State Government must act on Luddenham plan, locals say

Wayne Willmington in Luddenham on Wednesday. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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The picturesque village of Luddenham is at risk of being confined to history unless the State Government finalises the future plans for the area.

That’s according to the Luddenham Progress Association, which is calling on the Minns Government to endorse the Luddenham Village Strategy, declaring the time for excuses is over.

“Every day that this decision is delayed is jeopardising the Village’s future,” said Vice-President of the Association, Wayne Willmington.

“The community has lost faith in the Government’s election promise to finalise the plans for the Village and people are starting to leave. For the first time in a generation, Luddenham Public School will go down to just two classrooms.”

Luddenham Village is the only area in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis that was excluded from the finalised rezoning plans released by the NSW Government in March 2022.

A roadblock to implementing the strategy has been concerns about noise levels due to the proximity of Luddenham Village to the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.

The Commonwealth Government released the draft flight paths, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and its noise amelioration policy last year.

Willmington said after reviewing the Environmental Impact Statement, Luddenham Progress Association cannot see any reason why the Luddenham Village Plan can’t proceed.

Local constituents, together with Penrith and Liverpool Councils have previously expressed their support for a proposal aimed at increasing residential construction in the historic town.

“The Luddenham Village strategy addresses proactively the noise level concerns with all proposed new housing sitting outside of noise contours including the projected contours for 2063 when the airport is operating at full capacity,” he said.

“There are no more excuses – the NSW Minister for Planning has the information he needs to move forward and secure the future of Luddenham Village.”

In the lead-up to the last State Election, Labor promised to finalise a plan for Luddenham “as quickly as possible”.

But a spokesperson for the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure said the impacts of aircraft noise and the airport’s EIS were still being considered.

“The Department (DPHI) is developing a program for the delivery of the final Luddenham Village Plan,” the spokesperson said.

“The Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development released its draft Environmental Impact Statement which identifies changes to the flight paths for the Western Sydney Airport on 24 October 2023 with community feedback concluding on 31 January.

“This will have impacts on the noise modelling for Luddenham Village and DPHI will need to consider the EIS documentation with respect to future planning.

“The DPHI program will include milestones for community engagement and collaborating with state agencies and be informed by the consultations with the Commonwealth Government.”

Of those left in Luddenham, desperate to preserve and ultimately grow their iconic part of the world, it feels like more rhetoric with their future left in limbo.

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