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The New South Wales Government's response to a Newcastle planning inquiry confirms the local council will only have a final say on limited developments on the old rail rail corridor and in the city's east.
The Upper House inquiry into controversial planning decisions made two findings and nine recommendations.
The Government's response to the inquiry brushes off the recommendation to retain the city's heavy rail line, and to reduce building heights in Newcastle East.
The Government said both are key revitalisation projects, as is light rail and the Wickham transport interchange.
Committee members called for a peer review report into the rail line's truncation, and for it to be retained.
In its response, the Government said Newcastle Council will play a lead role in determining any future land use on the former rail corridor.
But the report acknowledges developments in the east end, worth more than $20 million, will ultimately be approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
In the Honeysuckle precinct, council is limited to approving works under $10 million as developments there are deemed state significant if their worth exceeds that figure.
The Government has also responded to a call for approved Newcastle East building heights to be reduced around the Cathedral.
Mr Shoebridge said council's role will be minuscule.
"They're saying the level of government closest to the people, the city council, will only decide if you like the crumbs that fall off the developer table.
"The really big developments, the main course of development in Newcastle is going to be decided by state government dominated planning bodies and by Macquarie Street and that is bad for democracy and it's bad for Newcastle."
The report said height limits were set in response to community views in an open and transparent process.
In its response, the Government talked up its level of consultation.
But Greens MP and inquiry committee member David Shoebridge said the Government is moving ahead with the rail line's truncation, against the wishes of the majority of the people.
"This is the Government ignoring the evidence and ignoring the will of the people who live in the Hunter and Newcastle," he said.
"Before the election they said that this state election would be a referendum in the Hunter on the rail line.
"Well, they were comprehensively trounced in the election, thrown out of office in the Hunter, but they still want to persist."
The Premier Mike Baird has signed off on the response, but has declined to comment.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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