“The previous government messed it up… I think it was actually meant for sale. We get it to see how [it] could do some of the required refill work,” he said.
“They have a job to do, and it’s not in competition with the private sector, it’s the government’s development arm. The private sector alone, the public sector alone will not solve the problem we have.”
For many locations in Sydney – for example the districts around underground stations – Landcom carries out the master planning and then sells the land to property developers. 1,242 properties were put on the market in 2021-22, which Chairman Peter Roberts says is “fewer than in previous years”.
In December 2021 the company sold 60,000 square meters of land in Edmonson Park in the South West and in Thornton near Penrith to Urban Property Group. Finally, earlier this year, the company sold 4 acres of “Lachlan’s Line” in Macquarie Park to The Landmark Group for $130 million, two years after the IPO.
Elsewhere, particularly in green spaces on the outskirts, Landcom is the developer, such as in the new neighborhood of Macarthur Heights, which has sold all 966 lots.
The government has given Landcom the ability to self-approve proposals for affordable housing projects of up to 75 homes, and it can now access a government-significant approval pathway for large projects. It also identifies locations for build-to-rent projects on the north and south coasts.
In Sydney, the government is narrowing the list down to about 20 locations where it can build dense and fast homes. Non-Government sources said public land between Central and Eveleigh, around Bella Vista tube station and St Marys had been identified as potential target areas.
In a statement, Landcom said it had put up for marketing four residential lots worth 2845 apartments in several boroughs of the Sydney Metro project. Construction is in various stages, it said, and the first residents are expected to move in early next year.
“Landcom does not have a land bank and has not had a buildable land bank since about 2014. Landcom is conducting land clearances for proposed communities in accordance with relevant permits, construction and market conditions,” a spokesman said.
Landcom said it is waiting for the Hills Shire Council to approve voluntary park and community infrastructure planning agreements for the Bella Vista and Kellyville subway stations.
Documents show that Landcom kept the maximum building height at both stations within the limits of the local environmental plan, with only a handful of buildings in Bella Vista being allowed to rise above 68 meters (about 20 stories).
The plans called for at least 5 percent affordable housing, but the new government has committed to 30 percent affordable, social and diverse housing on public land.
Landcom was founded by Labor under Neville Wran and underwent several name and identity changes by the former coalition government. In August 2022 then Planning Secretary Anthony Roberts Landcom issued a new “priority statement” focused on regional NSW.
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