Media Archive / Bold Plan by Government To Build Homes Close To Existing Transport Infrastructure Welcomed by UDIA

Bold Plan by Government To Build Homes Close To Existing Transport Infrastructure Welcomed by UDIA

UDIA NSW welcomes the NSW Government draft Transport Oriented Development (TOD) program which was prematurely uploaded to the NSW Department of Planning website yesterday. The TOD program will help deliver liveable and connected new communities and make huge inroads to delivering our Housing Accord targets.

A key missing piece in NSW Housing are apartments which needs to be addressed as approvals are down 64% from the 2018 peak. Boosting the supply of apartments in accessible locations close to existing transport infrastructure, jobs and services is critical to allow NSW to grow.

“This is huge step forward for our six cities mega region and shows a genuine commitment from this Government to be bold and take decisive action to tackle our housing crisis by providing much-needed housing and creating great places to live and work.

“UDIA has been a strong advocate for Transit Oriented Development as a means of supporting more housing in accessible locations, while providing great higher density place outcomes,” said UDIA NSW CEO, Steve Mann.

The policy released includes 8 tier 1 precinct sites at Bankstown, Bays West, Bella Vista, Crows Nest, Homebush, Hornsby, Kellyville and Macquarie Park that will be rezoned to allow more new and affordable housing, and a further 31 second tier station precincts where new planning controls will be introduced to allow more multi-storey housing.

We encourage the Government to play an active role in delivering these tier 1 precincts and not just master plan and rezone them. These are city shaping precincts with hugely fragmented land ownership, which could take time to amalgamate and have development applications lodged.

“UDIA has proposed a Delivery Authority model to overcome these challenges and we urge the Government to adopt this approach. An authority would also be able to cut through red tape and step in if local councils seek to frustrate the process,” said Mr Mann.

“It is great to see this Government making community building and new homes a priority in these locations and leveraging the huge investment which has been made over the last decade into public transport infrastructure,” Mr Mann said.

Getting out of this current housing supply crisis will take more than five years and with 216 heavy rail and Metro stations built or planned across our rail network we should be looking at more opportunities into the future.

“We see this as the first stage of a broader ongoing transit-oriented precincts program and we encourage the Government to ensure planning work on the next sites is commenced during its current term of office,” Mr Mann said.

Under the draft TOD program land within 1,200 meters of the 8 tier 1 heavy rail and metro stations will be master planned and rezoned by November 2024 to deliver up to 45,000 new and affordable homes, within walking distance of these key stations. Technical studies and precinct master planning will run up until October 2024, with development applications expected to be lodged from July 2025. This will allow construction to commence from January 2026 and for new homes to be delivered from November 2027.

The 31 second tier station precincts will be rezoned and have their planning controls amended by April 2024.

UDIA believes new planning controls must go further than the previously announced low to mid-rise policy for apartments of up to 6 storeys within 400 metres of a station. UDIA recommends adopting a model for 8-10 storey apartments within 800 metres of these stations to account for the current economic conditions and rapid escalation of construction costs over recent years which means feasibility needs to be at the centre of the plan to get results.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to transform these areas into connected and walkable precincts.  We encourage the Government to genuinely consider re-zoning these tier 2 sites having regard to the current feasibility and not squander this opportunity to transform these areas into connected and walkable precincts.”

“We note very ambitious timeframes have been set, especially given the challenging economic climate facing the development and construction industry over the foreseeable future. If we have any chance of meeting these targets and delivering outcomes during the National Housing Accord period Government must partner with industry to find ways of speeding up the planning, assessment and construction process. This will require collaboration across all of Government,” Mr Mann said.

TOD is a central characteristic of all the great cities of the world and this draft program puts our six cities on track to meet this global standard. And while the announcement is bold, the real hard work starts now to ensure these projects are feasible, precincts exemplify density done well by delivering great accessibility and place outcomes and we build capacity needed in the industry to deliver for NSW.


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