Residents Stave Off Damaging Development
LOCAL residents of Manning Waters have successfully negotiated for the department of housing to pull out of building medium-high density housing at the Taree West estate.
Residents learnt in mid-September that NSW Land and Corporation (NSW Department of Housing) had planned to buy several blocks of land in the estate for the purpose of community housing.
Residents quickly mobilised to protest what could have been a large number of medium-high density units, which they said were totally out of character with the current development.
The community formed the Manning Waters Action Group, comprising about 100 concerned residents, and got to work lobbying the NSW housing minister and the local State and federal members of parliament as well as Stefcal Pty Ltd, one of the estate’s developers from the Central Coast.
The homeowners were concerned that higher density housing would increase traffic flows and would be built outside strict building covenants, which every other resident has had to comply with when constructing their own homes within the estate.
Many families have bought into the quiet estate for only those reasons.
With the assistance of Justin Stack of Stacks The Law Firm, the group successfully negotiated with the developer Stefcal to purchase the blocks in place of the housing department.
Once an agreement was in place, the hardest task for the action group began ? actually finding three private purchasers willing to buy the land at short notice.
Alister Currie of The Professionals Real Estate came on board and rallied to help.
At one stage, when a third buyer couldn’t be found, the action group members decided they would each contribute their own funds and purchase the land together, raising $160,000 in funds in just over an hour.
“Raising these funds at one of our meetings really showed how passionate the residents were about this issue, and the lengths they were willing to go to, to preserve the estate,” spokesperson for the action group Belinda Crossingham said.
Luckily for the residents, a gracious person from within the estate came forward at the last minute offering to purchase the land ? thus relieving the need of others to raid their savings.
“We will be forever grateful and can’t thank them enough,” Mrs Crossingham said.
“Some of the residents were going to take out personal loans, use credit cards, even extend their own mortgages, so it was a huge relief to many.”
Each member of the group made a $50 donation at the beginning of the campaign to help cover costs.
After disbursements are paid, the group intends to make a donation of $850 to the children’s ward at Manning Hospital.
Ultimately, the best possible outcome for the residents of Manning Waters Estate was achieved.
The four spokespeople for the action group ? Belinda Crossingham, Michael Cross, Alex Cosway and Juanita Murnane ? thanked Stacks The Law Firm, Walker Legal and The Professionals Real Estate for their assistance.
“A huge thank you also to the residents for their support throughout the whole ordeal,” Mrs Crossingham said.
“They believed in us and we were able to deliver, it is a win for our area.”