Public meeting on Blackheath land sale

Blue Mountains City Council will hold a public meeting to inform residents of the planned sale of council-owned land at Hat Hill Road, Blackheath on May 31.

The council approved the sale of 45 blocks of land in the registered and approved subdivision at Hat Hill Road on March 13, on completion of the staged provision of the necessary roads and services.

The council will use the proceeds from the land sale toward the funding of the Springwood community and cultural facilities upgrade.

But the plan has been met by growing local anger with a Facebook page established against the proposal and a petition circulating in the Blackheath area.

“The purpose of the public meeting is to provide detailed information to interested residents about the background of the subdivision, what is involved in the sale of the land and what this means for both the Blackheath community and the Blue Mountains community,” said Blue Mountain Mayor Daniel Myles.

“It is important for residents to know that this particular parcel of land is one of a number of council-owned properties, classified as operational land, that have long been identified as land that could be sold by the council for the purpose of residential development.

“These properties are deemed to be surplus to council’s needs and have the potential to generate revenue for council to invest in high priority community facilities and services.

“Currently, the high priority need for the community is the redevelopment of the Springwood civic centre precinct. Springwood is the second major town centre in the city and is long overdue for revitalisation and an upgrade to meet the needs of the local community.”

The Blackheath sale has been directly linked to Springwood civic centre upgrade because the council is required by the Minister for Local Government to identify the source of funding for major infrastructure projects, said the mayor.

“Otherwise, the proceeds from the sale of other surplus properties contribute to the general revenue of the council and help to fund various projects and services across the city”, he said. “The council-owned land on Hat Hill Road was zoned for residential purposes as part of the extensive Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 1991 process. The necessary environmental studies and broad community consultation were undertaken at the time, as part of this process.”

The mayor said that while the existing 90 lot subdivision is legally valid, the council has chosen not to sell all 90 lots.

“Instead, the council chose to reduce the total number of lots by a half, that is, a total of 45 larger lots, in keeping with the lot size expected of Council’s Residential Bushland Conservation zone under the LEP1999,” he said.

“This residential development is considered to be appropriate for the area and optimises the use of the land, much of which is already degraded. It also conforms to the community endorsed Sustainable Blue Mountains 2025.”

The first stage of the provision of roads and services (sewer, drainage, water, gas, electricity and telecommunications) to the approved subdivision is scheduled to commence in June 2012. The sale of the land will require the relocation of the dog off-leash area and dirt bike jump currently on the Hat Hill Road site.

“Council will consult with the community before a decision is made to relocate these facilities to a new site,” said the mayor.

The sale of the lots will occur in a staged release.

The public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 31 from 7.30 to 8.30pm at the Blackheath Community Centre, corner Great Western Highway and Gardiners Crescent, Blackheath.