WHILE Hawkesbury residents last week received a letterbox drop protesting against a 10,000 plot Muslim cemetery proposal in Blaxlands Ridge, residents of Riverstone are facing their own controversy surrounding a Halal housing project in the heart of the close knit community.
Qartaba Homes has announced subdivision plans to build 150 residential lots in Riverstone and 30 in Schofields, despite the fact plans are yet to be lodged with Blacktown City Council.
The company promotes the land to be 100 per cent Halal housing, which offers interest-free lending for interested buyers from any faith or denomination.
However there are claims that almost all the land has been booked by interested buyers already.
The interest-free offer means Islamic buyers avoid ‘‘riba’’ or debt with interest, which is against Islamic law.
Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly said he felt concern on the matter was premature with Blacktown Council yet to receive a development application.
However he did say he would only support a development that was made available to an entire population.
“We all know that right through Riverstone there will be new developments, new subdivisions and housing, and most people within the community are looking forward to that,” Mr Conolly said.
“If this application is in fact lodged with Council it will have to meet stringent planning requirements and laws, there is no doubt about that.
“I do however believe this kind of development would need to be available to the whole population, not just some and not others.
“Qartaba Homes said they do in fact plan on making the land available to anyone, so if they keep their word I can’t see any concern with the development.
Residents around Blaxlands Ridge received a letterbox drop urging them to send submissions to Hawkesbury Council regarding an application for a 10,000 plot Muslim cemetery in Packer Road.
The flyer reminds residents the period for public comment had been extended to January 25.
The unnamed publishers of the flyer “strongly oppose” the application for various reasons including that the site is a sandstone region; water runoff will affect wildlife and the fact the proposal was opposite Wollemi National Park.