I was contacted by a local resident who was concerned about Penrith Council’s proposal to change the zoning for recreational land in Kingswood, it’s located on the corner of Somerset and Rogers Street Kingswood.
I door knocked the surrounding streets and gathered over 200 signatures on a petition against this ludicrous proposal. The overwhelming sentiment from local residents, ” It’s just a pure land grab for cash”.
On the 4th June there was a public meeting and I spoke on behalf of the local residents. My submission to the public meeting is below:
Kingswood Residents DO appreciate this natural area and want to preserve the passive recreation space.
The NSW State Recreational strategy STATES the open space benchmark standard is 2.83 hectares per 1000 people:
If this proposal lowers this standard in the Kingswood area, the proposal should be rejected.
documents that formed part of the proposal included the LEP Practice Note, it indicates there’s a loss of 5082m2 of public land in Kingswood,
Therefore it’s only fair and equitable for Kingswood residents that the NSW State Govt imposed benchmarks of 2.83m is maintained.
The proposal states that the site is used as a car park for Hospital staff, and given the lack of improvements it has resulted in the site not being used for recreation purposes for a long time.
This statement doesn’t explain how this came about.
In 2011 the residents were notified that this car park was a temporary measure and would be subject to a license agreement.
At this time, residents were promised that at the end of the leasing period the hospital will be required to restore the area to its natural state and additional embellishment works to be negotiated as compensation to the local community. Given this, it would ensure this area is well utilised.
Where the proposal states that residents have access to other parks.
If you read the Hospital Open Space analysis, which indicates this area is a heath precinct.
It states the recreation value of pocket parks in this precinct are actually restricted.
Basically the residents are losing over 5000m2 of recreational land and will be left with restricted parks in the area.
The justification paints the picture that this proposal is a valuable opportunity to contribute to the provision of diverse housing.
Council don’t need to sell off this land to aid diverse housing, the surrounding lots are already classified B4 and are being sold off under this zoned development, (just google 38-40 Orth Street)
I can tell you, whilst out Door knocking, I heard many stories of long term residents being continually harassed by real estate agents, So, in their view, Council has no need to sell of our recreational space for housing.
In fact If this this 5000m2 recreation land is preserved it can actually have a positive benefit socially and economically.
- An embellished recreation space close to Nepean Hospital; would provide a wonderful space for workers and visitors to enjoy.
- A safe and attractive recreation space for current residents to enjoy, would make local housing more attractive for future investment.
- This space would provide backyard experiences for children living in the adjacent apartments and townhouses.
The social and economic effects modelling undertaken shows negligible impact on reducing three parks down to two.
Local residents truly believe, any reduction in recreational space is considered more than negligible and they feel the reduction will have a negative impact on Kingswood.
Given that the carpark lease expires in 2020, once reinvestment in this space is done.
IT will provide urban revitalization to improve its viability.
Traffic conditions outlined in the report are a concern;
There are already delays on the highway in this vicinity every day. Given that this future development will generate additional 74 vehicle trips during peak hour, the report actually states that it’s high compared to exiting uses. Most residents don’t need a report to tell them.
They live with it. in-fact, the current traffic conditions and current parking provision in Penrith causes the most concern and they believe future development will make it worse.
Where the proposal, assumes that future residents would opt to use public transport rather than private vehicles is questionable, especially if you look at the 2016 bureau of statistics for Kingswood
- In 2016 nearly 60% of the Kingswood population traveled to work by car
So In conclusion. Based on our community consultation, the rezoning proposal is against community sentiment, and given the current situation and statistics I have outlined in my submission.
The residents’ major concerns around this proposal is fully justified.
BASED ON THE EXISTING supply of B4 ZONING plots in this AREA.
This recreation space does not need to be-rezoned.
Sue Day making a submission on behalf of Kingswood residents
Ian Hammond – concerned Kingswood resident making a submission