One of the last pockets of rural residential land in the city's west is poised to be carved up into 49 small residential lots in what has been described as over development and an act of greed.
Residents living in The Acreages at Aberglasslyn are seething over the proposal which was supported by Maitland councillors at a recent meeting and sent to the State Government to be rubber stamped.
The proposed rezoning from Large Lot Residential to General Residential has left Maitland Councillor Henry Meskauskas (the only councillor to vote against the rezoning plan) seeing red, describing the act as a greedy grab by developers.
"This will impact on families who bought in The Acreages," he said. "It will change their lifestyle, their lives and see them swallowed up into suburbia.
"They bought there for the rural lifestyle and have big mortgages. If this goes ahead it will devalue their properties. There are a lot of angry residents out there."
The land in question links Denton Park Drive at Aberglasslyn with the Hunter River at Melville Ford.
Formerly known as Denton Park Farm, the 20-hectare site will be carved up into building blocks - some as small as 450 square metres yielding developers four times the number of lots they would have received should the land stay in its current large lot zoning.
"The only winners will be the developers and council making big bucks from the higher lot yield and development applications," Cr Meskauskas said. "The west is struggling to cope with the huge volume of traffic now let alone approving another 49 housing lots. There will be more people, more cars and inadequate infrastructure."
A spokesperson for residents in the area said a petition is circulating protesting the proposal and will be presented to council and the state government.
The spokesperson said residents have big mortgages yet stand to lose at least $300,000 on the value of their properties should this be approved.
"There were larger lot estates which ran either side of Denton Park Farm.
'We never expected they would try to put general residential down the middle," the spokesperson said.
"We all bought here thinking all surrounding properties would be acreages.
"Now we are concerned about the market value. We have nothing against development but the land use needs to be appropriate," the spokesperson said. "Properties in this area are selling for between $800,000 and $1million.
"There will be impacts in the streets which are quite narrow and already busy and rat runs will be created."
Council's Manager Strategic Planning Andrew Neil said: "Council endorsed a planning proposal for land on Denton Park Drive, Aberglasslyn, to be forwarded to the Minister for Planning for a gateway determination.
"If a favourable response is received, council will place the item on public exhibition, at which time the community would be able to provide submissions on the proposal," Mr Neil said.
A council report from the meeting of March 12, said the rezoning proposal would facilitate development of the site for urban residential purposes, consistent with the surrounding subdivision pattern and road network.
"The proposal is consistent with the planning objectives of the Hunter Regional Plan 2036, Greater Metropolitan Plan 2036, Maitland Urban Settlement Strategy and relevant State Environmental Planning Policies and local planning directions," the planner's report said.
"These growth strategies all promote compact urban environments underpinned by the planning principle of efficient and sustainable use of essential infrastructure and land," the report said.
Cr Meskauskas said he has spoken with Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison in a bid to start a campaign to block the proposal. "I'm not in favour of this and am disappointed none of the other councillors voted with me."