The fight to ensure Toongabbie remains “a bloody good place” to live stepped up on Saturday.
Around 200 residents attended a community meeting to voice their concerns about a proposal to rezone an existing leisure centre and disused tennis courts on Tucks Road.
More than 80 units up to four storeys are proposed to be built as part of a mixed used development that would also include indoor and outdoor recreation facilities.
Seven Hills MP Mark Taylor has joined the community fight and vowed to ensure the area remains a “bloody good place to live.”
“I’ll argue this campaign with you every step of the way side by side, shoulder to shoulder,” he told residents.
“I believe in appropriate development, just not in inappropriate places.”
The site is 1.1 kilometres from the closest transport hubs- Toongabbie train station and the Johnsons T-Way bus stop.
Traffic, flooding and the area’s predominantly low density character were outlined as major reasons of why the rezoning shouldn’t proceed.
Resident of 36 years Paul Battersby described the council's traffic assessment for the proposal as inadequate.
“The site is not in a location that would maximise public transport usage and encourage walking and cycling, principle objectives for a B4 mixed use zone,” Mr Battersby said.
“These aren’t my views, they’re the council’s stated objectives.”
Another resident Diana added:
“We’ve lived on Tucks Road for 12 years. I’m not against what’s existing there. I oppose the unknown in that the site could become become anything. Up to 300 people could be living at the site.”
As the mother of two state junior squash champions, Michelle Garrard acknowledged concerns about the units but encouraged fellow Toongabbie residents to consider the community benefits a redeveloped leisure centre may have.
“The gym isn’t the problem,” Stop Tucks Road Units committee spokeswoman Wendy Lazanas said. “It’s what else that’s going there.”
Parramatta Council administrator Amanda Chadwick also attended and vowed to bring residents’ concerns to the attention of council staff.
A broad cross-section of long term and new residents attended the meeting.
“New people want to come to Toongabbie because they want to live the lifestyle we’ve come to know and love,” Mrs Lazanas said.
Residents have until June 30 to lodge a submission with Parramatta Council.
“This is our community that’s at stake. What’s needed now is action,” Mrs Lazanas said.