Greater Sydney Commission approach to industrial land is too narrow

The recent Greater Sydney Commission policy on industrial and urban services land across Sydney is too narrow in its scope says the Urban Taskforce.

An ‘Information Note’ and a policy document from the Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) ‘Thought Leadership Series’ titled A Metropolis that works outlines the GSC’s policy on employments lands and advises planning authorities to take a very narrow view of land use across metropolitan Sydney.” Says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson “The advice is issued in a pre-election environment where concerns have been expressed by some community groups about the extent of apartment development in Sydney. While the GSC’s policy picks up on the Greater Sydney Region Plan objective on industrial and urban services land it does not refer to the exception to the objective for the Parramatta Road area as outlined on page 133 of the Region Plan.  This leaves land owners in an uncertain position on the relevance of the Parramatta Road Corridor Urban Transformation Strategy which gave clear envelopes and new uses for current industrial land in the corridor.”

“The GSC document implies that there is a significant shortage of industrial land across Sydney but major areas are planned for industrial use south west of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, the extension to the Western Sydney Employment Hub and areas of proposed industrial land in the North West and South West of Sydney. These land areas need to be released.”

“The Urban Taskforce believes that the proposed ‘retain and manage’ approach to industrial land in the Eastern City is too restrictive and will eliminate many sites that could provide large precinct developments that incorporated jobs, infrastructure including parks, child care, health and community centres and residential development. Community concerns about the extent of apartment development in Sydney can be partly resolved by incorporating infrastructure, parks and community services for education and health within a mixed use development. An example is East Village in Zetland that incorporates a car service centre, a medical centre, a Montessori Academy and a supermarket as well as a sky park and 206 apartments. Another example is Central Park on Broadway where child care, health centres, parks and community facilities are provided along with the apartments.”

The Urban Taskforce proposes a new approach to balancing Sydney’s growth along with the need for urban services and industrial uses as outlined in our 6 point plan:

  1. Ensure that at least 10,000 hectares of industrial land is zoned in North West and South West Sydney and around the Aerotropolis.
  2. Release fifty percent of the Retain and Manage industrial land in the Eastern City and the Central City for mixed use development that includes urban service uses.
  3. Identify industrial land in the Eastern City and the Central City that is economically unviable but would provide sites for mixed use precincts with significant housing as well as jobs.
  4. Develop a more detailed analysis of urban service uses that are compatible with mixed use development and define the percentage of job producing areas within mixed use zoning.
  5. Develop a more detailed analysis of industrial uses and their preferred location in the city including freight and logistics.
  6. Establish a high level assessment body to give guidance to land owners and developers on which lands are appropriate for mixed use development that includes urban services.

“The Urban Taskforce is developing its own Thought Leadership Report on the changing nature of jobs in metropolitan Sydney and where industrial and urban service jobs are best located. The report will also look at ways to diffuse the current concerns about new apartment development by proposing an approach that can provide infrastructure and community uses with a mixed use development that also includes jobs.”

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