Proposed planning reforms would boost NSW housing approvals: Urban Taskforce

The latest ABS figures on housing approvals show that NSW had a slight lift of 1.1% but proposed planning reforms could boost this by much more, according to the Urban Taskforce.  

“A detailed breakdown of the August housing approval numbers show that higher density housing is propping up the overall housing supply in NSW," Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson, says.  

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The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing some of Australia’s most prominent property developers and equity financiers.  

“Since the GFC, higher density approvals have risen from a low of 847 a month to the current 1,839 a month, while house approvals over the same time have risen from 1,165 to 1,674.  

“The proposed planning reforms must support the growing trend towards higher density housing by giving the development industry certainty about what is achievable,’’ Mr Johnson said.  

‘’We are concerned that the recent move by the state government away from code assessable determinations towards merit-based determinations will make the approval process harder to achieve.  

‘’Many of the recent approvals for apartment buildings have come through the now eliminated Part 3A process where the state government gave support for larger projects.  

“The Urban Taskforce supports the planning approach of involving communities in the master planning of precincts where the overall planning rules are determined. If a detailed application then complies with these rules it should get a quick determination.  

“The planning reforms must not be further watered down or the supply of housing in NSW will suffer. This will make new housing less affordable and drive rents up.  

"Every 10 square metres of space saved by good design can save $90,000 on the cost of an apartment. If we are serious about affordable housing in Sydney then we must not have excessive standards that add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the costs of apartments."

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