New Development Agency UrbanGrowth NSW: Landcom On Roids

13/06/2012 1:15 pm


The NSW Government has responded to calls from the property industry, particularly UDIA, to create a new development agency by merging Landcom and Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority in an attempt to tackle ad hoc development, fast-track projects that take years to be approved or fall into the too hard basket and encourage development close to transport.

The new housing delivery agency, UrbanGrowth NSW, is expected to put new executives, called “release area delivery managers” in charge to “solve local planning problems and review development contributions”.

However, Blockbrief understands that SMDA currently has under 10 permanent employees, with the remainder dividing their time between other government agencies. As a result the new agency is really just a juiced up Landcom with some extra powers.

For UrbanGrowth NSW to be the housing delivery agency, responsible for land assembly, that the NSW Government  needs and the industry is demanding. The Government is going to have to implement changes in legislation, including giving the new agency the charge of defragmenting land release to assist orderly development and urban renewal. Ideally, the agency should be independently overseeing all government agencies to ensure they are performing in the delivery of infrastructure, services and land to ensure housing is being brought to market.