'Housing summit' supports massive Ponzi scheme
According to the recent summit on the "housing crisis" attended by developers, landowners, builders, planners and anybody else who stands to make a quick buck from the "housing crisis", the community is an obstacle.
How dare they challenge the local government's soulless interpretation of medium density housing?
How dare they complain about overcrowded roads and lack of liveability?
This attitude is apparently widespread in planning circles.
At the recent meeting of the Local Planning Panel to decide a proposal for a massive five-unit complex at 42 South St, Umina, a representative of the applicant, speaking on behalf of his client's absolute right to completely block all sunlight from his neighbours during the winter months, bemoaned the fact that a "younger" age group were not represented by people making submissions to the panel.
These "people making submissions" were "well set" and "comfortable" he said, a not-so-subtle reference to the fact that they were mostly retired.
Well maybe that's because the Local Planning Panel meets in the middle of the afternoon on a working day when most "younger" people are out supporting their families and, unlike his good self, not paid to be at a Panel meeting.
One submitter against the proposal, after he'd spoken, was publicly asked by a member of the panel, where he lived.
Not only was this in direct contravention of the Privacy and Personal Information Act but, in the manner in which it was asked, implied that if he wasn't one of the unfortunate neighbours who will be forced to move due to losing all sunlight to their home during winter then he should "butt out".
It seems that council knows what's good for us and nobody's allowed to complain or suggest another way.
They might think this is a perfectly reasonably attitude but to the rest of us it's starting to look rather "Putinesque", especially in the absence of democratic representation.
The council say they have "fully consulted with the community" to explain the vital necessity to emasculate the planning regulations and "expedite" development on the Peninsula.
So why is it that ordinary residents are so shocked and dismayed to discover for instance that their next door neighbour is allowed to build two storeys literally on the boundary and block out all of their sunlight?
The council don't seem to understand why people in this circumstance selfishly complain about having scrimped and saved to pay a mortgage (and rates) all these years only to see their sunlight disappear and property value plummet.
The really ironic thing is that the planners, the government, developers and the council all claim to support "affordable" housing.
In reality, they are supporting a massive Ponzi scheme with young families at the bottom mortgaging themselves to the hilt to buy ridiculously-overpriced homes in competition with "fat cat" investors at the top.
Surely it's time that all levels of government started taking a rational, community-friendly attitude to home ownership and planning instead of devolving their responsibilities to the politics of greed.
Email, 16 Sep 2022
Frank Wiffen, Umina