AFFORDABLE good quality housing is urgently needed in Penrith.
On Monday the state Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, cited North Penrith’s new housing estate, Thornton, as an example of what could be done.
‘‘In Thornton we have new homes that are affordable and in the centre of things,’’ Mr Hazzard said.
He said buyers had shown interest in all types of homes in Thornton, including smaller scale ones, which suggested that not everyone was after the traditional quarter-acre block.
He was speaking at an Urban Growth NSW conference, titled ‘‘Home’’, in Penrith.
ABC broadcaster and comedian James O’Loghlin introduced the conference speakers and shared some of his own thoughts on the subject: ‘‘The theme of this conference is ‘home’, a word with rich connotations; it evokes comfort,’’ O’Loghlin said.
‘‘Having ‘home’ as the theme focuses attention not just on the structure of the buildings, but what they are for.’’
Urban Growth chairman John Brogden said greater Sydney needed at least 25,000 new homes built each year to meet expected demand. He said without that, more people could not afford to buy a home or even to rent one.
‘‘What are the barriers to urban growth?’’ he asked.
‘‘We know some locations are missing infrastructure and sometimes there is local opposition to development.’’
He said the private sector should drive development but his department would involve itself where it could help resolve problems.
Mr Hazzard said more land had been rezoned for residential development but not enough was coming to market.
‘‘Urban Growth is tasked with a new approach; it’s there to facilitate the growth we need,’’ Mr Hazzard said. ‘‘The government is also looking at getting job opportunities and homes to go together.’’ He said his department and the government were committed to wide community consultation, so more land could be released and more housing built sooner.