Dominello fights government for Blenheim Park extension

BY OUR CIVIC ROUNDSMAN

In a challenge to his own government, Ryde MP Victor Dominello has opposed a proposed 16 storey block of units next to Blenheim Park in North Ryde.

The Baird Government recently over rode a unanimous Ryde City Council bid to purchase the site for community parkland and announced that its fate is to be decided by government planners.

The Ryde MP told Parliament that while the developer and government bureaucrats can see merit in the proposal for 100 units to replace three existing homes, the Ryde community is against it.

“The proposal for 100 units next to the park has been rejected multiple times by the City of Ryde Council,” he told Parliament last week.

“This particular area of the southern side of Epping Road was also excluded from the (Department of Planning) planning precinct in 2013 as a result of our community’s tireless efforts to have tennis world and Bundara Reserve removed from consideration

“While the development application cites proximity to North Ryde Station as strategic merit for its approval, it fails to acknowledge the perilous journey from the site to the station.

“There is significant noise from the rush of traffic travelling at a steady 70 kilometres across six to eight lanes, dust, exhaust fumes and a lengthy wait at the traffic lights.”

Mr Dominello’s speech reaffirmed his objection to high density development in residential areas south of Epping Road and referred to the Blenheim Park site’s proximity to existing parkland.

He also noted that Ryde City Council unanimously voted to purchase properties neighbouring Blenheim Park for additional parkland.

“This area must be preserved, protected and, if possible, expanded,” he said.

“I will continue to advocate against this development on the grounds that it does not fit with the longstanding commitment to limit development on the Southern side of Epping Road, that it increases density in an area already experiencing significant development and is not appropriate for the site given its close proximity to a community park and open space.”

Mr Dominello has called for bureaucrats to put the proposal on hold until the Department of Planning has considered its Macquarie Park Strategic Investigation Survey.

“The proposal to replace three low density houses with a 16 storey, 100 unit apartment block fails the community standards test,” he said.

Mr Dominello is currently holding talks about the site with Planning Minister Rob Stokes.