Greater Sydney Region Plan Delivers Development Opportunities
According to Greater Sydney Commission, Chief Commissioner, Lucy Turnbull AO, great cities are products of broad and genuine collaboration, which is a theme reflected in the Commission’s landmark report ‘Greater Sydney Regional Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities’ published in March 2018.
One reason this is an important topic is that the NSW population is projected to grow by around 1.0% each year, to 11.2 million in 2056. That is 3.7 million more people than we have today. Around half of this increase is due to natural increase and half is from migration.
Anticipating this growth, A Metropolis of Three Cities sets out a detailed plan for how the Greater Sydney Region will evolve. At the heart of the plan are varied strategies including infrastructure, housing, education, employment and care for the population and the environment.
These and other key-points are then addressed by a focus on a Three Cities Vision for 2056. The three cities being – Eastern Harbour City, Central River City and Western Parklands City, essentially planned and existing as three unique but fully connected cities.
According to David Chittenden, Director - NSW Residential Project Marketing Colliers International, the plan is a welcome rebalancing of development and growth opportunities throughout Greater Sydney that will provide a strong basis for the city to thrive.
“Historically all roads and the rail network literally, converged on the Sydney CBD tending to favour employment opportunities, lifestyle, the creation of personal & commercial wealth and prosperity in that region.”
“Today Greater Sydney has a much more diverse urban profile that’s reflected not only in terms of emerging infrastructure but also across the region’s demographic character.”
When the report was published, Premier Gladys Berejiklian made the comment that the plan was designed to deliver the benefits of growth across all parts of Greater Sydney as one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family, that would also boost productivity and create more liveable suburbs.
Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull also highlighted targets for new housing with a range of types, tenure and price points to help improve affordability. These are important goals given that some 725,000 additional dwellings will be required between 2016-2036, while employment will grow with 817,000 additional jobs.
Three Vibrant and Connected Cities
Much of the three cities vision will be aligned to land use, infrastructure and housing with aspirations for a 30-minute city where jobs, services and quality open space are within easy reach of people’s homes.
Looking at plans for each of the three cities, some big-ticket goals are explored as essential to the housing and development markets across the region, helping to frame a brief context to future development opportunities.
Western Parklands City
This region runs north south between the major North West and South West growth areas. The region’s population is projected to grow from 740,000 (2016) to 1.1m (2026) and 1.5m (2056).
The area’s economy will be based on the new Western Sydney Airport, Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and the Nepean Health District as new economic drivers in the region, alongside the established centres of Liverpool, Greater Penrith and Campbelltown-Macarthur. Industries supporting high population growth will include aerospace and defence, freight, logistics, advanced manufacturing, health, education and science.
Transport plans including the new airport have the potential to make the city the most connected place in Australia with the long-term potential of the Outer Sydney Orbital providing direct connections to Greater Newcastle, Wollongong and Canberra.
Planning anticipates housing diversity around centres and transit nodes, urban renewal in the Glenfield to Macarthur corridor and major new communities at Menangle, Mount Gilead and Wilton.
Central River City
Often described as the geographic centre of Greater Sydney this region is set for a period of major transformation focused on Greater Parramatta but also including already strong areas like Rouse Hill, Blacktown, Sydney Olympic Park and Bankstown.
The area’s economy will be driven by world-class health, education and research institutions with finance, business services and administration. Radial transit services from Parramatta will help drive the area’s economic diversity and growth with the population expected to increase to 1.7 million over the next 20 years.
The re-generation of the region from a suburban to an urban environment will transform the housing market with large urban renewal areas providing an opportunity for precinct-based development. There will also be major new and release areas in the north west and increased development options along the Metro Northwest rail link.
Eastern Harbour City
As might be expected the Eastern Harbour City already has an impressive list of credentials including being Australia’s global gateway and financial capital with 500,000 jobs and the region’s largest office market. Currently there are major rail projects underway to boost connections from the North to the CBD, and further to southern regional centres.
Major economic corridors are being expanded between the City and Macquarie Park to the north and towards Randwick and Sydney Airport to the south. These areas contributed two-thirds of the state’s growth in 2015-16 leveraging strong financial, professional, health, education, start-up and innovation sectors.
The population is expected to reach 3.3 million people by 2036 and the housing market is a mix of well-established communities spread across traditional suburban neighbourhoods, to Australia’s most urban and densely populated areas.
Future growth will be focused on urban renewal, infill developments and improved local amenity with urban renewal focused around Crows Nest, St Leonards, Waterloo and Sydney to Bankstown in the Southwest and Macquarie Park and Epping in the Northwest. While the completion of the Sydney Metro line to Bankstown will create further development potential.
By 2036 as Sydney’s population grows the need for an additional 725,000 homes has been identified. Minimum targets based around timeframes of 0-5 years have been outlined by local government areas as follows:
· Central City 207,500
· Eastern City 157,500
· North 92,000
· South 83,500
· Western Sydney 184,500
· Greater Sydney 725,000
Across the Three Cities a number of strategic centres are expected to accommodate high levels of private sector investment and these locations will become increasingly important.
In the Eastern Harbour City there are twenty centres including Sydney CBD, Bondi Junction, Chatswood, Eastgardens-Maroubra Junction, Green Square, Randwick and Sutherland, nine centres across the Central River City including Greater Parramatta, Bankstown, Norwest and Sydney Olympic Park and there are eleven centres across the Western Parkland City, and these include Liverpool, Leppington, Katoomba, Mt Druitt and St Marys.
Outlined in the Three Cities report is a policy that places new housing as a central driver of growth. Homes need to be linked to local infrastructure to maximise investment that can be realised across the main development options urban renewal, local infill and land release areas.
“The Three Cities plan recognises and documents the many changes taking place, forecasting an evolution into a dynamic and economically viable city that needs to embrace change, it’s a normal function of any modern city.” Said David Chittenden.
“It’s also well known that Sydney has one of the fastest growing populations in Australia, and the vitality of the CBD fuels a lot of the growth.
“However, logic would dictate that replicating and improving that model in different regions, allows the benefits of future growth to be more accessible and widespread in terms of services, productivity and lifestyle.”
The report’s housing policy and hence how developments will unfold, are aligned to a series of core goals which include diversity of supply, amenity, land zoning capacity, good design, local character, affordability and the creation of a long-term housing pipeline.
“Across the Three Cities, this has exciting prospects creating demand for a greater variety of dwelling types within each region, and that includes the full spectrum of projects, including affordable homes.
“Depending on their individual geographic attributes, there is the likelihood of apartments in the centre, high end residential around geographic landmarks, alongside urban renewal with more medium density housing and new greenfield development in major new development areas.
“All of these different communities will in terms of the Three Cities plan, be connected and sustainable, linked by modern transport and supported by vital infrastructure.” Said David Chittenden of Colliers International.
Beyond these points housing, as the report notes, fills a big role both socially and economically that also needs to meet the Three Cities evolving demographics while meeting the aspirations of a 30-minute city.
For the development and investment community the report aligns planning expectations with defined growth potential that’s also supported by optimising infrastructure delivery and growth.
The plan also encourages all levels of government, industry and community to work together to create a collaborative city. Resulting in a coordinated approach that will guide private sector investment to enable homes, retail space, office buildings and factories to be developed across the Three Cities.