Conservationists say SEPP a step in the right direction


DEVELOPERS are on notice with changes to development in relation to deforestation on the horizon and a State Government that has committed to making change.

Port Stephens and Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest are areas with a significant amount of new development planned.

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There is the contentious Sanderling Avenue development in Hawks Nest and multiple new housing developments across Port Stephens, including multiple over 55’s communities.

Conservationists say the NSW Government’s vision for more livable communities, outlined in the draft ‘State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) – Design and Place’ is a step in the right direction, ensuring the planning system better serves the needs of people and the environment.

They warn, however, that the NSW Government will have to manage the response from developers to the policy.

Total Environment Centre Director Jeff Angel said, “The developer lobby’s response to the policy has been, quite typically, an hysterical overreaction confected to protect the industry’s mega profits at the expense of communities and environment.

“Look at the mess that developers have made of Sydney so far.

“If the government were to follow the developer lobby’s prescriptions, we’d end up with half the trees, twice the heat and double the heating and cooling costs.”

Nature Conservation Council Acting Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said, “The government could go further to help communities meet the challenges of the 21st century, including a hotter climate, but the draft policy is a vast improvement on current arrangements.

“It appears the government’s vision, expressed through this policy, supports what the people want more than what the developers are demanding.

“That’s a breath of fresh air.

“The Design and Place SEPP is a significant opportunity for the NSW Government to continue to show leadership, as it has in other sectors, to work rapidly toward net zero emissions and a green economy.”

The two groups said the Premier and Planning Minister must stand up to the developer lobby and defend the people’s interests.

“We’ll be making sure local, state and national NGOs and communities know what’s at stake,” Ms Mumford said.



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