Developers told: Love thy neighbour

Developers told: Love thy neighbour

BY KIRSTIE FITZPATRICK

Communities in the Central West are backing the New South Wales Government’s changes to property planning laws that encourage developments be discussed with neighbours and the public.

The State Government is calling for a system that forces consultations about proposed developments in their early stages to create more transparency and reduce conflict of interest.

Nick Redmond, Manager of Corporate and Community Relations at Orange City Council said meeting demands of developers, neighbours and the local community is a balancing act.

OBH

The old Orange Base Hospital construction site has been the centre of talk between developers, council and the community. Photo: Kirstie Fitzpatrick

“There’s always going to be cases where developers go too far or neighbours have too high expectations, so encouraging discussion between both parties is a good thing,” said Mr Redmond.

“But it doesn’t mean neighbours will be happy with all proposals and discussion is more important for changes affecting the nature of the suburb, not small family developments.”

After a failed attempt by the State Government in 2013 to change development and planning laws, there have been calls for the 2016 proposed amendments to include incentives for property developers for consulting with residents.

Senior Property Development Planner at Dubbo City Council, Shaun Reynolds, said providing incentives instead of forcing communication will be more productive.

“Many developers already consult the community so the amendments will reinforce this, changing the procedure, changing advice and changing the order of development,” said Mr Reynolds.

“But offering incentives might include faster development and getting DA’s through quicker.”

The Bathurst Heritage Action Network has agreed with Orange and Dubbo Council’s that working to benefit both parties will allow first-class development in a peaceful and non-confrontational atmosphere.

The community are expected to have their say on the draft legislative changes before it is introduced into parliament later this year.