Residents' opposition to high-rise buildings in Newcastle CBD strengthens

RESISTANCE to the state government's proposed new height limits for buildings in Newcastle's CBD is growing as hundreds of residents continue to oppose them.

Several high-rise apartment blocks are planned to be built by the state government's planning arm - UrbanGrowth NSW - in conjunction with part-owner GPT.

Although the public submission period on the height limits has closed, many residents say they will continue to fight and try to scale back the proposed plans.

A public meeting organised last Monday night by the Newcastle Inner City Residents Alliance was well attended by locals.

The alliance's spokesman, Brian Ladd, said the crowd was unhappy with the state government's lack of consultation.

"We had about 300 people attend the meeting on a cold, wintry night, which included nine former or current politicians at the federal, state and local levels," he said.

People who spoke at the meeting included former Newcastle federal MP Sharon Grierson, former Newcastle Greens councillor John Sutton and former Newcastle state member Bryce Gaudry.

Mr Ladd said the new proposed height limits were a major concern for the alliance, and were pushed through with just a few weeks notice.

"The state government didn't actively seek community involvement or carry out consultation to hear our concerns," he said.

Mr Ladd said the alliance was looking at long-term strategies to protect the character, heritage and scale of buildings in the city.

Fuel was added to the fire last week when Newcastle Greens councillor Michael Osborne called for the state government to remove itself from the planning process.

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