October 19, 2018

After being involved with Pitt Town for 22 years, we have now resolved to complete our current subdivision work over the next six months and then leave Pitt Town permanently and move on to other projects.

We do this with great regret and against our wishes. We would like very much to stay on, keep developing the area and complete the final stages of Pitt Town including the boat ramp, carpark, part of the flood evacuation route, stormwater drainage infrastructure and part of the river foreshore work. Unfortunately, we are unable to do so because of our exclusion from the Thornton Precinct, being the fifth and final precinct of the State Government Approved Concept Plan. As explained in the last open letter we sent to the people of Pitt Town in June of this year, our exclusion from the Thornton Precinct means we have no choice but to leave the delivery of key community assets in the hands of the landowners and Council because those works are connected to that final precinct.

If you want us to stay and keep going till its all finished, there is something that the community can do about it. There is something that Hawkesbury Council can do about it. Read below under the heading “what you can do” and download this document for details about who to contact and how. You need to let them know!

 

OUR HISTORY IN PITT TOWN

My team and I are immensely proud of what we’ve achieved in Pitt Town and the community we’ve helped build. I literally risked everything for this development. Delivering what we have over the years has involved a major investment of time and an enormous amount of personal sacrifice and financial risk but after many years the results speak for themselves.

Our considerable investment in the design, approvals and construction of a range of important service infrastructure items and community assets has not only supported the expansion of Pitt Town but also ensured security of supply of essential services for homeowners and businesses in the existing village. As those who lived here when we arrived in 1996 will remember, that supply was very uncertain back then.

Johnson Property Group’s investment in servicing and infrastructure in Pitt Town has not only enabled delivery of our residential sites but has also greatly facilitated other developers entering Pitt Town in recent years. They have benefited immensely by being able to deliver their housing projects without the extra financial and time burden we faced in laying the considerable groundwork for an expanded Pitt Town.

Since we took our first sites to market, we have continued to set sales records for the area and this has had a positive flow-on effect on the value of all land holdings in and around Pitt Town. As such, every landowner has benefitted.

We last sent an open letter to the residents of Pitt Town in June. Since then, we continue to wait for Council’s approval to complete the drainage works in Wells Street and deliver stormwater infrastructure on land acquired by Council on 44 Mitchell Road. It is a shame it has taken more than two-and-a-half years from the time the Stormwater Contributions Plan was finalised in February 2016 until now. Even as of today, the timing for Council to issue approvals remains unknown and the consequence has been the scattering of temporary stormwater infrastructure and basins across the landscape resulting in several million dollars of unnecessary project expense and untimely deferment of saleable land.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO GET IT FINISHED

The landowners of the Thornton Precinct appear to have little interest in completing this final precinct and the public works associated with it. It could be another decade!

Johnson Property Group have been ready, willing and able to do so for years.

Hawkesbury Council have the power to make this happen. How?

Under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, all Councils have the power to acquire privately owned land to ensure delivery of public infrastructure and to resell any land surplus to those requirements. We have been relaying this message to Hawkesbury Council regularly since February 2016 but to date Council has not pursued this as a way of achieving this infrastructure outcome thereby turning their back on this opportunity to complete the full picture we all envisioned for Pitt Town.

If, like us, you want to see these key elements – the boat ramp and carpark, part of the flood evacuation route, stormwater drainage infrastructure and continuation of the Hawkesbury River foreshore open space – delivered in a timely manner, it is not too late. Council has the power to make it happen and we encourage you to make verbal and written representations to each and every Hawkesbury Councillor, as well as to Council’s General Manager, Peter Conroy. As stated, the Council has powers to ensure this public infrastructure is delivered, and if you want it to be, you need to call on them to use those powers.

If Johnson Property Group was given the opportunity to be involved in this final precinct and ensure delivery of these public assets, we would certainly give it serious consideration, but the only way that will happen is if Council makes it happen which, at this point-in-time does not appear likely without the community pushing for it.

 

So, for the time being, we say thank you and farewell to the residents of Pitt Town and wish you all the very best for the future.

 

Kind regards,

Keith Johnson
Managing Director
Johnson Property Group

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