NSW planning chief wants to ‘take risks loosening the screws’ to encourage housing

Fishburn said it was a waste of time for her department to set up a checkpoint, a so-called “gateway provision,” for every council planning proposal. “If it agrees with that [their] own strategic plan, why do we mark their homework? If I can change that, that’s a month out of the system.”

Current Building Commissioner David Chandler was appointed in 2019 to enforce building codes and improve quality following the evacuation of the Opal Tower and Mascot Towers. Prime Minister Chris Minns has announced that Chandler’s remit will be expanded by the end of this year.

Municipalities need to find space for more semi-detached and terraced houses.

Municipalities need to find space for more semi-detached and terraced houses.Credit: Walter Peeters

The new planning minister has inherited a housing shortage that has led to an affordability crisis, particularly in Sydney. While Minns highlights high-density development near train stations as a solution, Fishburn’s nominated communities are also asked to designate areas within their communities for more low-rise infill, such as urban development. As terraces to find.

An earlier state government bill for low-rise housing failed to bring about change, in part because it failed to override local environmental plans. While that’s an option, Fishburn said it’s better to work with councilors who know their communities best.

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“There are simple methods, there are more sophisticated or tailor-made methods. In some respects it will depend on how the local government reacts when we start advising.”

But Fishburn warned councilors they would not be able to confine all new developments to a small, dense ring of transport hubs. “Maybe there are some tall towers around your stations… but you have to do something about them [suburban] “You need space to meet your housing goals and create good housing variety,” she said.

The determination to increase supply comes as NSW’s national cabinet, as part of the National Housing Accord, handed an even higher five-year target of 375,000 new homes – 75,000 a year – as part of a nationwide target that goes from 1 million to 1.2 million was raised. Corresponding local and regional housing targets will be announced shortly.

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Justin Scaccy

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