‘Accident’ reveals high-rise plans for rail hubs


NSW Premier Chris Minns

Someone in the NSW government’s planning department – or maybe IT section –  may be packing their “You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps” coffee mug and framed family photos into a cardboard box right now.

According to this story in the SMH, the state government’s plans to rezone land around eight Metro and heavy rail stations to provide 45,000 new homes by 2027, were accidentally published online on Tuesday.

And in an earlier story it was revealed that developers will be obliged to provide up to 30 per cent of newly built apartments as affordable homes around transport hubs on state land.

Tuesday’s accidental post also revealed plans to apply new planning controls to another 31 train stations around Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle in a massive housing push, the main thrust of which will be multi-storey housing blocks, meaning medium to high rises.

“Part one of the much-anticipated program involves the state rezoning land within 1200 metres of eight heavy rail and metro stations: Bankstown, Bays West, Bella Vista, Crows Nest, Homebush, Hornsby, Kellyville and Macquarie Park,” says the SMH.

“In those areas, the land will be rezoned directly by the government “to allow for more new and affordable homes”.

“In part two, the state government will impose new planning controls within 400 metres of 31 train stations including Roseville, Lindfield, Killara and Gordon on the north shore, Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, Ashfield, Croydon and Canterbury in the inner west, and Turella, Banksia, Rockdale, Kogarah in the south, and St Marys in the west as well as Lidcombe, Berala and Wiley Park.”

The new planning controls applied to these precincts “will allow the development of more multi-storey housing”.

Outside Sydney, the stations are Gosford, Tuggerah and Wyong on the Central Coast, Corrimal, North Wollongong and Dapto in the Illawarra, and seven stations – Morisset, Booragul, Teralba, Kotara, Hamilton, Adamstown and Newcastle Interchange – in the Newcastle/Hunter region.

In total, 25 of the stations are located in Greater Sydney. The plan anticipates the rezonings will be completed no later than November next year, with development applications to be lodged from July 2025 onwards and homes to be completed and occupied from November 2027.

In a related story also in the SMH, the NSW government will force developers to include affordable and social housing in all high-density apartment developments built around priority public transport precincts in a bid to ease the housing crisis for low-income earners and essential workers.

“As revealed by the SMH in late October, several high-density housing precincts built around public transport hubs will be the centrepiece of the government’s flagship reforms, following through on the government’s commitment to lean on urban infill to bear the brunt of the state’s supply targets under the National Housing Accord,” the story says.

“Government sources and stakeholders engaged in conversations with Planning Minister Paul Scully, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the government-led rezoning of the precincts would mandate inclusionary zoning in these developments around public transport hubs.

“Unlike the government’s development bonus reform – announced in June but still undergoing consultation after stakeholders took issue with the first draft – developers won’t be given height or floor-space incentives in exchange for incorporating affordable housing.

“Sources involved in discussions with the department said the exact figure was likely to be a sliding scale dependent on the uplift and the feasibility of developments. The proportion of affordable, social and community housing in developments on government-owned land will be 30 per cent.”

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      Someone in the NSW government’s planning department – or maybe IT section –  may be packing their “You don’t have to be mad to work here but it h
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