Chief Executive of the Urban Taskforce, Tom Forrest, today welcomed the release of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Plan by the NSW Government.
The release of the draft Plans, along with the draft State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), is a positive step forwards for the development of the 11,200-hectare Aerotropolis site which will eventually provide up to 200,000 jobs to Western Sydney.
“This is good news for landowners and developers in the area who are keen to progress plans to contribute to the future development of the Aerotropolis,” Mr Forrest said.
“The Aerotropolis is a key city-shaper that will completely transform the way Sydney functions in terms of jobs, growth and housing.
“The plans announced today provide detail on key aspects of the Aerotropolis, such as flexible land use zones which incorporate a variety of uses, including agribusiness, commercial, residential, advanced industries, and research and development”, Mr Forrest said.
Six aerotropolis precincts will be rezoned in the first round, which is hoped to be completed in mid-2020. The Urban Taskforce support this timeframe and are pleased to see a clear deadline established and progress being made by the government on the delivery of this piece of critical infrastructure.
“The sooner we progress these plans, the sooner the development industry can commence the formation and growth of the Aerotropolis on the ground”, Mr Forrest said.
“This will lay the platform for the residents of Western Sydney to reap the benefits of additional jobs, homes and growth.
However, it was not all bouquets for the NSW Government.
Mr Forrest said that he was concerned that property values had already been driven up, even before the rezoning process has commenced, based on a series of government announcements.
“If the NSW government adds additional State Infrastructure charges or “value capture contributions” (taxes) on top of already inflated land prices, they risk sterilising the land by rendering development unfeasible. The details of these charges have not yet been determined and every effort should be made to keep them to a minimum to ensure that the development and jobs (as well as GST revenue and stamp duties) can flow asap”, Mr Forrest said.
“Further detail on the SIC and Value Capture charging regime, along with details of supporting infrastructure, are anticipated to be released next year.
“It is critical that all supporting infrastructure is planned for and provided alongside the development of the aerotropolis.
“Urban Taskforce believes that the State Government should fund infrastructure around the aerotropolis to stimulate an economic boom. They will reap the benefits from the subsequent taxation revenue. To put this burden on developers risks stopping the development happening at all.
“The Western Sydney Planning Partnership should be commended for coordinating different levels of government as well as infrastructure agencies to collaborate on this very complex project”, Mr Forrest said.
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