The Government (Department of Planning and Environment) has released a planning proposal for Sydney Olympic Park, which proposes amendments to the master plan and the planning controls currently in place for the precinct.
Draft Submission to DPE (thanks to Shelter NSW)
We write about one aspect of the review of the Master Plan 2030 for Sydney Olympic Park, and that is the provision of affordable housing within the total residential provision of the precinct.
The Master Plan currently provides for 3 percent of the total dwellings on the site to be affordable housing. When this provision was established in 2008, there were already concerns about whether this requirement was too low — given the nature of the site; its location in relation to employment, civic, and transport facilities; and the housing unaffordability issues in the local government area and the West Central district.
Now that the Master Plan has been reviewed and there is a planning proposal on exhibition that changes key aspects, including the residential density, we suggest this target be reconsidered. And specifically, we suggest it be amended to require 30 percent of the residential floor space be set aside for affordable-rental housing.
We understand that the current Master Plan, with its target of 6,000 dwellings, would deliver some 180 dwellings for affordable-rental housing. Those affordable-housing dwellings that have already come on stream are managed by Bridge Housing, and are an extremely welcome addition to the supply of affordable-rental housing in middle-ring Sydney.
But the 3 percent requirement is not tenable. There has been no diminishing of the pressures on the housing market in Sydney, including in middle-ring Sydney, that cause stress to both homepurchasers and private renters. The Government has failed to establish planning controls for nearby precincts (Carter Street Lidcombe and Wentworth Point) to require affordable-housing contributions. The Government’s commitment, in A Plan for growing Sydney ‘to provide affordable housing in Government-led urban renewal projects and on Government-owned sites to meet the shortfall in affordable housing’, has not been implemented in most of the priority and state significant precincts since that Plan was adopted.
Based on a projected number of dwellings of 10,700, as indicated in the Planning Proposal, a requirement of 30 percent would deliver some 3,200 affordable-rental housing dwellings. This would make a significant contribution to social mix in the precinct, and to affordable housing in Sydney’s West Central district.
Background: key documents
The planning proposal is online at <https://majorprojects.affinitylive.com/public/f3446a18e4cc716fc732bf081f50346a/Planning%20Report.pdf>.
A summary of the planning proposal is online here: <https://majorprojects.affinitylive.com/public/dff558da3c521e59805d3f831f8b2971/A3%20Summary.pdf>.
Other relevant documents to the planning proposal are online at <http://planspolicies.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=7871>.
There is also some information at the DPE website at <www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Priority-Growth-Areas-and-Precincts/Greater-Parramatta-to-Olympic-Peninsula-Urban-Renewal-area/Sydney-Olympic-Park>.
A ‘FAQ’ document is online here: <www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Priority-Growth-Areas-and-Precincts/Greater-Parramatta-to-Olympic-Peninsula-Urban-Renewal-area/~/link.aspx?_id=F602302A2C2E45BCB6A470B06F604BD0&_z=z>.
A media report on this is online at <www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-10/sydney-olympic-park-revitalisation-plans-unveiled/7917324?WT.ac=localnews_sydney>.
The planning controls would be included in State Environmental Planning Policy (State Significant Precincts) 2005. The consent authority would be the minister for planning (not Parramatta City council).
Background: quick summary
The Sydney Olympic Park site is about 640 hectares, 430 hectares of which are parkland and 210 of which constitute a town center.
The majority of land at Sydney Olympic Park is owned by the NSW Government. Three allotments in the south east of the town center were recently sold into private ownership and are occupied or in the process of being occupied by residential apartment buildings. The Government‐owned land is subject to individual leases negotiated by Sydney Olympic Park Authority with third parties. A land-ownership map is on page 5 of the Planning Proposal.
The park site provides 13,500 permanent jobs and 4,000 casual and part-time jobs, hosts 1,500 students and athletes, and has over 10 million visitors, a year.
There are currently just over 800 dwellings on the site, housing some 1,600 people. The Planning Proposal proposes to increase the residential land use to 855,000 square meters, up from the currently planned 575,000 square meters. The current master plan proposes there be 6,000 dwellings, housing about 14,000 people; the Planning Proposal proposes 10,700 dwellings, which would house some 23,500 people.
The current Master Plan provides for ‘three per cent of affordable housing or in accordance with the relevant State planning policy or instrument in force at the time of development, whichever is greater’ (Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan 2030 (2010), p.97).
If 30 percent of the planned total number of dwellings were to be set aside for affordable housing, that would be some 3,210 dwellings. (This is not proposed in the Planning Proposal.)
Feedback to the DPE
Submissions to the DPE close on Tuesday 15 November 2016. You can make a submission online, here: <http://planspolicies.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=7871>.
Sydney Alliance and Shelter NSW will be making a submission.
Be sure to sign the petition at: http://www.sydneyalliance.org.au/olympicparkhomes