New South Wales

NSW announces metropolitan strategy review

THE NSW Department of Planning has announced that a review of Sydney's Metropolitan Strategy is underway.

The Department released a discussion paper, 'Sydney Towards 2036', as a first step in the review.  The discussion paper states that "it is crucial that the Strategy [City of Cities: A Plan for Sydney's Future (2005)] is kept up to date and relevant, responsive to new events and challenges and maintains a long term planning view."

The discussion paper highlights key challenges including jobs growth in Western Sydney, making Sydney climate change-ready, placing new homes close to services and infrastructure and revitalising our centres. Other challenges include integrating land use planning with transport and Sydney's growing population, with forecasts predicting 5.7 million people by 2031 and 6 million by 2036 in Sydney (including the Central Coast).

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NSW Government fast-tracks transport plan

THE NSW Government has issued 'critical infrastructure declarations' in order to begin implementation of some of the projects contained in the $50.2 billion Metropolitan Transport Plan. The critical infrastructure declarations, announced last week, include eight new train platforms for the Western Express and nearly 10 kilometres of light rail extensions.

Planning Minister Tony Kelly decided what was to be considered as 'critical infrastructure' and as a result, most of the major projects contained in the Metropolitan Transport Plan will be assessed by the Department of Planning. The government is also proposing to amend the Infrastructure State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) to streamline "smaller projects", such as commuter car parks and bus depots.

Under the critical infrastructure declaration, the NSW Government states that:

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Barangaroo development formalised by Lend Lease

LEND Lease last week announced that it has signed the project development agreement with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA). In the announcement last Friday, Lend Lease said it had reached a milestone on Stage 1 of Barangaroo, with the agreement formalising Lend Lease's contract with the BDA for the $6 billion development of the harbour front site.

Lend Lease said that detailed project development documentation has been completed since Lend Lease was announced as the preferred developer by the NSW Government in December 2009. Last month the BDA placed the Barangaroo master plan on public display. Lend Lease said it is expecting to submit the first of its planning applications within the next few months. Any changes to the current approved Barangaroo Concept Plan are subject to a formal planning approval process.

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NSW Government approves Lord Howe Island LEP

THE NSW Government has approved Lord Howe Island's Local Environmental Plan (LEP), with Minister for Planning Tony Kelly saying the changes will continue to protect and maintain the exceptional world heritage values of the Lord Howe Island group.

The key elements of the changes allow for:

  • Erosion control works to be undertaken and approved by the board, protecting the island from severe storms;
  • Subdivision of land for public purposes, following development consent, to allow local infrastructure (such as a tsunami warning system) to be proposed;
  • Some minor land zoning changes after a public land analysis and community consultation; and
  • The island's current regional environmental plan (REP) to be changed to a local environmental plan (LEP).

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Darling Harbour playground to be Sydney's biggest

WORK on a new 4,000 square metre playground at Darling Harbour has commenced, as part of the Darling Walk redevelopment project.

Approximately 28 million people visit Darling Harbour each year and Minister for Planning Tony Kelly said that the "new playground will be a great new attraction for Sydney and visiting families." The playground's feature will include a giant slide, flying fox, sand pit, rope bridge and water wheels, channels and water jets.

The existing playground at Darling Harbour closed on Monday. A temporary play area will be installed in May in front of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and the new playground is due to open next year.

The playground is part of a $500 million redevelopment of Darling Walk by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and Lend Lease. It will include 56,000 square metres of commercial office space, a new retail precinct, 600-space public car park, community green and a children's theatre.

Mr Kelly said the redevelopment project has created 7,000 construction jobs and when complete, will bring around 5,000 new office workers to the precinct.

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Committee for Sydney releases city competitiveness and benchmark report

A COMMITTEE for Sydney report released on Wednesday says governance in Sydney is a major obstacle to competitiveness and connectivity is not up to global city standards. Among its recommendations are ‘time-of-day’ road pricing, an integrated public transport ticketing system and improved metropolitan governance.

The report, titled 'Global Sydney: Challenges and Opportunities for a Competitive Global City', was prepared for The Committee for Sydney by SGS Economics and Planning. The study benchmarks Sydney against a number of global cities relating to "issues that are of concern to a successful global city from governance through infrastructure to lifestyle."

In the study, Sydney is compared against nine global cities, selected according to three criteria: "cities that define Sydney's global aspirations and standing" (London, Tokyo, New York); "cities that are direct competitors to Sydney" (Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai); and "cities that have similar urban characteristics and challenges to Sydney" (Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles).

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NSW Local Development Performance Monitoring Report released

OVER 71,000 development applications (DAs) were determined by NSW Councils for 2008-09, down from over 82,000 DAs for the previous 2007-08 period, according to the Local Development Performance Monitoring Report released by the NSW Government last month. In total, there were 80,832 local development determinations (DAs and complying development) reported for 2008-09, a decline of 13% compared with 2007-08, highlighting the effects of the downturn in the global economy.

A total of $18.5 billion worth of development applications were approved under the NSW local development assessment system, compared to $21 billion in 2007-08.

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Wollongong Local Environmental Plan 2009 approved

WOLLONGONG'S Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2009 was approved by the NSW Minister for Planning Tony Kelly last week and will now apply to all development proposals in Wollongong lodged from 26 February 2010.

The 2009 LEP replaces the previous 1990 LEP. Member for Wollongong, Noreen Hay, said that a "contemporary planning framework is a key ingredient to ensure necessary growth occurs in a sustainable manner."

The NSW Government stated that under the plan:

  • Approximately 130 hectares of land has been zoned for industrial, tourism and business purposes at the former power station site at Tallawarra;
  • The regional strategy housing targets will be delivered by zoning the Bulli Brickworks site to allow for around 450 residential dwellings, as well as a further 700 dwellings at Tallawarra;
  • Valuable natural environments and waterways have been protected in accordance with the Illawarra Escarpment Strategic Management Plan – endorsed by the former Minister – and with Council's Illawarra Escarpment Land Use Review Strategy.
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Cost of Sydney CBD Metro: $330m; Result: axed

THE axed CBD Metro project has cost NSW taxpayers $330 million and resulted in the loss of approximately 350 jobs, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday. This includes engineers, designers and planners who provided their services, as well as 63 staff employed by the now redundant Sydney Metro Authority.

The Australian Constructors Association (ACA) earlier this week called for the NSW Government to make a public commitment to reimburse 100 per cent of tender costs for those consortia that bid for the Sydney Metro project. Executive Director of the ACA, Jim Barrett, argued that whilst "ACA members accept the need to invest significant resources in bidding processes, there is no case for the industry to bear such costs when a client decides at the eleventh hour that it does not wish to proceed."

Small businesses around the sites of planned metro stations are also seeking compensation.

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Barangaroo redevelopment officially authorised

AUTHORISATION for the $6 billion contract for commercial development of Barangaroo, Sydney was officially signed this week.

In December, Lend Lease was selected by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, which manages the redevelopment of Barangaroo on behalf of the NSW Government, as the developer for Stage 1 of Barangaroo.  The project is expected to be completed over the next 10 to 15 years and is reported to be the largest CBD development in the history of Sydney.

The authorisation allows for the execution of the contract between the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and Lend Lease, providing Lend Lease with the rights to build commercial, residential, retail, hotel floor space and public domain within the southern part of the precinct.

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NSW release new transport plan; axes CBD Metro

The NSW Government has released a new metropolitan transport plan for Sydney, the Metropolitan Transport Plan: Connecting the City of Cities.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally on Sunday announced the $50.2 billion plan, which axes the $5 billion CBD Metro, reinstates a northwest rail link and proposes a new express rail service to western Sydney.

The transport plan includes $3.1 billion for new trains, $2.9 billion for additional buses, $225 million for six new ferries, and a $500 million expansion of the current light rail to Sydney's inner west.


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NSW Government amends Lower Hunter Regional Strategy: opens way for development

NSW Planning Minister Tony Kelly has revealed that changes have been made to the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy and that the government expects new proposals to be re-lodged for controversial housing developments at Catherine Hill Bay and Huntlee in the "coming months".

Mr Kelly stated that amendments to the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy have removed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that were negotiated with developers, described by the Land and Environment Court as "land bribes". Under the memorandums, the developers agreed to donate conservation land they owned to the state government as part of a deal that would allow them to develop the remaining land. This included 600 houses at Catherine Hill Bay and a $1.8 billion residential development at Huntlee, with nearly 8000 homes.

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Approval for Campsie residential redevelopment

The NSW Government yesterday announced approval of the first stage of a large residential redevelopment of the former Sumbeam and Victa factories at Campsie, located southwest of Sydney.

Planning Minister Tony Kelly said the first stage of the Clemton Park Village project would be completed by the end of 2011. The approval allows demolition of existing buildings, subdivision and construction of the first stage, which consists of a 58-unit development and childcare facility.

It was stated by Mr Kelly that a further four stages will be submitted to Canterbury Council for approval.

Mr Kelly said that at completion, expected by the end of 2015, the site would allow for 550 units, 50 high-care beds in a residential aged care facility, and 4,415 square metres of retail area.

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