On Thursday 20 July, Trust Committee Members met with Anthony Roberts, Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing, and Special Minister for State, Leader of the House to discuss heritage and planning in NSW. The Department of Planning and Environment Secretary, Carolyn McNally was also present.

A number of matters were canvassed including the Trust’s submission to the Greater Sydney Commission and submissions on the Gladesville Shopping Village and revisions to the Housing Code. The Trust raised the need for stronger heritage protections with the loss of heritage across Sydney, providing examples of local items lost and under threat and, further afield, the significant Thompson Square at Windsor that is under threat of destruction by the RMS for a major road and new bridge.

Great concern was raised at the current juggernaut of poor development taking place across greater Sydney. We made the point that current planning solutions are sledgehammer in their approach with blanket re-zonings creating poor outcomes – and that most of what is being built in the current development rush, particularly the high-density, is ugly and badly located along high-traffic, heavily polluted roadways with toxic air quality, traffic noise and safety concerns. 

The Trust advocated for greater investment in design led planning focused on civic outcomes, ensuring that primary consideration is given to recognising and describing the existing character of our suburban places and that this is undertaken before any further detailed planning takes place and before planning controls are set. It is vital to good place making that we preserve, conserve and maintain those things that people recognise as being important to their love of a place.

For more details see HHT’s letter to Anthony Roberts.