Feasibility of draft Ingleside Place Strategy questioned

Northern Beaches

Northern Beaches Council last night voted to reject the draft Ingleside Place Strategy in its current form, raising a number of serious issues which need to be considered by the NSW government.

Council noted the significant concerns of continued bushfire risk, lack of traffic and transport planning, the significant cost to ratepayers to provide the most basic of infrastructure, significant impacts on biodiversity and the ability to deliver any affordable housing in line with Council’s adopted policy.

Council will raise these issues in their submission to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and also write to the NSW Planning Minister requesting that the NSW Government transfer into Council ownership, at no cost, the NSW Government land on which planning infrastructure is sited.

Council will also ask the government to transfer surplus NSW government land for other public purposes such as sports fields, passive recreational spaces and biodiversity offsets if the draft Ingleside Place Strategy does not proceed.

Mayor Michael Regan said Council understood the original vision behind Ingleside Place Strategy, but questioned if it was still the right approach given the scale had been greatly reduced due to the inherent bushfire risk.

“The bushfire reports clearly rules out development north of Mona Vale Road – we have to put safety first.

“However, we have a proposal for only 980 dwellings which will require a huge infrastructure investment. This will result in a very high development contribution rate for each dwelling and potentially become a financial burden on Council and our ratepayers.

“Aside from this key feasibility issue, we have identified a range of other issues.

“There are deficiencies in the environmental studies which need to be addressed. We are also seeking support our and the government’s sustainability goals to reduce carbon emissions and manage energy, water and waste efficiently.

“Our submission also contends that the full impact of the bushfire evacuation needs to have greater regard for the impact of the existing bushland adjacent to Powderworks Road and other evacuation routes and more traffic modelling is required.”

Overall Council’s submission lists the key areas of concern with the draft strategy as: emergency bushfire evacuation; sustainability and resilience; water cycle management and flooding; biodiversity and wetlands protection; Aboriginal heritage and the provision and funding of suitable infrastructure capacity.

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