Sydney councils are not providing for the housing needs of a growing population, a new study from the Property Council of Australia has revealed.
Conducted by JBA, Zoned out: an analysis of residential rezoning in Metropolitan Sydney looks at residential housing development proposals in 16 local government areas in the central and south-west regions of Sydney over the past four years.
The research illustrates the reality of a planning system that will struggle to meet Sydney’s future housing targets, especially if councils continue to fail to up-zone land to build the number of houses needed – 725,000 over the next 20 years.
The study revealed that 64 per cent of residential Local Environment Plan (LEP) amendments – used to assign land for development – were led by the private industry, while only 29 per cent were led by councils.
The gap is greater with larger developments that will deliver more than 100 dwellings for the community – 81 per cent were developer led, whereas only 15 per cent were council led.
Property Council NSW executive director, Jane Fitzgerald, said the research underlines a worrying lack of forward thinking at a local level.
“In nine of the councils surveyed, developers led no less than 70 per cent of rezonings for all large residential developments,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
“The central district plan released earlier by the Greater Sydney Commission estimates that the district will grow by 16,260 people every year to 2036 and has a target of 157,500 more houses by 2036. Without strategic leadership from councils the housing demand from this increase in population will not be met and affordability will worsen.
“The south-west district will grow by a massive 18,650 people per year to 2036 and has a housing target of 143,000 houses, yet only five new large residential developments were led by councils in this area over the past four years.”
Ms Fitzgerald said Sydney has a long way to go to meet the targets.