Huntlee, a planning disaster!

The approval of Huntlee by the Planning Assessment Commission demonstrates that planning does not work in NSW.

How can a development which:

a) is located in the worst place for large scale development in the Hunter;

b) does not have a credible assessment of its impact on the critically endangered persoonia pauciflora, and;

c) contains an uncontrolled landfill which was closed by the EPA and in which there are unknown materials,

be approved?

Clearly the NSW Planning system does not deliver good or rational results for the community. Equally clearly the Liberal Government is just as at fault as the previous Labor Government.

James RyanHuntlee

Huntlee housing estate approved


April 26, 2013, 2:30 p.m.

  STAGE one of the controversial Huntlee housing estate at Branxton has been approved by the state government.

With an estimated value of $230 million, the first stage of Huntlee involves a subdivision to create 1473 residential lots and 14 ‘‘super lots’’.

Land will also be set aside for a primary school and open space.

The project has changed substantially since it was first proposed by different owners in 2005, and while the imminent opening of the Hunter Expressway has eased some fears about a lack of transport from the area, various sectors of the coalfields community are still opposed.

The approval was granted by the state’s Planning Assessment Commission after an endorsement by the NSW Department of Planning.

Originally proposed by developer Duncan Hardie and his Hardie Group under the name ‘‘Sweetwater’’, the project became ‘‘Huntlee’’ in 2006.

Its Western Australian owners, the LWP Property Group, bought in to the project in 2007.

LWP managing director Danny Murphy said the approval was a major step forward for the project.

‘‘We are very pleased with the decision, which follows many months of consultation with local residents, business groups, the Cessnock and Singleton Councils and the State Government,’’ Mr Murphy said.

But Cessnock councillor James Ryan, a long-time critic of the project, said it was still the wrong project in the wrong place.

‘‘It’s a satellite city built at the end of a freeway that will only increase the reliance on the motor car while having a shocking impact on biodiversity,’’ Cr Ryan said.

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