Revised SEPP a good start to making the Aerotropolis investment-ready

The Property Council of Australia has applauded the announcement of proposed changes to the Western Sydney Aerotropolis State Environmental Planning Policy to make the economic activation of employment lands more attractive.

The Property Council’s Western Sydney Regional Director Ross Grove said today’s announcements responded to strong feedback from the Property Council, industry groups and smaller landowners about the overprovision open space coming at the expense of productive employment uses.

“The government’s proposal reflects a more realistic and practical vision for the Aerotropolis, and takes into account that employment precincts don’t have the same open space needs as developments that have higher levels of housing,” Mr Grove said.

“We note the Phase 2 Development Control Plan is also on exhibition, and we look forward to cautiously combing through this new document, which marks a transformation in expectations away from box-ticking to performance measuring and assessment.”

Mr Grove said while the announcement is a positive move for business, more will be needed to be done to remove excessive red tape around the delivery of jobs in the precinct.

“This is a positive move, but if the Aerotropolis is to be taken seriously as a destination for investment, the industry will need the requirement for architectural design competitions for sheds and factories to be removed,” he said.

“Design competitions have a role in creating attractive towers and places, but our city still needs areas for warehouses and factories where development is shaped for efficiency and productivity and needs to prioritise function over form.

“We also need to start bringing forward clear timetables for supporting infrastructure. We’re looking forward to seeing delivery timelines for upgrading Elizabeth Drive, along with key decisions regarding major water infrastructure and utilities. We have major utility corridors which need to be delivered, and we look forward to partnering with government to bring this forward where we can.

“We’re also looking forward to continuing to work with the Department and the Western Sydney Planning Partnership on the finalisation the precinct plans and master planning guidelines. The hard reality is that we don’t know what innovations this precinct will bring, and we need to make sure our planning system is flexible enough to take into account ideas which are outside the box but still have planning merit.”

Media contact: Aidan Green | M 0491 030 028 | E [email protected]