Ryde Assurance Review shows planning is a mess: Chris Johnson

Ryde Assurance Review shows planning is a mess: Chris Johnson
Ryde Assurance Review shows planning is a mess: Chris Johnson

EXPERT OBSERVATION

The release of the stage 1 Assurance Review of Planning in Ryde LGA demonstrates fundamental problems with the Sydney planning system.

The Greater Sydney Commission Assurance Review of planning in Ryde says the level of growth across the LGA was unanticipated but it is right on the GSC’s own targets.

The GSC state that over 3 years 4,500 dwellings have been completed which averages 1,500 a year. Over a 5 year period this growth would amount to 7,500 dwellings which is below the GSC’s 5 year target of 7,600. It seems amazing that the GSC says they did not anticipate growth to match their own target.

The GSC Report also states that the Department of Planning and Environment’s supply forecasts estimated that 9,500 dwellings would be built up to 2021/22 yet apartment dwelling approvals in NSW have collapsed by 40 per cent in the last year. The Planning Department must be more up to date with the state of the new housing industry.

The Assurance Review also states that there is a disconnect between planning and infrastructure delivery in Ryde but this must surely be a key responsibility of the GSC and of the NSW Government.

The assurance Review outlines a number of actions ‘to restore community confidence in local planning’ in Ryde but the report ignores the need for the development and investment industry to have confidence in the planning process.

The development industry, who have only followed the GSC and council plans, are the big losers with the suspension of all new planning proposals in Ryde as well as all existing planning proposals (announced for the first time) be put on hold for a 12-month period. Clearly there is NO assurance about planning in Ryde for the businesses that spend millions of dollars in proposals that follow the GSC’s rules.

The greatest admission of failure by the Greater Sydney Commission is their statement that their ‘observations’ and ‘recommendations’ in Ryde ‘will have application across Greater Sydney’.

So this questions all of the dwelling targets and the roll out of infrastructure across the whole metropolitan area of Sydney. And this is 12 months after, with great fanfare, the GSC’s Greater Sydney Region Plan was released in March 2018.

With dwelling approvals collapsing in Sydney and many approved projects being put on hold the last thing we need is to delay all planning for two years while new Master Plans are produced.

The Urban Taskforce believes whoever forms government on 23 March must look to stimulate the housing industry rather than put planning on hold.

CHRIS JOHNSON is the Urban Taskforce CEO 

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Ryde Urban Taskforce

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