Making housing a priority in SydneyJanuary 28, 2015 / By
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has recently published ‘A Plan for Growing Sydney,’ which provides the overarching strategy for accommodating Sydney’s future growth over the period to 2031.
According to their projections, the population of Greater Sydney is expected to grow from 4.4 million (as at the 2011 Census) to 5.9 million by 2031, resulting in an additional 664,000 new homes being required. This equates to an average of 33,200 new dwellings each year, which represents a significant uplift upon current levels of construction. According to data released by the Metropolitan Development Program, net dwelling completions across Greater Sydney averaged only 17,900 over the course of the last five financial years.
Unsurprisingly, given the challenge that Sydney faces, housing features heavily in the new Metropolitan Plan. Clear goals are established in respect to increasing housing supply and ensuring sufficient housing diversity to suit different household types and budgets.
There are already a number of initiatives in place by which the State Government aims to ensure that future residential development complies with their vision, a key feature of which relates to a greater preference for higher density housing. This is particularly true of the ‘Priority Precincts’ scheme which promotes in-fill development in existing urban areas that are selected for their proximity to employment centres and existing or proposed public transport infrastructure.
Eight precincts were announced in March 2013, the master plans for which have since been subject to community consultation. Amendments to the Local Environment Plans (LEPS) have been endorsed by the Planning Minister in respect of the North Ryde, Epping Town Centre and Wentworth Point precincts, which have the capacity to provide a total of 9,000 dwellings. In 2014, a further five precincts were announced, three of which are located around proposed stations on the new North West rail link, which is due to start operating by 2019.
Housing also features heavily amongst the State Government’s major urban transformation projects. These consist of large-scale, long term regeneration schemes. Currently, there are six projects including those at Central Station to Eveleigh (inner South), Green Square (inner south), Bays Precinct (inner west) and Parramatta Road (west central). These mixed use renewal areas have the potential to provide a significant uplift in housing as well an expanded commercial, retail and leisure offering.
In addition to the above, the Plan reaffirms the role of the existing South-west and North-west Growth Centres in accelerating housing supply. A significant proportion of development in these outer Sydney ring areas is likely to be on ‘greenfield’ sites. Greenfield development currently makes up a quarter of Sydney’s housing growth. This trend is set to continue with dwelling projections indicating that construction activity over the next 20 years will be highest in the outlying municipalities of Blacktown, Camden and Liverpool.
As evident from the above, these initiatives will all play an important role in helping to address Sydney’s future housing requirements. JLL will be closely monitoring their progress and will publish further updates throughout the course of 2015.
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