Thousands of homes to come in first fast-tracked hubs

Tens of thousands of extra homes could be built in the first mini-cities to be unveiled as part of a mass rezoning around NSW transport hubs.

Plans for an initial four transport-oriented development precincts were unveiled on Tuesday as part of a strategy the state government says will “rebalance” housing growth around new metro stations and existing train infrastructure.

Kellyville and Bella Vista, in Sydney’s northwest, will be among the fast-tracked precincts as an existing metro line is linked up with a soon-to-open route under the city centre.

More than 20,000 extra homes could be delivered in a blanket rezoning of the area around the two suburban stations.

Those houses would be supported by 10,000 additional jobs and up to 1650 affordable properties could be delivered under the plans.

Similar proposals at Hornsby, northwest of Sydney’s city centre, and Macquarie Park, in the city’s north, are tipped to provide 5000 and 4600 homes respectively.

Planning Minister Paul Scully said the three rezoning proposals would collectively deliver 30,000 homes and 80,000 jobs.

“People want to be able to buy or rent a home close to their friends and families and jobs supported by infrastructure, but the housing crisis across NSW, and especially Sydney, has made that almost impossible,” he said.

“We’re focused on getting the balance right, between building new homes and protecting the character of communities … it doesn’t have to be an either-or choice.”

The precincts will get a share in more than $500 million put aside for road upgrades, active transport links, open spaces and other community infrastructure.

They are among eight “priority high-growth areas” that have been earmarked for greater density under the transport-linked housing plan.

Rezoning of the sites, which also include locations in Sydney’s inner-west and lower north shore, would create capacity for nearly 50,000 homes over 15 years, the government says.

NSW needs to build an average of 75,000 extra homes annually across the next five years to meet its nationally-agreed housing targets, but approvals and completions have consistently lagged that figure in recent years.


Alex Mitchell
(Australian Associated Press)


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