Proposed new planning laws
As a regular visitor to the New England area and Armidale in particular from Sydney, I always enjoy the contrast between a noisy, cluttered city environment and the open spaces and relative quiet or a rural area.
Despite planning laws being designed to provide a greater community input into local planning laws, it is disturbing to note the tone of recent statements from Developer groups that warn that local communities are â€œrisk averseâ€ and may hamper future developments.
Most people live in country areas because they treasure the freedom and lifestyle resulting from more open spaces and low density housing. It is to be hoped that rural and regional communities muster sufficient enthusiasm and voices to articulate their desires and fight off any attempt by developers to establish city style development such as multistorey units and high density housing with their inherent noise and congestion.
While developers extol the virtue of development in purely economic terms, there is a wider social impact to be considered and it would be a shame if the true â€œAustralianâ€ nature of our rural communities was lost.