Planning Changes

Planning Changes

New South Wales is experiencing a housing affordability crisis and part of the solution is to increase urban density. I support the National Housing Accord target for New South Wales to build an additional 314,000 to 377,000 “well located” homes by 2029, with the inner city providing its fair share in uplift. But proposed changes to prevent consent authorities from refusing apartments of certain heights and gross floor area within a specified radius of a train station, light rail stop or shopping centre will not deliver the affordability or liveability we need.

The proposed changes override long established planning rules to sensitively locate density to protect heritage, environment, solar access, tree canopy, healthy homes and access to services. Proposed heights don’t even fit in proposed floor space ratios which means the rules would allow high rise development up to 30 stories without any strategic planning. Design criteria like separation between buildings to ensure ventilation and privacy would be abandoned.  

There are no provisions to deliver affordable housing – the laws actually facilitate current trends of converting buildings of many small affordable homes into a few luxury apartments. Planning rules are not what stops developers from providing affordable homes; in fact most don’t want to intentionally flood the market with low priced apartments that would drive values down. Housing security in areas near stations and centres is at risk with any building under seven stories essentially rezoned for uplift.  

We can deliver the density needed through strategic based planning that determines where density is best located in a way that protects sustainability, liveability and heritage. The City of Sydney and Woollahra Municipal Council exceeded their 2016-2021 targets and are willing to do the place-based planning work to deliver further density under the National Housing Accord. I have asked the state government to abandon its one-size-fits-all approach to density and give councils density targets and timeframes.   

Both the City of Sydney and Woollahra Council have raised concerns about the impacts on infrastructure and amenity if increased density is not done properly. Woollahra Council’s submission > HERE  

Details of the government’s proposed increase in low and mid rise housing> HERE. 

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