THE New South Wales Department of Planning and Infrastructure is seeking feedback on significant plans to rezone land in the West Menai area for residential and commercial development.
The Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council is seeking NSW Government support for the rezoning to support the development of 2,700 new dwellings, 70 hectares of employment land and 514 hectares of conservation areas.
Most of the 856 hectare site, referred to as Heathcote Ridge and located approximately 25 kilometres south-west of Sydney's CBD, is currently zoned Rural (Future Urban) under Sutherland Shire's Local Environmental Plan 2000.
The plans are on extended public exhibition from Wednesday 14 December 2011 to Wednesday 29 February 2012 and submissions received during the public exhibition period, along with the proponent's response to submissions, will be made available on the Department's website.
Department Deputy Director-General, Tom Gellibrand, said the exhibition was an important opportunity for people to have their say.
"We normally exhibit such schemes for a month but are running this exhibition for two and half months after requests from the community and local councillors at a community reference group meeting on 7 December," he said.
"The Department proposes to hold at least two further community reference group meetings next year, and we understand the proponent is also proposing to hold public forums."
The NSW Government said it is investigating the potential rezoning of this site due to a number of reasons, including:
- Its regional importance and the fact it could impact on two council areas (Sutherland and Liverpool);
- Its proximity to sensitive land-uses of State significance (the Holsworthy defence site and the ANSTO research reactor);
- It contains threatened species and endangered ecological communities; and
- It has a long history of proposed urban development, including being listed on the Metropolitan Development Program and listed in the draft South subregional strategy for employment purposes.
If the rezoning is supported, any future development applications for the site will need to be lodged with Sutherland Shire Council before any subdivisions or building can take place.
The Land Council is also undertaking Strategic Assessment to assess the potential impacts of its proposed development on matters of national environmental significance under the relevant Commonwealth laws.