The New South Wales Government has unveiled the first three rezoning proposals for Transport Oriented Development (TOD) Accelerated Precincts, as part of its efforts to create more well-located homes.  

Set to deliver up to 30,000 new homes supported by almost 80,000 jobs, the Hornsby, Kellyville and Bella Vista, and Macquarie Park rezoning proposals will deliver homes close to jobs and transport, with access to great open space, shops and night life. 

This is part of the New South Wales Government’s commitment to rebalance housing growth around transport infrastructure where there is existing infrastructure as part of its plans to confront the housing crisis and provide a future for the next generation of people in Sydney. 

According to a report by the New South Wales Productivity and Equality Commissioner, between 2016 and 2021 Sydney lost twice as many people aged 30 to 40 as it gained, with a net loss of 35,000 young people from the city.  

To encourage vibrant communities in the TOD Accelerated Precincts, Special Entertainment Precincts (SEP) will be enabled to support live entertainment through extended trading hours for live music venues and favourable noise controls that provide operational certainty for venues, neighbouring residents and businesses. 

The TOD Accelerated Precincts will also share in $520 million which has been reserved for investment in community infrastructure such as critical road upgrades, active transport links and good quality open spaces. 

The proposals for these first three TODs are: 

Kellyville and Bella Vista – 20,700 new homes (between 620-1,650 affordable homes) and 10,000 jobs 

The Kellyville and Bella Vista proposal is designed create a new community around two of the newest Metro stations in Sydney, supported by more than 10,000 jobs. 

With the new Metro line extension to Waterloo slated to open on 4 August, people who move into this area would have a direct train link to the Chatswood, Crows Nest and Barangaroo Metro stations. 

The new master planned area would include apartment buildings with direct access to a wide range of retail and commercial offerings, expansive open space areas and new active transport links with walking and cycling connections to the Metro stations. 

A three to eight per cent affordable housing target has been set with the homes to be affordable in perpetuity to encourage a diverse community. 

Given their close proximity, the master planning and draft rezoning for Kellyville and Bella Vista was combined. This means that as development occurs, shared infrastructure can be identified to support new homes in these precincts. 

Hornsby – 5,000 new homes (between 250-500 affordable homes) and 3,450 jobs 

Hornsby CBD is set for a modern makeover with up to 5,000 new homes planned to be added over the next 20 years to a new 38.9ha precinct spanning both sides of the train line. 

The rezoning proposal, built upon Hornsby Shire Council’s Hornsby Town Centre Masterplan which has already had extensive previous community engagement, would create 3,450 jobs underpinned by more diversified housing with an affordable housing target between five to ten per cent in perpetuity, meaning 250-500 homes set aside as affordable housing. 

These new homes, just minutes from the Hornsby train station and close to excellent schools, come with all the advantages of living close to retail, restaurants, cafes and the National Park. 

Macquarie Park Stage Two – 4,600 new homes (460-690 affordable homes) and 66,000 jobs 

The Macquarie Park rezoning proposal will provide a mix of homes, jobs, entertainment, open space and commercial premises to transform the innovation and living hub for the 21st century. 

The Macquarie Park TOD would bring the area to life with more apartments, 7ha of open spaces, and street level vibrancy leading to an 18-hour economy, while sustaining more than 66,000 jobs. 

Essential workers are catered for with ten to 15 per cent affordable housing in perpetuity. 

Major changes to assessment of TOD sites 

The New South Wales Government is also exhibiting an Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) which will include speeding up development assessments with changes to the State Significant Development threshold in the Precincts, exemptions from certain concurrence and referral requirements, and an alternative design excellence pathway. 

This is in addition to consents in the TOD Accelerated Precincts being time-limited, requiring proponents to begin works within two years. 

A public exhibition on the state-led rezonings proposals for these three TOD Precincts will occur from 9 July to 9 August 2024, allowing communities to have their say on Kellyville Bella Vista, Hornsby and Macquarie Park. 

New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully, said that the remaining TOD Accelerated Precinct rezoning proposals are set to go on public exhibition soon.  

“The New South Wales Government’s planning reforms are focused on building better homes and better communities. These first three rezonings allow for up to 30,000 more homes supported by almost 80,000 jobs,” Minister Scully said.  

“People want to be able to buy or rent a home close to their friends and families and jobs supported by infrastructure, but the housing crisis across New South Wales, and especially Sydney, has made that almost impossible. 

“We’re focused on getting the balance right, between building new homes and protecting the character of communities. It doesn’t have to be an either-or choice. That’s why we are master planning these communities. 

“New South Wales needs more social, affordable, key worker and market homes and these Transport Oriented Development Accelerated Precincts support the other planning reforms we have introduced that provide for the construction of diverse housing and the opportunity for people to find a well-located, well-built home that suits all stages of their lives. 

“I encourage everyone to take a look at the proposals and provide their comments.” 

Industry response  

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Peter Gangemi, said that the funding of major infrastructure remained a sticking point, and that residents only have until 9 August to share their views with the New South Wales Government by making a submission.   

“The proposal would see close to 100,000 people living in the Kellyville and Bella Vista Precincts, not supported by adequate infrastructure. Residents need to have their say on whether this is the type of future they want for our Shire,” Mayor Gangemi said.  

“Both Windsor Road and Old Windsor Roads are already a car park during the morning and afternoon peak, even without the additional growth being proposed.  

“Intersections along Norwest Boulevard and Showground Road need urgent upgrades to improve traffic flow.  

“The Hills is home to the most overcrowded schools in the state, and without a significant investment in new educational facilities, demountables will cover sporting fields at local primary and high schools.”  

The Hills Shire said that more than 40 per cent of Hills schools had exceeded their enrolment cap by more than 100 students.  

Council called on the State Government to deliver the following infrastructure, saying that it would be required to support the proposed growth:  

  • Roads and traffic  
    • Widening of Old Windsor Road from Celebration Drive to Windsor Road to three lanes in each direction 
    • Widening of Windsor Road from Memorial Avenue to Showground Road to three lanes in each direction 
    • Upgrade signalised intersection at Norwest Boulevard and Lexington Drive 
    • Upgrade signalised intersection at Windsor Road and Showground Road 
    • Upgrade signalised intersection at Showground Road, Victoria Avenue and Green Road 
    • Upgrade several signalised intersections along Old Windsor Road at Celebration Drive, Balmoral Road and Samantha Riley Drive which lead into station precincts 
    • Improve walking and cycling links from Glenwood and Stanhope Gardens to the metro stations 
    • Implement bus priority measures to ensure that residents and workers can catch buses to the metro stations 
  • Open space  
    • Government to transfer land for the Caddies Creek Stage 2 expansion. This is an existing government commitment to accommodate planned growth from the Planned Precinct rezoning in 2017 
    • One to two new playing fields (within The Hills Shire in addition to Caddies Creek Stage 2 expansion which will service existing planned growth)  
  • Education  
    • Government to fast-track the construction of new primary school on the developable government land with at least two needed in the long-term  
    • Government to commit toward the delivery of a new High School site, on existing government land at Sanctuary Drive (near the Caddies Creek Sporting Complex)  
  • Community facilities  
    • Government to provide additional contributions toward community centre floor space (such as the future Bella Vista Community Facility), which could include a new library   

“The infrastructure needed for our precincts will cost a lot more than the $520 million set aside for all TOD precincts, let alone the two in our Shire,” Mayor Gangemi said.  

“We look forward to working with government to ensure that they commit to funding this vital state infrastructure should their proposal remain in this form.” 

Image: Thulung.com/shutterstock.com  

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