More land ‘released’

12 July 2011

The NSW Government today announced that agreements have been reached under the “precinct acceleration protocol” with the two landowners in the Western Sydney growth centres. This means the land will be formally declared “released” and enables more detailed precinct planning to occur. However, an actual subdivision cannot take place until precinct planning has been completed, land rezoned and development approval granted.


According to the government, the land will be sufficient to build about 13,000 new homes. Marsden Park, where the proponent is Winten, has the potential for around 10,000 new homes, a town centre with 30,000 square metres of retail space and 50 hectares for public recreation.


Catherine Field will have the capacity for around 3,000 new dwellings and employment land. In this case, the agreement has apparently been only reached with Valad. This suggests that the precinct acceleration protocol can now be used for parts of precincts, whereas previously the protocol has only been available for “whole precincts”. At the current time the guidelines still available online still say that the protocol only applies to whole precincts. We have always argued that the protocol should be available for part-precincts, so we think it is now important that the guidelines are quickly amended to acknowledge the new arrangements that seem now to be in force.


The challenge that the government and local councils now have is to complete the precinct planning swiftly, so that an actual rezoning can occur. Twenty months ago, the former government “released” five precincts in the growth centres, and yet none of them have been rezoned. These were:

  • North West Growth Centre – Box Hill Precinct; 
  • North West Growth Centre – Box Hill Industrial Precinct; 
  • North West Growth Centre – Schofields Precinct;
  • South West Growth Centre – Austral Precinct; 
  • South West Growth Centre – Leppington North Precinct.


The government’s media release for today’s announcement is available here.