In the wake of the treacherous Sydney storms, concerns over proposed housing in the low lying Penrith Lakes development are bigger than ever, with both Councillors and residents up in arms.
Penrith Council’s Draft Vision Plan, that was submitted to the Office of Penrith Lakes last week, said it hopes to create an area where people can easily access water recreation, sporting events and environmental experiences, as well as provide a place to celebrate festivals.
The report, however, outlined that this couldn’t be done unless Penrith Lakes’ water quality is sustained.
Councillor Kevin Crameri questioned how this would be maintained with housing in the development.
“They were going to have these houses and that would ‘bum’ the water quality… but if there’s no water, there’s no ‘water world’ and that’s a loss to Penrith,” he said.
It is proposed the Penrith Lakes development will host almost 5000 homes on the low lying floodplain that was once Australia’s largest quarry.
“It’s just another massive housing development that will make life miserable for Penrith residents and will bring traffic moving around and across Penrith to a standstill,” Emu Plains local, Todd Wainwright said.
“The 4900 houses that the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation is proposing will result in tens of thousands of extra cars on our roads.”
David Bowen of Cambridge Gardens said residents believed the Lakes Scheme was intended to become a world class recreation facility, not a mega housing estate on a floodplain.
“In 2006, the SES stated concerns that a flood in this area could put thousands of lives at risk,” he said.
Councillor Marcus Cornish echoed these concerns in a meeting last week, and added he finds it disturbing the State Government will build on a floodplain.
“I don’t think it should be even built on as residential, people have forgotten how bad floods can get in Penrith,” he said.
“The State Government is getting us [Council] to do all sorts of flood plans and I find it very disturbing they would override safety and build on it.”
Councillors also made some additions to the Plan for Penrith Lakes Parkland, to now include a botanical garden and koala park. Councillors accepted the proposed submission but highlighted the need for these further environmental factors.
– Dale Drinkwater