Mittagong development 'unnecessary'

THE state government's proposal to rezone land in Mittagong for residential development has revealed a divided community of the "haves" and the "have-nots".

Planning Minister Brad Hazzard's proposal to bypass councils in developing 43 landowner-nominated sites, including 75 hectares on Mary Street, Mittagong was an attempt to meet demand for affordable housing on the outskirts of Sydney.

Century 21 Mittagong's Arvo Pikkat said the government would flood the market with land in order to keep the prices down.

He said it was a good idea, though not everyone wanted it.

"The government has got to provide for the masses, not the minorities," he said.

"You've got to remember the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'.

"The 'have-nots' are all these young people coming through, the people that are struggling to save enough money to buy because they pay high rents.

"The 'haves' are the ones that don't want development to happen because they've already got their house. It's all these old blokes in their 60s, but they've had their period."

Bowral real estate agent and former councillor, Nick Campbell-Jones, agreed saying there were a lot of very wealthy people living in the Highlands who did not want it to develop.

Wingecarribee Council's Planning director Scott Lee said subdividing the land in Mittagong was unnecessary because the council had enough land planed for development to meet demand.

"There's three major areas of land at the moment that are well advanced.

"So there's opportunity out there, council's doing what it should be doing and providing that.

"You've only got to look at Renwick, Natai Ponds in Braemar and the 400 lots in the Broughton St precinct, Moss Vale that are zoned and ready to go," he said.

"I can't see the need for the state to come charging in and push us out of the way when they promised they wouldn't."

He said an increase in population required a lot of strategic planning taking into account jobs, parking, schooling, roads and footpaths, open spaces, community services and upgrading the sewerage treatment plant.

"A few choices is good but we're reaching the conclusion now that we're not badly placed for a little while and that gives us some time to do things properly and our infrastructure needs," he said.

Wingecarribee Council has until late February to provide feedback on the proposal.