NSW Planning and Housing Minister Anthony Roberts last week announced a blueprint for Sydney's North West which will deliver 20,000 more homes than originally envisaged ten years ago, with up to 90,000 homes and 41,000 jobs expected when the area is fully developed over the next few decades.
"The plan for North West Priority Growth Area, which includes the suburbs of Box Hill, Marsden Park, Schofields and Riverstone, will provide housing for more than 90,000 people over the next decade and boost the region economically," Mr Roberts said.
"The plan will see 18,000 new homes, including freestanding homes and terraces, built over the next five years, and 33,000 in the North West over the next 10 years. The new homes will suit a variety of budgets and life stages for buyers.
"This area of Sydney is becoming an increasingly popular place for people to call home and the strategy focuses on how we are going to increase housing supply to help people break into the market.
"With new development we need the right infrastructure. The plan provides robust plans to grow communities with access to schools, open space, jobs, roads and public transport."
Mr Roberts said current and new communities would benefit from the Sydney Metro Northwest being on their doorstep. The plan includes a corridor for a future extension of the Sydney Metro Northwest from Cudgegong Road Station to Marsden Park.
"Building a community around Australia's largest transport infrastructure project makes perfect sense. People want to be able to live near where they work and with access to reliable public transport," Mr Roberts said.
Mr Roberts said around 750 hectares of land containing existing native vegetation will be protected in the North West Priority Growth Area. There will also be a further 700 hectares of open space for passive and active recreation.
"It is estimated that at least 300,000 tree will be planted in this area and on private properties over the next 20 years. That is more than one tree per person, however I have asked the Department to investigate ways to accelerate and increase the greening of our new suburbs.
"We have a housing affordability crisis in this city and we need to do all we can to lift supply and get new home owners in the market. Strategies such as this for the North West are a step in the right direction.
At the same time, Mr Roberts and Member for Riverstone, Kevin Conolly, have announced an expanded suburb able to accommodate around 4,300 new homes being created through the release of 300 more hectares of land in West Schofields.
The release of land to accommodate around 1,300 extra new homes is years ahead of schedule and aims to boost housing supply and help place downward pressure on housing prices, making home ownership more affordable.
"The NSW Government is committed to making Sydney more liveable – with access to a home, jobs, green space and more convenient ways to move around our growing city," Mr Roberts said.
"We want to ensure that everyone has the chance to own their own home. We are doing this by releasing and rezoning more land than ever before to create new communities and maintain a supply of development-ready land."
Mr Conolly said the release of land north of Schofields Road means that planning for these 300 hectares will occur jointly with planning already underway for the southern part of the precinct.
"We recognise that to provide a range of housing types, public spaces, new parks, schools, roads and services, with good access to jobs and essential infrastructure, the entire West Schofields Precinct should be planned at the same time," Mr Conolly said.
"This will ensure there is a coordinated approach to planning in this area that is benefiting from investment in major road and rail infrastructure in Sydney's north-west".
"Developing infrastructure to support growth in Sydney's North-West is a priority for the NSW Government, which is examining a number of transport corridors, and also working closely with utility agencies to ensure that essential water, sewer and electricity services are available when land is to be rezoned."
Housing figures are subject to detailed planning studies, including flooding and flood evacuation investigations.
A detailed draft land use plan for the whole Schofields West precinct is expected to be released for public exhibition later this year.
More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Priority-Growth-Areas-and-Precincts/North-West-Priority-Growth-Area/>.