NORTH Tamworth residents claim council did not adequately consult residents about lot resizing in the Hills Plain precinct.
Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) carried a motion increasing the density of the estate from 3100 lots to as many as 4000 parcels of land. The move was passed despite opposition from the affected community and two councillors.
TRC director of planning and compliance Peter Thompson said the lot size reduction would utilise the full capacity of sewerage and water infrastructure council had invested in, and believed the smaller lots would be more attractive.
“The developers are finding a large uptake particularly for 2000 square metre lots, but if it’s a vacant lot it depends on whoever the purchaser is,” Mr Thompson said.
Two residents from the precinct spoke in front of council raising issues with the potential to increase living density and the lack of communication on the change.
Browns Ln resident Gerard O’Connor spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting and said “there was no imperative for ad hoc changes”.
Mr O’Connor aired concern the “amendment hinged on optimum use of sewerage infrastructure”.
Sequoia Dr resident Andrew Geddes told TRC the availability of spacious lots was the reason for a number of residents moving to Hills Plain from town.
“But the biggest disappointment was unless Gerard [O’Connor] told me, I would have known nothing,” Mr Geddes said.
“It seems like it was pushed through as quick as possible so no one knew about it.”
Councillors Mark Rodda and Jim Maxwell voted against the motion, agreeing current owners had purchased the land in “good faith” and the area should stay low-density.
“I can recall parcels of land advertised as low density; that was a selling point,” Cr Rodda said.
“Despite infrastructure council has invested, we have changed the goal posts.”
Deputy mayor Helen Tickle said “we need to look at what the market wants”.
“Demand is there for 1000-2000 square metre lots,” Cr Tickle said.
Cr Glenn Inglis said it was not uncommon for masterplans to be adjusted and predicted plans might be changed again. The councillor also said the community “consultation was very poor”.