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Client Update: Three things you need to know about the Greater Sydney Commission's final regional and district plans

23 March 2018

In brief: This week, the Greater Sydney Commission released the final version of the Greater Sydney Plan (A Metropolis of Three Cities), as well as the final district plans for each of the five districts of the Greater Sydney Region (Western City, Central City, Eastern City, North and South). Partner Felicity Rourke (view CV) and Senior Associate Dennis Smith outline the three things that you need to know about these plans.

The Greater Sydney Commission's strategic vision is now clear

The final regional and district plans that the Greater Sydney Commission released are the product of a number of years of planning and consultation.

The Sydney Region Plan outlines the Greater Sydney Commission's overarching vision and strategies for the Greater Sydney Region. It sets high-level targets for the region (such as a 20-year housing target for each district).

The plan is focused on three distinct 'cities'; the Western Parkland City (centred around the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport), the Central River City (centred around Parramatta) and the Eastern Harbour City (centred around the Sydney CBD).

The district strategic plans provide more detail about the planning priorities for each district and outline how the Regional Strategic Plan will be implemented. For example, the district plans set specific five-year housing targets for each local government area. The district plans also identify priority growth areas.

Local councils must now give effect to the Greater Sydney Commission's strategic plans

Each local council within the Greater Sydney Region must now review its local environmental plans and consider whether these plans need to be amended in to give effect to the local environmental plans. The Department of Planning and Environment says that this will need to be done by mid-2019.

Each local council must also prepare a local strategic planning statement that says how the district and regional plans will be implemented by that council. In some cases, local councils will have flexibility in how to implement district plans. For example, the district plans all say that each local council within that district must nominate a 6-10 year housing target that is consistent with the 20-year housing target specified for that district in the Regional Plan.

The NSW Government has committed to build infrastructure to support the Greater Sydney Commission's strategic plans

At the same time, the NSW Government also released the Future Transport Strategy and the State Infrastructure Strategy. These strategies sit alongside the Greater Sydney Commission's regional and district plans. They outline how the planning strategies and priorities developed by the Greater Sydney Commission will be supported by new transport, employment and community infrastructure.

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