Blanket planning rules could change the Peninsula
The State Government is proposing blanket planning rules that could change the nature of the Peninsula without any regard to local needs.
Its "Explanation of the Intended Changes" is open for submissions until Friday, February 23.
According to the Explanation, the changes are designed to "respond to the housing crisis and will build a better planning system for the future".
"We will need to build at least 550,000 new homes in Sydney by 2041."
The Explanation lists some specific provisions, but the explanation is frequently vague or conditional, making it difficult to understand the impact that the changes would have on the Peninsula.
The changes will affect Greater Sydney and Six Cities Areas, both of which include "Central Coast City" as it is called in the document.
The Explanation states "Sydney is one of the least dense global cities", but does not state the density it has in mind or give a comparative example.
Mogadishu in Somalia is reputedly the world's most densely-populated city with 33,244 people per square kilometre. This is not mentioned in the Explanation.
Its solution is to increase density of two-storey "low-rise" and six-storey "mid-rise" housing.
It states that across the Six-Cities Region, around 77 per cent of residential land is zoned for low density (R2), but only 12 per cent is zoned for medium density (R1).
Rather than rezoning, it targets increasing density in Low Density Residential (R2) zones, and plans to implement provisions that councils will be unable to refuse.
Councils would have "the flexibility to set more permissive local controls that suit local areas".
The proposed changes are not accompanied by any required increase in infrastructure and, in some respects, it is reduced with, for example, less off-street parking.
The changes take no account of areas like the Peninsula which, with about 45 per cent of land zoned R1 medium density, has almost four times the average.
Many of the changes only apply to development types "whenever they are permitted" within the zone.
The Department of Planning's proposals stop short of overriding the list of "uses" for a zone specified in the council's planning scheme, although the Explanation states it will "work with" councils where it believes the list should change.
The new dual-occupancy rules would apply in low-density zones on the Peninsula, because dual-occupancies are already permitted in that zone.
The changes would allow 9.5 metre high dual occupancies in low-density areas of the Peninsula, while only 8.5 metre high dual occupancies are permitted in the medium density areas.
In low-density areas, the changes will allow lot sizes as small as 450 square metres and a 30 per cent increase in the habitable floor area (not including utilities and the like) to 65 per cent of the lot.
The changes allow for gun-barrel and other multi-dwelling developments to be permitted in low-density zones within 800 metres of the town centres of Woy Woy, Ettalong and Umina, with a maximum height of 9.5 metres and a floor space ratio of 0.7:1.
Residential flats could be built to 21 metres high within 400 metres of town centres and to 16 metres within 800 metres, except in low-density zones.
The Explanation can be found at https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/draftplans/exhibition/explanation-intended-effect-changes-create-low-and-mid-rise-housing
Website, 2 Feb 2024