After approving the controversial subdivision of one large Glen Alpine home into three 500 square metre lots, the Campbelltown Local Planning Panel has called on council to act if it wants to protect the character of the iconic suburb.
The panel said that despite strong objections from adjoining residents it had no choice than to give the application the green light.
A previous bid to demolish the home on 8 Figree Crescent and build four town houses was rejected by council on August of 2017.
By the time an amended application was lodged, elected councillors had lost all their planning powers, which were handed over to local planning panels by the state government.
This application before the panel last Wednesday proposed the demolition of all existing structures and removal of all trees at 8 Figtree Crescent, Glen Alpine, and subdivision of the site into three Torrens title allotments of 500sqm, 500.2sqm and 503.3sqm.
Traditionally, the minimum size of building blocks in Glen Alpine were 800 sqm, although under current planning and housing laws 500sqm is allowed.
The 800 sqm size was effectively included in a no-subdivision covenant with the sale of every block when the suburb was being established in the late 1970s and the 1980s.
Changes in planning laws, including the 2015 Campbelltown Local Environment Plan (LEP) override the covenant.
The panel’s decision effectively means anyone in Glen Alpine with a block of 1,000 sqm or larger can subdivide their property.
This could potentially also affect the council owned Campbelltown golf course which runs through the suburb and is zoned residential.
In handing down its decision last Friday, the panel said it had noted Campbelltown Council is “about to embark on a review process, including local character statements, a housing strategy and a local strategic planning statement.
“The panel suggests council gives attention to establishing the desired future character of Glen Alpine in consultation with the community and aligning appropriate planning controls to that character.’’
Long serving councillor Paul Lake said the panel’s suggestion made sense.
“Yes, there’s no doubt we should look at this situation, because Glen Alpine residents would now be concerned about the ramifications of this decision.
“I can understand it if they are upset with the decision and what it means for where they live.
“If we what we want to do is maintain larger lot sizes there, we will have to take the panel’s suggestion on board,’’ he said.
“But we would need to consult all the residents of Glen Alpine, to be fair, with a full survey of everyone via a letter drop.
“Once we know what the residents want we can act accordingly,’’ Cr Lake said.