Greater Darwin Plan Scuttles the Darwin Town Plan Values - A Densification BulldozerOn the morning of 1 March, 2012, Chief Minister Paul Henderson announced his Greater Darwin PLan for our beautiful tropical city by one of the best natural harbours in the world. It introduces chaos, and leaves residents living in uncertainty.
Largely as a result of having attracted INPEX LNG Plant here, the Northern Territory Government (NTG) expects Darwin to grow at an exponential rate. We have already been experiencing housing shortages, with unaffordable rents and home prices. However, this is not the answer Darwin residents need, or can tolerate.
Our old Darwin Town Plan set the minimum size for the single dwelling (SD) house lot in Darwin at 800 square metres for tropical living.
The NTPS also lists this as a minimum size lot for a house. This size was a step down from earlier minimums of 1000 square metres and 1200 square metres still much sought appreciated in suburbs like Nightcliff.
Most of Darwin was planned in the days of the Commonwealth administration, up to 1978.
The Northern Territory Planning Scheme (NTPS) was introduced in 2007, supposedly to have Territory wide uniform effect. Since that time, it has been amended over 200 times. Its greatest impact has been through through special conditions (SU's) for suburban developers.
New housing in Palmerston was on much smaller lots. than in Darwin. The NTG had become dependent on developers for new suburbs, IT agreed to smaller lots for projects oh more than 50 homes. That later spread to Lyons and now Muirhead.
Planning means planning for appropriate uses in appropriate places and relationships. Needed are areas for various types of residential, commercial, industrial, community uses, such as schools, tertiary education, aged care, hospitals, libraries, museums, community centres, child care centres, youth drop ins, etc., and parks for sport and recreation, and environmental conservation. Infrastructure is essential, and planning must respect land capability constrains such as water supplies and storm surge.
Darwin suburbs each have their own character. People choose the amenity of the place where they purchase or live.
The Henderson Greater Darwin Plan brings home the insecurity thrust this year on rural dwellers, to your own suburb.
We have already seen a series of spot rezonings for multiple dwellings and apartment blocks. Now we face dual occupancy before its ramifications have been thought out.
Your way of life would be destroyed if two or three neighbours go for dual occupancies for profit in this plan, or if there is a deceased estate. Trees and gardens are at risk, as is tropical design, as houses closer together will need airconditioning.
We have already seen rezonings of Community Purposes land for residential projects, as by Charles Darwin University at Palmerston. Exceptional Development Permit (EDP) applications have become the rage, In Conigrave Street, Fannie Bay, the NTG has already approved an EDP for two four bedroom houses side by side on one lot, despite objections.
Strange that Department of Planning staff assert that such changes based on policy, some of which predate actual amendments to the NTPS, will not increase density, nor affect the amenity of particular suburbs, precincts or neighbourhoods.
This is not good planning.
THE COMMUNITY MUST HAVE ITS SAY ON THIS THREAT TO OUR WAY OF DARWIN'S UNIQUE TROPICAL WAY OF LIFE.
For more information, visit our Shop 23 in the Rapid Creek Business Village in Trower Road, Rapid Creek.
We are open Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-5 pm. In addition, we will also be open on Sunday, March 4 and 11 12noon-3pm to discuss these issues.
IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN HELPING ORGANISE A PUBLIC MEETING IN THEIR AREA, PLEASE CONTACT US, ASAP.