Invasion of the two storey flats

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The City of Ryde has threatened legal action against the State Government to stop an invasion of four unit manor houses in streets with single storey bungalows.

The Council held a heated, extraordinary meeting on Thursday in response to so called “government changes to Ryde’s Local Environment Plan” to permit an estimated 41,000 manor houses in R2 zoned streets which Mayor Jerome Laxale claims the council is powerless to stop.

Mayor Laxale said the government’s change – which comes into force on July 6 – will give private certifiers (hired by developers) the sole right to determine whether or not a proposed manor house is legally compliant and therefore able to be built.

Crisis talks with MPs

He successfully moved a motion for crisis talks with Ryde MP Victor Dominello and Planning Minister and Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts to seek a City of Ryde exemption.

“The outlook for Ryde is grim and what we are being confronted with here is yet another attack by this (Berejiklian) government on the City of Ryde with 41,000 new flats in manor houses bringing in more than 80,000 people,” Mayor Laxale said.

“And we are talking about the whole of Ryde, streets such as Clanwilliam Street in Eastwood, not streets somewhere in North Bondi.

“What’s more, developers only need to employ a private certifier to approve a manor house with no provision to get council approval, no planning panel approval and no requirement to let the next door neighbours have a say or even know about it.”

The Mayor said he has been forced to threaten immediate legal action because real estate agents are already touting the new laws to developers.

“Either these MPs are complicit in this or they have no idea what they are going to unleash, so we must be prepared to take legal action.”

The Council meeting was shown staff produced maps of streets where manor houses can be imposed, which Clr Peter Kim warned will include 90 per cent of residential Eastwood.

‘Like throwing a bomb into our streets’

Councillor Penny Pedersen said the whole of East Ryde is under threat.

“Councillor Kim talks about Eastwood but what about East Ryde, this is throwing a bomb into streets like Melba Drive,” she said.

Independent Clr Roy Maggio blasted Ryde MP Victor Dominello.

“I’m sick and tired of the Liberals, I’m sick and tired of Victor Dominello and I’m ashamed that I was once a Liberal,” he said.

“And I’ll tell you what will happen under this new change, the Aussie backyard will be destroyed, no more backyard cricket, no more backyard barbecues and no more privacy because people in a two storey manor house will be looking straight into our backyards.”

Liberal councillors Jordan Lane and Chris Moujalli voted against the Mayor’s motion and accused him of using it to promote his campaign as the state Labor candidate for Ryde.

“His shameless fear mongering shows his lack of leadership,” Clr Moujalli said.

Councillor Lane described the staff maps as “fundamentally flawed” and proposed an unsuccessful alternative motion to amend Ryde’s LEP to ban manor houses and other medium density buildings in bungalow zoned streets. He said the City of Ryde controls the LEP and therefore controls development.

“To not amend our own LEP before we go out and attack the government would be insane, if we go to court we need something to stand on” he said.

Acting Director (City Planning and Development) Liz Coad said any change to the LEP would have to be signed off by Mr Roberts, which is regarded as unlikely before the changes come in on July 6.

The Greens leader, Deputy Mayor Christopher Gordon took up the point.

“This is not about us writing our LEP at all, this is about the Planning Minister inserting the government’s code into our LEP,” he said.

“I’ve had a gutful of this state government, it is slash and burn across Ryde, destroying this city.”