building Perth 061025 AFR pic by Erin Jonasson. the construction boom in Perth. a New housing estate in the southern suburbs of Perth, Roof plumbers, residential property, trades, tradesman, building of new homes, house. skilled labour shortage in WA, generic hold for files, first use AFR please. SPECIALX 00057683The NSW government is on track to double the supply of homes achieved through the rezoning of state land, but the community is now fatigued at the frenetic pace of development, a senior Planning Department official has acknowledged.
NSW continued its streak of record housing approvals for the 45th consecutive month, as ABS data showed about 69,700 dwellings were approved in the year to October.
But Planning Department deputy secretary Brendan Nelson said a new challenge had emerged in allaying community concerns that Sydney had reached capacity.
“The community are feeling the pressure. They’re feeling the fatigue of a city that is going through a fundamental transformation,” Mr Nelson said in a recent address to a property industry function.
“Collectively we need to be thinking about how we take the community with us on this journey.”
His comments reflect a growing awareness within government of wilting community support for more development, after a recent Fairfax ReachTell poll found an astonishing two-thirds of NSW residents believed Sydney was “full”.
Mr Nelson also attributed the current backlog in Sydney’s housing supply to a declaration by former Labor premier Bob Carr in 2000 that Sydney was full.
The comments, he said, led to an “almost grinding halt” in supply as housing completions plummeted to their lowest in more than 60 years.
“What we saw after that announcement was made was a decline infrastructure spending, and a decline in a whole range of investment.
“It is only in the last few years where the government has reinvested back into infrastructure and [with] better confidence in the market that we found that things have been changing.”
This rationale has been prosecuted repeatedly by the Berejiklian government in its attempts to explain its aggressive housing boost to an electorate increasingly sceptical of overdevelopment.
Mr Nelson said the Planning Department was on track to add an extra 20,000 dwellings in 2017-18 through state-led rezonings. In July, Premier Gladys Berejiklian assigned the department a target of 10,000 additional dwellings a year to 2021.
About 8400 new homes will be delivered in Bella Vista and Kellyville, in north-west Sydney, after rezonings were finalised in November.
A further 15,000 homes are expected through state-led rezonings expected to be finalised by mid-2018, including Showground (5000 homes), Vineyard (2300), Sydney Olympic Park (4700), and Wilton South East (3000).
In total, the Greater Sydney Commission has estimated Sydney will need an extra 725,000 new homes over the next 20 years to accommodate an extra 2 million people.
According to the latest housing completion data, the majority of new homes are currently being built in western Sydney.
In the year to September 2017, 4877 new homes were built in Parramatta, 2997 in Blacktown, 2749 in Canterbury-Bankstown, 2521 in Camden, and 2386 in the City of Sydney.
In a bid to address bubbling concern over the rapid pace of development, the government has renamed its core planning process for boosting housing from “priority precincts” to “planned precincts”.
Under the priority precinct scheme, the Planning Department identified areas as a priority for more density (often around a train station) and accelerated the rezoning process.
The Labor opposition slammed the process as “cheap and nasty mass rezoning” and has promised to scrap the scheme if elected in March 2019.
Explaining the name change, Mr Nelson said “there was a presumption in the community that priority precincts was all about supply, supply, supply”.
“The focus now around planned precincts is starting to articulate the difference. Planning for schools, planning for open space, planning for homes, planning for active and passive recreation.”
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