Call for more scrutiny of boarding houses

Story appeared in: Inner West Times | January 10th, 2018

BOARDING house controls will be tightened and aligned across Canterbury Bankstown, following inconsistencies after the amalgamation of the two local government areas.
In 2015, the former Bankstown council became the first local government area (LGA) in the state to use the courts to stop boarding houses being constructed in low-density residential areas, after introducing measures approved by the NSW Government.
The controls also addressed setbacks, solar access, accessibility, privacy, open space, landscaped areas and parking.
The former Canterbury council had no specific controls for boarding house development, relying on those contained in the NSW Government's 2009 Affordable Rental Housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), which allows for boarding houses in most residential areas and some business zones.
Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour said following the introduction of this SEPP, the number of approvals for boarding houses skyrocketed, with almost 700 rooms in 35 developments over the past nine years.
"Sole reliance on those controls has resulted in significant issues with boarding house development in Canterbury," Mayor Asfour said.
"That situation is about to change. We intend to align controls to create consistency for this form of development right across Canterbury Bankstown."
Canterbury Ward councillor, Linda Eisler said while scrutiny is needed, boarding houses play an important role in providing affordable housing in the Canterbury Bankstown area and should be encouraged in suitable areas.
There has been 15 applications in Canterbury Bankstown received this year, seven were refused, one withdrawn, and the remainder are still waiting decision.
Recently, Council won court cases where two three-level boarding houses were rejected for sites at Hurlstone Park, after they were found to be not compatible with the character of the local area. Council has won a further 28 court cases relating to all development this year, including 10 over the past two months.

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Publication: Inner West Times | Section: News | Author: Mark Kirkland | Story ID: 134018 | Viewcount: 6467