It has been published several times by the Maitland Mercury during the last couple of years that the 35 hectares of council-owned land at Rutherford, bordered by Denton Park Drive, Adam Avenue and Weblands Street, has been earmarked for housing development.
One of those times, being April 25, 2011 when Cr Ray Fairweather was quoted as saying that on April 27, 2011, Maitland City Council meeting would move a motion calling for public expressions of interest for the purchase or joint development of the above mentioned land which was (and to my knowledge still is) zoned residential.
What did surprise me is the overwhelming response in favour of retaining that bit of land as it is and the number of people unaware of council’s agenda.
At least nine out of 10 people living along the perimeters and even further away, when asked how they felt about the council’s intention, expressed anger and disappointment, as they feel that it is good to have some open space between houses.
When the residents along Weblands Street bought their blocks they were assured by the council and the real estate agents that the land would remain open space for people wild birds and other native animals to enjoy.
For whatever reason, Maitland City Council have changed their minds.
It’s obvious that the current method of informing the residents of council’s intentions, is not efficient enough.
If Maitland councillors are serious about serving their constituents, perhaps they should put on their walking shoes and talk to the people they represents, knock on their doors as I have done and tell them of council’s
intentions. I am sure they’ll be surprised by what people have to say.
It’s the right of every ratepayer to be happy with the kind of environment they live in and it’s the council’s responsibility to provide it for them.