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Homes to be built around 6 more NSW stations

More homes may be built in Canterbury-Bankstown, Lake Macquarie, and the Central Coast after six more stations were volunteered for residential development.

Three Canterbury-Bankstown transit stations (Belmore, Lakemba, and Punchbowl); two in Lake Macquarie (Cardiff and Cockle Creek); and Woy Woy station in the Central Coast have been put forward as additional stations that should be included in the NSW government’s Transport Oriented Development (TOD) planning reforms.

The reforms amend planning controls so that residential flag buildings can be built within 400 metres of metro and rail stations.

The changes aim to help ease the housing supply crisis and build more housing near metro and rail stations, so that more people can live close to transport, jobs, services, nightlife, and amenities.


The government last year announced that it had identified 31 stations across 13 local government areas around which new and affordable housing could be located.

However, after several councils outlined that they wanted more TOD sites to be added within their local area, six more stations have been added to the list for the TOD State Environmental Planning Policy (at the suggestion of the local councils).

In total, it is expected that the reforms could deliver over 170,000 “well-located, well-designed and well-built homes throughout the Sydney, the Illawarra, Hunter and Central Coast” over the next 15 years.

The government is mandating a minimum 2 per cent affordable housing contribution on the new developments in the 37 locations.

According to the NSW government, 12 of the 13 local government areas involved in the program have also begun working with the Department of Planning Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) to develop housing plans that “deliver greater or equal housing numbers” than would be required by the original policy.

The NSW government said it would also work with Wollongong Council to further investigate Coniston and Unanderra as additional stations to be included (however this will only happen after further analysis of the water and wastewater capacity).

It is expected that the majority of the identified sites will be finalised from April 2024, with over three-quarters of sites finalised by the end of 2024.

‘If we don’t build more houses, young people will up and leave’ – Chris Minns

The Premier of NSW, Chris Minns, commented: “The NSW Government is absolutely committed to confronting the housing crisis head-on. For too long housing has been put in the too-hard basket.

“If we don’t build more houses, young people will up and leave because they can’t afford a home in NSW. And if we lose our young people, we lose our future.”

He thanked the mayors and councils for “working collaboratively” with the state government, adding: “Ensuring we have homes for young people across our state is a shared responsibility.”

The Minister for Planning and Public Space, Paul Scully, said he applauded the councils involved and encouraged others to “sit down and help us address the housing crisis by working together to find well-located housing across the State for young people, essential workers and families who desperately need to access the housing market”.

“The principle that underpinned the discussions with councils is that any local plans must go beyond the NSW Government’s housing expectations, not backwards,” Scully said.

“In addition the government’s reforms to state infrastructure contributions, mean that the infrastructure investment needed to support housing growth in these areas will also be made.

“The TOD program is part of the biggest planning reforms this state has ever seen and will be a critical tool in meeting the growing demand for housing and improving affordability, especially for young people and families.”

The Property Council has welcomed the expanded regime, with NSW executive director Katie Stevenson stating: “At this point, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the housing supply and affordability crisis is the single greatest issue impacting people in NSW.

“That’s why we are pleased to see the government’s collaboration with councils on the TOD Program is delivering positive results.

“The addition of six new stations to the list of Tier Two sites is a particularly welcome move and opens up new opportunities to house more families across the state.”

However, she added that “more needs to be done to capitalise on the full potential of this landmark planning reform” and suggested that TOD Program should double the proximity area to 800 metres and increase building heights to a minimum of 12 storeys.

“The misalignment between the policy’s building height and floor space ratio controls means that in many locations, development will not be commercially viable or simply deliver poor amenity outcomes, which is the opposite of its intention,” Stevenson said.

“We’re pleased that more sites have been announced today, particularly in key regional locations, but there is still a major spatial gap in the TOD Program across Greater Sydney.

“To give industry the certainty and confidence it needs to invest, we’re calling on the government to announce a timetable so that industry and the community know when to expect future tranches of TOD sites to be announced.

“It’s also vital that sites selected in future tranches of this program are more equitably distributed, so that more homes are provided right across Sydney and the regions in line with the Premier’s original vision.

“This is not just a task for state government. We are also calling on all local councils to come forward with a list of sites that can accommodate more homes in the most appropriate locations in their communities.”

[Related: NSW government announces plans to fast-track low to mid-rise housing]

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