In December 2014, we outlined the key elements of the NSW Government’s ‘Metropolitan Strategy – A Plan for Growing Sydney’ to deliver land, infrastructure, housing and employment growth to meet the demand of almost 6 million people by 2036. The Strategy covers extensive ground, including: urban renewal corridors; recognition of vital international gateways; continuation on the theme of transport infrastructure investment; reaffirming Western Sydney as the frontier of continued growth and expansion; as well as outlying investigation areas (Macarthur South).
We now focus our attention to the independent role of the Greater Sydney Commission to facilitate growth and how it intends to work with 41 local councils in six new sub-regions.
41 local government areas are spilt into the following six sub-regions:
Central – Ashfield, Botany Bay, Burwood, Canada Bay, Leichhardt, Marrickville, Randwick, Strathfield, City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra
West Central – Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Holroyd, Parramatta, The Hills
West – Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Penrith
North – Hornsby, Hunter’s Hill, Ku-Ring-Gai, Lane Cove, Manly, Mosman, North Sydney, Pittwater, Ryde, Warringah, Willoughby
South West – Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Wollondilly
South – Canterbury, Hurstville, Kogarah, Rockdale, Sutherland.
The Commission will be located within NSW Planning and Environment and its Board will report directly to the Minister for Planning. Board representation will comprise of independent, state agency and local government membership. A strong emphasis on consultation and communication is expected of the Commission to develop and implement sub-regional plans to deliver the Plan for Growing Sydney.
NSW legislation to introduce the Commission is expected to be finalised mid-2015. Although the Commission is yet to be legally ratified, the role of the Commission will be managed by a Ministerial Advisory Council in the interim. NSW Planning and Environment is currently recruiting advisory personnel to work with the Commission board members and stakeholders.
These new strategic arrangements resonate the intent of the NSW Government’s Planning Reform Program to be more consultative up-front with local people in formulating strategic plans for local communities where Everyone gets a say and to provide Certainty in the planning process.
Under the new planning hierarchy that includes sub-regional, local and new community plans, the Commission will take a leading role in the partnership of key stakeholders to Consult with communities so ‘everyone gets a say’
The most significant output for development will be the Sub-regional delivery plans, and how they categorise certain areas, including specific land parcels and strategic themes such as centres, employment lands and housing.
Sub-regional plans will:
- Identify locations for new housing, employment, and infrastructure
- Nominate specific areas suitable for rezoning to cater for growth
- Protect heritage areas and natural resources
- Identify local environmental land and open spaces
- Identify new and improved services, including public transport
- Establish a delivery and monitoring program
Sub-regional plans will influence the process to justify land rezoning in future. Consent Authorities are legally obliged under Ministerial Directions to be consistent with these plans when considering a planning proposal to rezone land or alter development standards including FSR and height.
It is essential that industry stakeholders and land holders actively engage with the Commission as part of the sub-regional plan preparation process to ensure they are flexible and responsive to the market.
We look forward to working with our clients and colleagues to establish the land use implications and opportunities that the Plan and future Sub-regional plans presents.