Planning reforms required to do density well

The NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure and has recently made a number of  planning proposal announcements, aimed at boosting housing density and supply in well-located suburbs and towns.

Shelter NSW is currently preparing a response to one of these proposals (low and mid-rise housing reforms) which is open for public feedback until 23 February 2023. This proposal contains a suite of changes to the Standard Instrument LEP, including the introduction of land use ‘dual occupancy’ as permissible with consent across all R2 low density zones in the State.

We will also be making a submission directly to government on the planning reforms under the Transit-Oriented Development Program which is currently attracting significant community attention and concern. The TOD Program targets key transport hubs and precincts for upzoning, to allow for greater housing density and diversity in and around Greater Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast.

Our submission will call for the next wave of concentrated housing growth around stations to be more nuanced than the one-size-fits-all approach we are currently observing. We recognise that each station precinct is different and has unique opportunities. We need an approach that creates a legacy of more affordable homes and more liveable communities, one that includes:

  • substantial commitments to boost social and affordable rental housing within the precincts
  • collaborative masterplans where they are needed, that manage the cumulative impacts of density
  • planning and investment to improve living conditions, respond to a heating climate (including deep soli requirements to preserve and sustain tree canopies).

Up until now the NSW Government has been silent on the contribution it will make to protecting and securing additional social housing in these much denser transport precincts.

“The right to develop bigger and taller buildings around publicly-funded transport nodes needs to be matched by the requirement to deliver something significant back to the community. That something needs to be truly affordable housing for low-middle income people, great public spaces and buildings that people can be proud of”.

John Engeler, CEO Shelter NSW

For more information: