The conservation movement welcomes the intention of the NSW Government’s draft Design and Place SEPP to make the planning system better serve the needs of people and the environment.
They warned, however, that government will have to resist the developer wrecking ball.
Total Environment Centre Director Jeff Angel said: “The developer lobby’s response to the policy has been, quite typically, an hysterical overreaction confected to protect the industry’s mega profits at the expense of communities and environment.
“Look at the mess that developers have made of Sydney so far. If the government were to follow the developer lobby’s prescriptions, we’d end up with half the trees, twice the heat and double the heating and cooling costs.
Nature Conservation Council Acting Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said: “The government could go further to help communities meet the challenges of the 21st century, including a hotter climate, but the draft policy is a vast improvement on current arrangements.
“The developer lobby’s vision for Sydney housing is cheap, fast and profitable. The people have a very different vision. They want Sydney to be a place that is beautiful, safe and liveable.
“It appears the government’s vision, expressed through this policy, supports what the people want more than what the developers are demanding. That’s a breath of fresh air.
“The Design and Place SEPP is a significant opportunity for the NSW Government to continue to show leadership, as it has in other sectors, to work rapidly toward net zero emissions and a green economy.”
The two groups said the Premier and Planning Minister must stand up to the developer lobby and defend the people’s interests.
“We'll be making sure local, state and national NGOs and communities know what's at stake,” Ms Mumford said.