Penrith Lakes Development Corporation is pushing ahead with a plan to create 340 hectares of urban development, claiming that “no negotiation” has taken place with the Department of Planning for a Penrith Lakes Scheme Masterplan.
The Weekender can reveal that Penrith Lakes Development Corporation (PLDC) has submitted to Penrith City Council a development application to consolidate the quarry lands and subdivide them into 23 “super lots” that will facilitate a second development application for the creation of rural residential allotments of approximately two hectares in size.
“The staged Development Application PLDC presently has before Council seeks to rationalise the currently very fragmented site into a sensible and manageable number of lots,” a spokesperson for PLDC said.
“Future stages of the DA may seek approval for an urban development precinct which would create much needed housing stock, a great deal of employment and wonderful lifestyle opportunities for people to live adjacent to a magnificent recreational facility.”
The Corporation argue that urban development is an essential part of the Lakes Scheme, as outlined in the 1987 Deed of Agreement with the State Government, though the agreement has never been released to the public.
“The 1987 Deed states that the Penrith Lakes Scheme cannot be successfully implemented and completed unless the potential urban land identified is considered and redeveloped for urban purposes,” PLDC said.
But no masterplan has been negotiated with PLDC, despite the NSW Government establishing the Office of Penrith Lakes in May 2012 for that specific purpose.
“At this stage PLDC has not been involved in any negotiations regarding an overall masterplan for the site. If any work on a masterplan has commenced it would be undertaken by the Office of Penrith Lakes, so enquires should be directed there,” the PLDC spokesperson said.
But the NSW Government has drafted a masterplan, obtained by the Weekender, showing the lands surrounding Penrith Whitewater Stadium as a site for medium to high density housing. However, a large portion of land would remain for ‘urban investigation’ and commercial/sporting events as well as parklands.
“The development of a draft masterplan is progressing,” a spokesperson for the Office of Penrith Lakes said.
“The Government is currently working closely and collaboratively with the PLDC to coordinate the transfer of the land in accordance with contractual requirements.”
Meanwhile, to prepare the site for development, soil from SITA Kemps Creek waste management facility and the Northwest Rail Link will be used to create the final landforms of the Penrith Lakes Scheme. The Department of Planning will allow PLDC to import soil to rehabilitate the 1,935 hectare quarrying site.
And Penrith residents could see the final landform take shape by the end of 2016.
“With the majority of operations coming to an end within the next three years, it is timely for PLDC to commence the importation of fill as soon as possible,” PLDC said.
Quarrying operations are ongoing at the Scheme, however, two of the three processing plants have ceased operations.
Approximately one million tonnes of soil will be imported to Penrith Lakes each year for the next three years to fill the depressions.