools already have staff vacancies;
  • congest our local roads with traffic and parking; and
  • overwhelm our other local infrastructure such as hospitals, trains, buses, sewage and drainage facilities without any new infrastructure to accompany these changes.

Make Your View Heard

Chris Minns has tried to sneak these changes through by requiring feedback over the Christmas holidays with public comment only open until 23 February 2024. If you want to let your concerns known then you can now take a few moments to sign my petition, make a submission to the NSW Government and/or provide feedback to Ku-ring-gai Council.

Please contact my office with your details if you can give your time to help me fight for a better outcome on this issue for our community.

You must act now to stop the destruction of our beautiful suburbs and community.