Industrial and commercial land is increasingly valuable and sought after in areas around Redfern and Alexandria in Sydney

PLANNING: Planning changes proposed by the City of Sydney for two precincts aim to radically increase commercial activity as the city’s population grows and demand for jobs increases.

The proposed changes along Botany Road in Redfern and the north Alexandria light industrial area will increase building height and floor space limits for developers, as well as improve surrounding public areas and access to transport.

The moves respond to the increasing difficulty of preserving employment lands as residential development threaten to soak up available sites with higher price bids and pressures to rezone industrial and light industrial land to residential.

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City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the yet to be approved changes would be some of the most significant in Sydney in the past 20 years, with the aim of creating 15,000 jobs in the city’s south.

“Developers will be given floorspace and height incentives for investing in these developments, conveniently located close to transport and jobs,” Ms Moore said.

“South Sydney is an amazing part of our city, rich with Indigenous and industrial histories – we are introducing new planning controls to ensure the area reaches its potential and thrives into the future.”

A planning strategy adopted by the Council in February 2020, identified that additional development capacity for commercial and other enterprise uses would be required to meet a target of 200,000 additional jobs by 2036.

“We estimate that the proposal will create more than 15,000 jobs in a wide range of industries, from office based employment through to high-end manufacturing, helping us meet future demand for jobs in the local area,” Ms Moore said.

The City also intends to improve public areas with widened footpaths, new cycleways and laneways, as well as add affordable housing where commercial activities are unsuitable.

A planning proposal by the city for north Alexandria described the area as having “some of the most sought after and valuable industrial and urban services land in Australia”.

“These changes provide substantial new floor space and unlock the potential of areas that are strategically located between the CBD, Sydney airport and Port Botany,” City of Sydney Director of City Planning, Development and Transport, Graham Jahn said.

The Botany Road Precinct covers 21.4 hectares to the east and west of Botany Road and is bound by Gibbons Street to the north, Cope Street to the east, McEvoy Street to the south and Garden and Wyndham streets to the west.

The North Alexandria Precinct covers 36 hectares in area and is bound by McEvoy Street to the north, Wyndham Street to the east, Bowden Street to the West, and O’Riordan and Johnston streets to the south.

Both proposals will go for gateway determination in August, with public exhibition anticipated before the end of the year

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