The Department of Planning and Environment’s proposed post exhibition changes to the Wilton Growth Area Housing Complying Development Code have met with strong opposition from Wollondilly Shire Council.

Council agreed that adoption of the draft Wilton Code in the form being considered by the Department would not only represent a significantly worse planning outcome, but would also be a complete betrayal of the good faith negotiations undertaken up to this point.

At the recent Council meeting, Councillors expressed their extreme disappointment on learning that the Department’s proposed changes are a result of lobbying from the development industry.

“If the Department was to accept the changes proposed by developers they would undoing all the work that we have been able to achieve through extensive consultation to make sure that Wilton is the best it can be,” Mayor of Wollondilly Matt Gould said.

“To make these changes would repeat the planning failures that the Department and developers have made in the past, resulting in poor planning outcomes and an unacceptable cost to future generations.”

Council has objected to proposed changes including:

  • reduced rear setbacks from 4.5m to 4m for single storey dwellings
  • allowance of double driveway crossovers
  • reduced landscaping requirements
  • no buffers from conservation land, major arterial roads and the Maldon-Dombarton rail corridor.

Cr Gould said that the proposed changes would also be a complete betrayal of the good faith negotiations undertaken by Council with DPE up to this point to ensure the best possible outcome for the Wilton Growth Area.

“Key stakeholders should be working towards building liveable communities that are future-proof, resilient and sustainable,” he said.

If the Department does not accept Council’s position and proceeds toward finalising the draft Wilton Code including the changes, Council will hold an Extraordinary Meeting to consider and formalise a strong response to this issue, noting the highly detrimental impacts it could have to the Wollondilly community.

Council will also write to the Urban Development Institute of Australia and the Housing Industry Association to highlight that development industry efforts to water down the Wilton Code are slowing down housing supply.

“We will be making our position clear to the relevant Ministers and take whatever action necessary to ensure Council’s objectives are delivered,” Cr Gould said.