Council raises ‘serious concerns’ with 7000-home development proposal

The proposed Maryland precinct development is expected to be the size of Oran Park. Picture:
The proposed Maryland precinct development is expected to be the size of Oran Park. Picture:

Camden Council has spoken – greenfields developers will face serious kick-back if residents are not provided with enough open space.

Macarthur Developments submitted a proposal for a 7000-home development in Bringelly on the site of the historic Maryland and Birling Homesteads which caused much debate at last night’s council meeting.

The development would be the same size as Oran Park, with more than 23,000 people are expected to live there.

The proposal includes plans for a shopping centre, parks and recreation areas and a school.

Council staff provided a submission to the state government with their view on the high density site, including its lack of open spaces.

Councillor Cindy Cagney kicked off the passionate debate raising “serious concerns” about the lack of infrastructure and employment opportunities at the site.

“I cannot support the proposal in its current form – our residents deserve better,” she said.

“There is a lack of usable open spaces and nothing concrete to protect heritage.

“The blocks are very minimalistic and the open space listed doesn’t meet our own requirements.

“It could be, and should be, done better.”

Cr Cagney also expressed concern that the state government wanted to ‘ram the proposal through’ before parliament breaks for Christmas.

Councillor Lara Symkowiak said council staff had made the council’s view on the development very clear.

“If new greenfields developers can’t meet the open space we require then we’re not interested and the report states that,” she said.

“The state government will listen to council – this is not a tick and flick exercise.

“I think the proponent has gone to every effort to provide the best possible development on this land.

“It’s not perfect, but council staff have picked up on that.

“The people who own this land are not fly-by-night developers, they have proven themselves on other developments.”

Owners of the land include Arnold Vitocco, GA Flaherty, DA and GA Tedesco, T Chiefari, F and F Daniele, Cameron Brae Properties, Birling Land Holdings and more.

Mr Vitocco has been involved in numerous local developments including Narellan Town Centre.

Camden mayor Peter Sidgreaves said despite its flaws the Marylands proposal still had merit.

“The report from council staff outlines all of our concerns,” he said.

“I think it will be a good development over a very large block of land.

“It will be five to 10 minutes from the aerotropolis so we need to cater for higher density living as [homes] get closer to the aerotropolis.”

Councillor Paul Farrow said he was pleased the developers had provided curtilage and play spaces around the historic properties.

But he was concerned about the provision of infrastructure.

“I think the main concern is small lot sizes and [delivery of] the school,” he said.

“I hope they build a K to 12 school here sooner rather than later and not make the same mistakes they made with Oran Park.”

Council staff also raised concerns with the minimum lot sizes proposed for dual occupancy houses.

The existing planning controls allow dual occupancy homes to be built on 400 square metre blocks.

However the development proposal seeks to reduce the minimum lot size to 250 square metres in high density zones.

Camden Council will also make a submission to the Heritage Council to have Maryland Homestead placed on the State Heritage Register.

The Advertiser has sought comment from Arnold Vittocco and the Cameron Brae Group.

We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to editor Roma Dickins or write to rdickins@fairfaxmedia.com.au.