Future residential developments to look to new district plans for targets

“For the first time we have a long-term vision; not having just a short-term view, but a long-term goal,” CEO of the Greater Sydney Commission Sarah Hill said. Future residential projects in Sydney would have to follow targets within the Greater Sydney Commission’s newly released district plans, which include a 5 to 10 per cent affordable housing provision.

Residential developers must seek guidance first from the six district plans – Central, North, South, South West, West and West Central – because they will set the tone for local environmental plans, planning proposals, strategic land use and transport and infrastructure planning across local government areas.

“First and foremost, it is a very different approach. The district plans have a statutory approach and require LEPs to recognise what is in district plans,” Greater Sydney Commission chief executive Sarah Hill said.

“Right from day one, it will determine where development happens in our city.” The plans will require developers to build 5 to 10 per cent of their projects as affordable housing.

The “Affordable Rental Housing Target” in the plans will apply to land that is the subject of upzoning, such as a change of land use to residential or an increase in permissible residential development density.

It will not apply retrospectively to rezoning that has already occurred but only in new areas planned for urban development.

The targets will be announced prior to, or at the time of, rezoning and will apply to land within new urban renewal or land release areas.

They will be calculated as a proportion of all residential floor space above the base floor space ratio, that is, the residential floor space ratio that was permissible before the upzoning within the nominated area.

The plans also stipulate another 725,000 dwellings for Sydney in 20 years, with the highest at 202,500 in the West Central areas such as Blacktown, Parramatta and The Hills, followed by 157,500 in the central district which includes the CBD, Burwood and Waverley.  The lowest target is 41,500 in the west district such as Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith.

The six districts would also be split into three “cities” – the eastern, western and central cities – akin to a London, Birmingham and Manchester structure in the UK, Ms Hill added.

The Eastern City, the current CBD, is the established economic hub, the Western City will be centred around Badgerys Creek airport and the Parramatta-based Central City will be an administrative and business centre.

The district plans were first unveiled on Monday and will be exhibited until the end of March 2017.

AFR 21/11/2016 by Su-Lin Tan