NSW announces plans to fast-track Sydney's priority precincts


The NSW Government has announced plans to fast-track the delivery of Sydney’s priority precincts.

In a statement, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the new approach would clear the decks of planning proposals stuck in the system, refocus the State’s efforts and empower councils to plan strategically.

“Sydney’s population is growing rapidly and this is our plan to fast-track the creation of great new places, from Camden to Crows Nest, Wilton to Westmead,” Mr Stokes said.

“Sydney’s population is growing rapidly and this is our plan to fast-track the creation of great new places, from Camden to Crows Nest, Wilton to Westmead,” Mr Stokes said.

"Our new approach clears the way forward to deliver more than 50 new precincts right across the city"

Mr Stokes said the NSW Government would lead some precincts directly, work collaboratively with councils on others or put councils in charge where a shared vision for growth is agreed.

Local Government NSW has welcomed the new arrangements. President Linda Scott said the sector had campaigned long and hard to have planning powers restored to communities.

“This has been one of LGNSW’s key advocacy priorities, and it is pleasing that the Planning Minister and the NSW Government have heeded these calls,” Cr Scott said.

“There can be no doubt we get better results when both tiers of government work together in equal partnership, as agreed in the Intergovernmental Agreement recently signed with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock.

“Councils are looking forward to working collaboratively with the State Government, and with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to deliver the zoning decisions that can best deliver public good to our communities.”

Planning powers will only be restored in specific areas: Leppington Town Centre, Horsley Park, Riverstone West, Schofields Town Centre and Marsden Park Town Centre, along with Elizabeth­ St Redfern, South Eveleigh, Waterloo Estate, Riverwood, Franklyn St Glebe and Cowper St Glebe.

Under the plan, councils will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding to ensure precincts are delivered quickly and as agreed.

“Councils are highly conscious of delivering the best outcomes: well-planned development instead of over-development; construction that can be trusted by home-buyers making their largest ever investment, neighbourhoods that bring people together rather than alienating them from each other.

“As we have all discovered, this can sometimes take longer than developers would like.

“Sydneysiders have learnt only too well that rushed development – often promoted through the guise of ‘less red tape’ carries very real risk not just to innocent buyers, but to the credibility of the market itself.

“No-one – not councils, not the State Government, not developers and certainly not homebuyers – wants the Opal and Mascot Towers debacles repeat," Cr Scott said.

Image: Leppington Town Centre - Source: East Village Leppington

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