Airport warns of flight path housing deferral
Stephen Byron. Photo: Lyn Mills
Canberra Airport says the New South Wales government appears to be deferring, not banning, residential development under noisier sections of a flight path south of the airport at Tralee.
But late on Monday a NSW Planning and Infrastructure spokesman said this was not the case.
He said housing would only be allowed well beyond the noisier sections.
Last week NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard announced Tralee's rezoning, saying it was a win for the developer and for the airport, because it allowed 2000 homes, but well outside aircraft noise contours known as Australian Noise Exposure Forecasts (ANEF).
Set by the federal government, the restriction allows housing up to 25 ANEF.
Mr Hazzard said the NSW government had focused Tralee's development in low noise areas outside the 20 ANEF.
Airport managing director Stephen Byron said advice he received yesterday contradicted Mr Hazzard.
''The brief letter from the acting director general of planning is the first actual formal advice we have received on the matter,'' he said.
In that advice, the acting director general says: ''I have decided to defer those lands between the 20 and the 25 Australian Noise Exposure Forecast contours.''
Mr Byron said the airport had suspected from the moment the announcement was made ''under cover of Melbourne Cup Day last week'' that the remaining land in the area would not be protected from development.
''And the fact that this section of the development has been only 'deferred' is evidence that the NSW government, hand in hand with the developer, has every intention of making it open slather in that area.''
A NSW Planning and Infrastructure spokesman said the land was currently zoned rural and environmental protection. It would be rezoned for non-residential use only.
Mr Byron said simply to defer the development would mean it would come later, and if that bit came later there would be nothing to stop the building of up to 6000 houses originally planned there.
''While making the obvious point that aircraft noise does not stop at some invisible line as the minister seems to think, the inevitable outcome will be more and more complaints about aircraft noise, noise sharing across Canberra and Queanbeyan and a curfew which will utterly curtail Canberra Airport's long-term growth plans,'' he said.
Developer Village Building still has an option, subject to planning approval, to develop Environa, another parcel of land near Tralee.
Last week Village managing director Bob Winnel said the company was not looking at it at this stage and was focused on Tralee.
''We really don't want to get into it, if anything comes up we will debate it at that time.''