High rise raises concerns

It’s not only the population on the rise in Campbelltown.

From the first of July 2011 through to the end of August this year, there were 20 apartment buildings – totalling almost 1200 units – given the all clear to be established in the Campbelltown local government area.

They consisted of buildings from four storeys to 10 storeys high.

And that’s just the beginning with several other high rise applications also being assessed including one at 22 Queen Street, Campbelltown for a seven-building, commercial and residential complex featuring almost 600 units.

There is also a proposal for an 18-storey mixed-use building at the back of the heritage-listed CBC Bank building – the old home of the Advertiser.

The state government has signalled its intentions to build high rises around Campbelltown’s seven train stations as part of the Glenfield to Macarthur Corridor Strategy.

Campbelltown Council’s Labor caucus leader George Brticevic – who is the favourite to be elected mayor next Tuesday night – said he was wary of Campbelltown resembling its northern neighbours, Liverpool.

“I prefer development closer to the railway stations and do not want us looking like Liverpool,” he said.

“I do not want 30-storey monstrosities such as the one being built at the entry of their CBD.”

He also had concerns about the applications at 22 Queen Street and near the CBC Bank building.

“With the CBC bank development, I would have to consider it on its merits like all development applications, but I do have concerns in relation to the impact on heritage,” he said.

“(Regarding 22 Queen Street) I would prefer the infrastructure in place before the development.

“Council is working on implementing road solutions from a traffic study, but the impact of 596 apartments would be quite significant.”

The Labor councillor also said there were safety concerns surrounding high rise developments after Fire and Rescue NSW announced it would remove St Andrews Fire Station’s Bronto truck.

The truck, the only one in Macarthur, comes equipped with a 37 metre ladder and rescue basket.

It is being replace by a model with a 15 metre ladder that has no rescue basket.

Greens Party member Ben Moroney, who will officially be sworn in as a Campbelltown councillor next week, said there was “little strategy” behind the types of apartments that had been built and that were earmarked for the area.

“In general I’m a supporter of urban infill over urban sprawl – I’d rather go up than out,” he said.

“But my concern for Campbelltown is that high rise is going in without any rhyme or reason.

“(Population growth) is happening at a pace that’s out-pacing infrastructure.

“I would like to see a halt on high intensity developments while we seek funding to make sure we integrate (infrastructure) properly.”

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