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Action needed for Council to meet Minns housing target

The Bugle App

Malcolm King

04 June 2024, 4:34 AM

Action needed for Council to meet Minns housing targetBombo Quarry

Kiama Council reckons it has 500-600 potential building sites on its books and will meet the target of 900 homes to be built by 2029, even with the Boral Quarry site a non-starter.

The Minns government has directed councils to lay the administrative foundations for 377,000 new residences across the state, as part of the National Housing Accord.

A council statement says the target will be met through residential zoned land and greenfield sites.

“Approximately 500-600 lots are already provided through existing zoned greenfield sites located at South Kiama, Jamberoo, Kiama Heights and other infill sites, which have been identified for some time in Council’s Long Term Strategic Plan,” the statement says.

“It is expected that the Housing and Growth Strategy will speak to both the five-year targets set for Kiama Municipality by the NSW Government and also outline options for future growth areas beyond 2029.”

Councils will receive $1 billion over 10 years to provide infrastructure.

That still leaves about 300 residences to be built.

The Bugle reported in April that council had knocked back Traders in Purple’s proposal to build 1000 homes at Springside Hill, of which about 100 were for social housing and local workers.

Kiama Council said the development proposal didn’t conform to its Housing and Growth strategy and the ‘Cows not Concrete’ action group garnered 642 signatures from locals and day trippers last summer, which nipped the proposal in the bud.

Plans for housing growth. In Kiama the concept of planned development means projected

(Credit NSW Government)

Council wants the community to discuss prospective areas for development such as the Bombo Quarry, South Kiama, Spring Creek and Dido Street but the clock is ticking as the new residences must be built by 2029.

The growth in residences in the state government graphic above includes the ‘potential’ to build more than 440 residences on residential land on the South Kiama site, between Weir Street and Saddleback Mountain Road.

It also includes the 67 dwellings in Dido Street in Kiama, which is before the Southern Regional Planning Panel for approval. In February, council rejected the $31m development proposal due to fears of flooding.

There are also plans to build 82 residential units at Akuna Street and about another 40 or so apartments in Gerringong.

None of these proposals have gained final council approval.

As intergenerational tension rises, young people, single mums and dads, and renters are struggling to find a place to live.

The local ‘Pashmina Boomers’, living on ground pegged by developers, have consistently rejected the construction of new houses near them and have become militant environmentalists, with a fervour that would make an Extinction Rebellion organiser proud.

Bombo Quarry will take five to eight years to remediate

There is local support to remediate the 46-hectare Bombo quarry but there are two major problems:

Boral stopped its quarry mining operations in 2014 but Transport NSW is still using the site.

A Boral status report says it would take between five to eight years (my italics) and 4.5 million cubic metres of infill, to make the site ready for construction.

Mayor Neil Reilly said on Kiama Community Radio recently the site had the potential for 3000 houses.

A masterplan for Bombo quarry submitted to Kiama Council in 2017 by urban designer Steve Thorne. Picture supplied

A masterplan for Bombo quarry submitted to Kiama Council in 2017 by urban designer Steve Thorne.

“Anything we do in that area is going to be a vast improvement. I have a mayoral minute which will seek from the land owners, Boral and Transport NSW, to plot the future with us.”

Boral is working with the state government and council to move the development of the Bombo Quarry site along.

“We have significantly progressed the pre-works required for a rezoning. We see our development contributing to the 5-year housing targets recently released by the NSW Government,” a Boral spokesperson said.

While there may be considerable benefits building 900 residences in the LGA, how many of those will never be bought by investors who litter the area with Airbnb’s?