A NEW land release in the Campbelltown local government area will deliver open space, a new village centre and a biodiversity corridor to protect vegetation and allow local wildlife to move through the site, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment announced last week.
Deputy Secretary of Planning Services, Marcus Ray, said the land release in Mount Gilead, south of Campbelltown city centre, will provide 1,700 new low density homes as part of the Greater Macarthur Priority Growth Area.
While an ecological study of the rezoned area did not observe koalas on the site, and there are no historic records of koalas on the site, the rezoning will protect the majority of the existing biodiversity with a native corridor for vegetation and fauna.
"The Department has rezoned part of the 210 hectares of land at Mt Gilead from rural to low density residential which will deliver additional residential development and greater housing opportunities for the people of the Macarthur region," Mr Ray said.
"This land release will provide new homes, jobs, open space, parks and services for the local area and is one of the first rezonings associated with the Greater Macarthur Priority Growth Area program.
"It's important we balance the need for more housing in Sydney, to allow local people to live near where they work and help first home-buyers into the market, with plenty of open space for people to enjoy.
"Maintaining local character of neighbourhoods is also a priority. This rezoning is for low density housing which complements the Mt Gilead area."
Mr Ray added that Appin Road will be upgraded through a voluntary planning agreement.
"As part of the land release, Lendlease has offered $45 million to upgrade Appin Road, and the government will also contribute $10 million to fund road improvements through the Housing Acceleration Fund."
The proposal was publicly exhibited between April and June 2015 and the Department received 50 submissions, with 19 from government agencies and 31 submissions from the community. Issues raised included traffic impacts, road infrastructure, pollution and biodiversity.
According to the Department, these concerns have been addressed through a traffic study and consultation with the Environment Protection Authority. Of the 210 hectare site, 138 hectares is currently cleared farm land and 58 hectares will be retained as open space, riparian areas, rural land and vegetation including biodiversity corridors.
The next step is the submission of development applications for the residential subdivision, which will be assessed by Campbelltown City Council.
More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Priority-Growth-Areas-and-Precincts/Greater-Macarthur-Priority-Growth-Area>.