Blockbrief Report: The Central Sydney Planning Strategy Planning Proposal

21/07/2016 4:01 pm

Central Sydney Planning Strategy BookThis month the City of Sydney Council announced the Central Sydney Planning Strategy. Heralded as the most comprehensive urban planning strategy for the Sydney CBD in 45 years, the Council has identified opportunities to unlock up to 2.9 million square metres of additional floor space for retail, hotel, cultural and office needs to meet the city's growth targets for the next 20 years.

The City of Sydney faces a population increase of 1.6 million by 2034, and the need for 689,000 new jobs and 664,000 new homes by 2031.

The City has identified that Central Sydney has capacity of an additional one million square metres of floor space under existing controls. However, given approval trends over the last 10 years, it is highly unlikely that this will all be provided as employment floor space. This floor space capacity is only able to accommodate 50,000 jobs. This is dramatically less than the space needed to accommodate the city's projected growth.

The City of Sydney Council planning sub-committees will meet this month to review the Strategy and to begin the implementation process via a Planning Proposal to amend the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 (LEP). Implementing these changes will unlock 2.9 million square metres of floor space, provide for over 100,000 jobs and deliver around 300-520 new affordable housing units and increases in housing generally.

Central Sydney generally refers to land zoned B8 Metropolitan Centre and RE1 Public Recreation under Sydney Local Environmental Plan and includes four precincts:

  • City Core
  • Western Edge
  • Midtown
  • Southern

Central Sydney must be positioned to accommodate future economic and employment growth. The draft Planning Proposal and the Draft DCP amendments provide the foundation for this to occur, with the Strategy and Guideline setting the long term vision and growth opportunity.

Some of the key control amendments include the following:

  • The identification of concentrated ‘tower cluster’ areas where there is potential for 300 metre tall commercial buildings which would be subject to federal airport approval.
  • Amending the zone objectives for the B8 Metropolitan Zone and RE1 Public Recreation Zone to promote employment uses in Central Sydney;
  • Amending floor space ratio controls to address the loss of, and prioritise opportunities for, employment floor space in Central Sydney;
  • Building heights to be increased from 80 metres to 110 metres on the western edge of Central Sydney to capitalise on the changing character of the area.

The plan to open up 2.9 million square metres of new floor space for employment in new tower clusters in Central Sydney will be implemented on a site-by-site basis, in collaboration with land owners.

The City has identified that if the increased height and density controls provided for in the Draft LEP Planning Proposal as of right, "it would create an immediate increase in land value (where small sites had access to unrealistic heights and densities); would promote residential and serviced apartment towers (where residential and serviced apartment development requires smaller sites and smaller tower floor plates and prefer height) and would promote speculative growth." Despite this view and any Council policies to discourage any speculation, no local government can prevent real estate from transacting based on this new strategic planning information.

Blockbrief has reviewed the Central Planning Strategy and Planning Proposal and identified:

  • Over 600 Potential Development Sites
  • Over 7,000 properties located within Potential Development Sites
  • Over 62 hectares of land identified for potential development that could provide 2.9 million square metres of floor space with the Central Planning Strategy reforms.

The Central Planning Strategy is in the very early stages of the planning process and we will no doubt face amendments and speed bumps. However, the plan provides a great blue print for Central Sydney real estate developers and investors.

Please click on the link below to access the full list of :

Blockbrief Sites