Sydenham to Bankstown planning backdown will be bad for future housing supply: Chris Johnson

Sydenham to Bankstown planning backdown will be bad for future housing supply: Chris Johnson
Sydenham to Bankstown planning backdown will be bad for future housing supply: Chris Johnson


The backdown by the NSW Government on it’s Planned Precincts along the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor is yet another pre-election move that will put new housing on hold.

For some years the NSW Government has been promoting the redevelopment of land around proposed new metro stations along the Sydenham to Bankstown line as the correct approach to provide new housing for Sydney's booming population.

The government committed to Priority Precincts around rail stations which sent signals to the private sector that these precincts were where new development should occur.

Many private developers purchased land to help realise the government's vision.

We now hear from the media that the government has done a backflip (to use the media's term) and is handing the planning powers back to the local councils.

The media comments from representatives of the Canterbury Bankstown and Inner West councils are now saying that the decision puts an end to high rise development around the stations.

The same councils also complained about the NSW Government's new Housing code for town houses and terrace houses and the NSW Government quickly allowed the two councils to delay the code for over a year.

Clearly the NSW Government is spooked by community concerns about the extent of development that the government's own planning rules proposed.

Rather than taking an advocacy role to explain to the community that 725,000 new homes will be required over the next 20 years in Sydney, and that development around stations on a new metro rail line is good planning, the government seems to be moving away from its leadership role.

With an election 9 months away it is clear that the government is happy to put the planning for new housing on hold.

This will only lead to a collapse in housing supply in a few years’ time which will push house prices up again.

The Premier's rhetoric that the solution to housing affordability is for more supply has clearly been replaced by putting supply on hold.

What were called Priority Precincts to help with supply then became Planned Precincts at the end of last year and are now seen by the suppliers of new housing as being 'Paused Precincts'.

On 25 June 2017 Anthony Roberts, NSW Planning Minister, issued a Media Release on the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor where he said: 'It is fundamental that we harness the benefits of the Sydney Metro.Supply was the key to tackling housing affordability in Sydney and growth strategies such as the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor will make a positive impact.'

He also announced that Canterbury, Campsie, Lakemba and Belmore have been made priority precincts. A year later it seems that the benefits of the metro have been diminished and that supply of new housing is not the key to housing affordability.

The Urban Taskforce is keen to work with the councils along the Sydenham to Bankstown line to ensure that development opportunities for new housing are still available.

Chris Johnson is the CEO of Urban Taskforce

Sydenham Bankstown

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