This application was considered by the Sydney West Central Planning Panel and subsequently approved. You can see the details of the application here on the City of Parramatta Council website and here on the Panel website.
A spokesman for Damien Tudehope, State MP for Epping, along with Graham Medhurst and Mike Moffat from the Trust all presented cogent arguments why the planning breaches proposed in the application should be rejected.
Damien Tudehope, through his spokesman, strongly expressed the view that no major developments should be approved before the Epping Traffice Study was complete.
There is little that can be done in the short term concerning this particular development, however you can help avoid us being sidelined in the future by letting your councilors know that you expect their planning department to protect the interests of the residents who have to live with the consequences of these activities rather than undertaking closed discussions with developers whose sole interest seems to be to maximise their profits.
You can also ask your State Member to lobby for more procedural fairness in planning panel deliberations so that residents have an opportunity to respond to what they believe to be flawed arguments used to justify planning breaches.
Graham Medhurst and Mike Moffat both presented several arguments why the planning breaches associated with the DA were not in the public interest, and that the suggested public open space would not be readily accessible to the public.
Following these presentations, the developer's representative were given an opportunity both to present their case and also to respond to the points made by objectors. In contrast to the developer, the objectors were not afforded an opportunity to respond in the light of the comments made by the developer. The Trust believes that objectors were denied procedural fairness.
Similarly, the City of Parramatta Council Planning Department were invited to address the panel. The departments spokesman revealed that there had been several closed discussions with the developer following the initial application. The spokesman indicated that the topology of the site made it difficult to achieve the maximum floor space ratio while complying with the Local Environment Plan. The Planning Department then claimed that this justified affording "flexibility" with the revised proposal, which includes a substantial breach of the height regulations, was in the public interest. There was no indication that alternatives were discussed.
The Trusts view is that the LEP is intended to strike a balance between the interests of developers and residents. If the developer has acquired a plot of land that does not lend itself to maximising the floor space ration then the proposal should be scaled down. The impression was received that the maximum floor space ration was treated by both the developer and the council as a target rather than a limit.
The Trust also believes that Traffic Study was inadequate and flawed, especially in regard to the claim that the study included provision for traffic that will be generated by new and approved developments.