Item 10.2 - Attachment 1
Draft Commentary on Metropolitan Strategy Review
Draft Commentary on Metropolitan Strategy Review
The NSW Government released the Metropolitan Strategy Review discussion paper on 17 March 2010. The discussion paper is described as the “first step in a comprehensive review of the Metropolitan Strategy”. In summary the review identifies:
§ A population forecast to reach 6 million by 2036 - an increase of 1.7 million since 2006.
§ A need for 770,000 additional homes by 2036.
§ A need to expand Sydney’s employment capacity by 760,000 to 2.89 million jobs by 2036.
The discussion paper poses a series of questions relating to the various themes by which the paper is divided.
Given the limited time for response and the need to have the matter ratified by Council, not all questions in the discussion paper have been addressed.
1. Planning for a growing population
The discussion paper raises a question about whether
Many regional centres are struggling to maintain and increase jobs and population. The notion of accommodating a significant proportion of NSW’ growth in regional centres is supported, however, there needs to be the complimentary infrastructure and jobs to enable this. Coastal NSW appears to be similarly grasping with growth pressures and many inland regional centres appear to be dealing with the opposite problem. Investment in regional NSW and the exploration of incentives for business and employment in regional centres may be worth exploring. Accommodating particularly immigrant growth in regional NSW is worthy of discussion, however, it is noted that there has been public debate over this issue for some years and practical implementation appears to be a major stumbling block.
On a more local level, greater access to local jobs and
services in peripheral areas of
The NSW Government explore further incentives and investment opportunities in infrastructure and employment as a means of attracting growth in regional NSW.
2. Making Sydney climate change ready
As discussed in 3 below, a compact city with locally accessible jobs, entertainment, services and housing is the ideal way to minimise pollution, fuel and energy use. The underlying methodology of concentrating growth around areas well serviced by public transport, services and other amenities, is on the whole, being responsibly implemented by local government. The reciprocal provision and increased capacity of pubic transport, is not, however, being provided by the NSW government. Access to reliable, clean, affordable public transport is in particular, a key component to achieving this end.
The provision of new areas of open space within established areas, is challenging. This stems from the pattern of subdivision and the new contributions framework, which makes land acquisition very difficult. The Open Space acquisition fund that the Department of Planning administers, should be more transparent in its prioritisation methodology. Local government does not seem to have a voice in putting potential acquisition forward for consideration.
That the NSW Government make its open space acquisition programme more transparent in its prioritisation methodology and offer opportunities for local government to put forward potential sites for acquisition.
3. Integrating land use with Transport
Increasing densities around transport hubs in order to minimise car trips, increase access to transport and jobs, services and recreation and maximise the vitality of centres, is supported.
Whilst this is supported, the confidence in the NSW
government to deliver important infrastructure is diminishing. In
A network city rather than a radial city
There is strong support for the network transport approach
of the rail system. This is different to
For reasons of long term sustainability,
Support for transport infrastructure
Commitments were previously made to provide for the Epping
In addition, as discussed above, to strive towards a network
Parramatta City Council’s
There should be a consistent approach to parking as a demand
management tool with consistent guidelines for the provision in different urban
contexts. This is important as parking
is used as an incentive and tool for the marketing of new development. In
A consistent approach across the
It is noted that Parramatta City Council will be making a separate submission in response to the Metropolitan Transport Plan.
§ That the NSW Government commit to the construction of the Parramatta - Epping Rail link and the Western Metro to Westmead within a more reasonable timeframe. This recognises Parramatta as the gateway to Western Sydney and reinforces the network city approach to transport planning hat the Metropolitan Strategy promotes.
§ That the North West Rail link include a connection to Parramatta from Castle Hill in order to reinforce the network approach of the Metropolitan Plan and underline the “City of Cities” approach of this Plan.
§ That the Metropolitan Strategy include a policy position on parking that underpins the transport planning for the city. This should include a direction on parking provision for different contexts within the metropolitan area, but specifically for employment centres that have access to public transport to ensure that places like Parramatta are not disadvantaged in the market.
§ That the NSW Government provide financial support for the Parramatta Loop service.
4. More jobs in the Sydney region
The jobs targets of the Metropolitan Plan continue to be ambitious. Clearly population growth needs to be sustained by employment.
The City of
It is difficult to see how the demographic and
social-economic mix that will be required for the City of
That the NSW Government consider the socio economic impact on the City of Cities approach and objectives of the growth of Sydney, given the geographic split between higher order jobs of the global arc and the lower order jobs of western Sydney.
5. Growing Sydney’s value
6. Strengthening a City of Cities
As discussed in 3 above, the Metropolitan Plan needs to be underpinned by strong transport links to create a greater level of accessibility and equity throughout the city. Without these investments, the City will continue to suffer greater levels of traffic congestion, delays, pollution and increasing levels of social isolation and disadvantage.
In recent times, there has rightly been a focus on
increasing efficiency and timelines in the development assessment process. However, the focus on consistent good urban
design outcomes has tended to be secondary to fast processing times for
development applications which has been the focus under the State Government’s
planning reforms. The Land and
In terms of unlocking the potential of centres, this paper provides some commentary under “9. Achieving Renewal”.
7. Meeting changing housing needs
The “NSW Household and Dwelling Projections, 2006-2036”
release identifies that average household size is projected to decline from
2.61 to 2.49 in
Even though the “couple family with children” category will represent significant growth (an additional 127,000 household by 2031) as well as a slight increase in occupancy rate, the projected average occupancy rate for this type of household is still under 4 persons. Then total average occupancy rate for family households will be only 3.03 persons per household by 2031.
These figures are contradicted by
Clearly, the sustainable growth of
The question of affordability continues to be a major
§ That the NSW Government initiate a public discussion involving the community, business groups and local government regarding dwelling sizes in Sydney with a view to identifying whether the market can sustain smaller, more compact dwellings given the challenges facing the growth of Sydney.
§ That the Metropolitan Strategy explore a radical, holistic and consultative approach to address the issue of housing affordability.
8. Balancing land uses on the city fringe
This has not been addressed in the submission.
9. Achieving renewal
There are several significant blockages to achieving urban
renewal. The consolidation of sites,
especially in and around centres, where they tend to be fragmented, is an
expensive and complex exercise.
Incentives have been used by local government as means to achieve this
but have had patchy success. Parramatta
City Council’s own efforts in the
Another significant issue that hampers renewal is the constraints around strata subdivided buildings. This is not a new issue and has hampered the rejuvenation of many areas. This will become an increasingly problematic issue as the residential flat buildings of the 1960’s and 1970’s age, deteriorate and erode from the character of areas.
§ That the strategy address ways of increasing the capacity to consolidate fragmented allotments, especially in areas that are identified for regeneration/renewal.
§ That the strategy address the constraints posed by strata subdivided buildings as a blockage to regeneration/renewal.
10. Implement a revised Metropolitan Strategy
The discussion paper includes a revised upward population estimate by sub region. The West Central sub region includes a 31.9% growth between 2008 to 2036. It is not clear how this population is distributed and whether this would necessitate a revision of dwelling targets or LEP zonings and controls. This will be a major implication for local government which will require clear communication from the NSW government.
Clarification is sought from the NSW Government on if, how and when new dwelling targets will be required to be met by local government.
Whole of Government, Funded Approach
A plan for managing
Commitment is sought from the NSW Government that the final Metropolitan Strategy represents a whole of government approach that individual agencies will sign up to. In addition, that infrastructure provision including transport, is explicitly described and funded in the Plan.
The discussion paper is almost silent on social support,
social isolation, community development, socio-economic stagnation and widening
divisions between different parts of
That the Metropolitan Strategy include more detailed provisions and strategies to address social issues facing Sydney as it accommodates growth including community capacity building, social isolation, socio economic stagnation, disadvantage and support.