Developers have reassured the community that their proposal for 7000 homes in Bringelly will not become a “slum.”
The Lowes Creek Maryland precinct alongside the Northern Road has been earmarked for residential development for more than a decade.
The greenfield masterplanned estate, developed by Arnold Vitocco and David Hazlett, was criticised for its lack of open space, small block sizes and lack of heritage protections at Tuesday’s Camden Council meeting.
Readers also took to social media to label the proposed development a ‘slum’.
Mr Vitocco, who is also the developer behind Narellan Town Centre, Emerald Hills and Gregory Hills, said the development would never become slum-like.
“The planning principals are sound at Maryland – we have a balanced estate, a range of housing options and 82 acres of open space,” he said.
“No other development in this area has that.
“We plan to build function halls, restaurants and farmer’s markets similar to the Grounds of Alexandria and I fail to see how that could become a slum.”
Macarthur Developments general manager Stephen McMahon is over-seeing development of the site on behalf of the developers.
He said it was disappointing to see the criticisms leveled at the development proposal.
“Macarthur Developments did not propose the plan that was considered by council at its meeting on Tuesday night,” Mr McMahon said.
“It was prepared by planning consultants for the NSW Department of Planning.
“Secondly, we share many of the council’s concerns that the plan is flawed and we have relayed these concerns to both council and the department.”
However, Mr McMahon and Mr Vitocco disagreed with council staff’s position that there was a shortfall in open space.
“The Department of Planning’s own figures state over a third of the site (34 per cent) will be dedicated to public parkland, 10 per cent to heritage curtilage and seven per cent to community and school uses,” Mr McMahon said.
“Generally, new housing estates dedicate around 10 to 12 per cent of the site for open space and community uses and nothing for heritage curtilage.
“There is no other housing estate in Camden that dedicates such a large amount of its site to parkland and publicly accessible spaces.”
Council staff also raised concerns about some of the small block sizes proposed for the site.
Some are as small as 125 square metres.
Mr Vitocco said the Maryland development would offer a range of block sizes.
“We have a range of diversified housing from 1000 square metre blocks to small blocks all mixed in and balanced throughout the suburb,” he said.
“This is less than 10 kilometres away from Badgerys Creek Airport and the future aerotropolis.
“The future is jobs and this is the housing for those jobs. People have to live somewhere.
“Affordable housing is the single biggest issue out here and we have a responsibility to have a variety of product that is affordable for all buyers.”
Mr Vitocco said the development’s success was important to him personally.
“I’ve lived here since 1989, we’re experienced developers, my kids went to school here, so we want to make sure it is a quality development,” he said.
“This a 20-year project. The first home won’t even be built on the site until 2022.”
We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to editor Roma Dickins or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.