THE New South Wales Government has outlined the functions and structure of the State's new urban development delivery vehicle, UrbanGrowth NSW, which was formed through the integration of Landcom and the former Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority in January.
A memorandum issued by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet on behalf of Premier Barry O'Farrell at the end of last month states that UrbanGrowth NSW's primary objective is to "enable a thriving private sector development industry to deliver homes, workplaces, facilities and places."
To achieve its objective, UrbanGrowth NSW will "focus on expediting and increasing development outcomes and increasing housing supply," primarily in greenfield and urban renewal areas of metropolitan Sydney.
UrbanGrowth NSW will also "carry out, manage or coordinate the urban renewal and development on strategic and complex sites where there is demonstrated market and/or regulatory failure," according to the memorandum.
As outlined in the memorandum, UrbanGrowth NSW will carry out the following functions:
- Advise the government on urban development issues generally and in particular to help identify: market failures or regulatory barriers to otherwise viable development; and potential urban activation precincts as part of the Government's Urban Activation Precinct Policy;
- Address market or regulatory barriers by acquiring, amalgamating and subdividing land, providing enabling infrastructure, carrying out works, to create development-ready sites and as a catalyst to development;
- Work closely with local government and communities, particularly in the early stages of planning and development, to achieve sound development and urban renewal outcomes;
- Facilitate the supply of land for development for housing;
- Assist the Government to deliver its housing affordability objectives;
- Encourage practical approaches to excellence in design and adoption of sustainability principles;
- Partner with the private sector to deliver development;
- Provide facilities or services that are ancillary or incidental to its principal functions; and
- Conduct any business or provide any service (whether or not related to its principal functions) that it considers will further its objectives.
"NSW Government agencies and bodies are required to consult and work cooperatively with UrbanGrowth NSW when developing or implementing policies and projects relevant to the property market, development and urban renewal," the memorandum states.
In certain circumstances, UrbanGrowth NSW has the authority to coordinate government agencies to: provide or obtain advice; coordinate the provision of infrastructure; obtain rezoning and development approvals; implement approved plans; and leverage development opportunities from surplus government land.
"If problems or issues remain unresolved, UrbanGrowth NSW has the authority to escalate matters to the Premier for resolution," the memorandum states.
Whilst Landcom and the UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation (formerly Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority) will continue to have their own legislative, governance and reporting requirements, the memorandum states that they will be run by the same Chief Executive Officer and will work closely together to achieve the government's urban development objectives.
The memorandum is available from the Department of Premier and Cabinet website at <http://www.dpc.nsw.gov.au/announcements/ministerial_memoranda/2013/m2013-01_urbangrowth_nsw>. More information about UrbanGrowth NSW is available from the UrbanGrowth NSW website at <http://www.urbangrowthnsw.com.au/>.