Draft North Subregional Strategy Released

The NSW Department of Planning has released the Draft North Subregional Strategy.



The NSW Government is placing the draft North Subregional Strategy on exhibition for public comment. When finalised, the Subregional Strategy will guide land use-planning until 2031 in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai local government areas.


The Department of Planning says the draft strategy:


  • provides a framework for councils to ensure there is capacity for 21,000 new dwellings by 2031 and 13,500 new jobs by 2031;
  • identifies places for future growth;
  • outlines the requirements for a mix of housing types; and
  • provides a detailed guide for councils.

This draft subregional strategy follows the recent exhibition of the draft East, North and Inner North subregional strategies.


Unfortunately at least some of the problems with these earlier draft subregional strategies also appear in this draft subregional strategy.  Our central criticism of the earlier draft strategies was their failure to pay any significant attention to the retail needs of Sydney over the next 25 years.  Our submission (which can be downloaded here) included analysis by respected property economics and urban planning consultancy Hill PDA which shows that the Sydney metropolitan area will need an additional four million square metres of occupied retail space by 2031 – a 50 per cent increase over current levels.


Where retail is mentioned in the earlier draft strategies, it is usually in the context of preventing it or capping it.  For example, in the case of local centres, the prescriptive hierarchy proposed strangles the development of vibrant retail areas. The limitation of “villages” to one “small supermarket” and banning supermarkets in “small villages” and “neighbourhood centres” is outdated 1950s planning and clearly does not cater for modern consumer demands.


At least some of these problems are repeated in this subregional strategy. Not only is there inadequate provision for growth, but some existing local centres may have a more restricted zoning under the proposed hierarchy. For example, Cherrybrook, St Ives and Turramurra are named as villages, which may only have one “small supermarket”, but each currently has two supermarkets.


Lindfield and Berowra are named as “small villages” (which are not supposed to have any supermarket), but both already have a supermarket. The draft subregional strategy is currently being reviewed by the NSW Urban Taskforce and a detailed submission will be made.


If any members wish to contribute to this submission, please contact Aaron Gadiel by Friday 21 December 2007 on 9238 3955 or by e-mail. Alternatively, members can make a submission directly to the Department of Planning by Friday 8 February 2008 in one of the following ways:


The Department of Planning Information centre can be contacted on +611300305695. The subregional strategy is available on the web here.