Monday, September 27, 2004

State lets go of planning powers

The Carr government has now announced it will not be stripping planning powers from Council. This followed Friday's Herald story which said Council's General Manager Robert Domm had arttacked Deputy Mayor John McInerney, accusing him of being secretly in league with a move to expand the South Sydney Development Corporation.

By Saturday the scenario had suddenly reversed.

We still can't make sense of it all -- the SSDC presided over the Green Square development in which 14,080 apartments were built and, we are told, floor space ratios (FSRs) ended up 300% higher than the original plans. This is great for developers but bad for everyone else.

Council, on the other hand, applies a certainty principle -- under which developments must conform to set FSRs and height limits with no trade-offs allowed.

If John McInerney was facilitating Council's acquiescence to a bigger SSDC, as Robert Domm seems to think, this would be absolutely opposed to council policy and McInerney's own vision of a city of urban villages.

Something smells in the state of Denmark. And for a senior public servant to attack a councillor is also very unusual. Many people are asking why Clover Moore hasn't taken firm action against Domm over the attack.

Whatever is going on, greater profits for developers is sure to be a major factor driving some of the protagonists. But which ones?

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