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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Letters to the editor

Letter to the Sydney Morning Herald regarding City of Ryde Council's affordable housing proposal

  • Date: 17.11.2020
  • Type: Letters to the editor
  • Author: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Dear Editor,

 

I refer to the article titled ‘Affordable rental bid refused over state plan’ on page three on 16 November 2020.

 

I would like to clarify the Department’s reasons for refusing City of Ryde Council’s affordable housing proposal.

 

Firstly, the government’s policy has been clear since the Greater Sydney Commission’s draft District Plans were first released in November 2016, making the statement “implemented after Ryde’s lodgement” factually incorrect.

 

The District Plans and Greater Sydney Regional Plan outline affordable housing targets to apply where planning rules are changed that are generally in the range of 5-10% of new residential floor space, subject to viability. City of Sydney, Randwick City Council and Canada Bay Council have all developed affordable housing strategies in line with this policy.

 

Council’s suggested approach would place a disproportionate burden on all landowners, particularly those proposals that are in line with existing planning rules and would render some development unviable.

 

The Department had ongoing discussions with Council to align the planning proposal with Government policy, specifically to define areas nominated for uplift as well as demonstrating feasibility. However, the proposal remained unchanged and we had no choice but to refuse it in its current form.

 

The Department supports Council’s ongoing commitment to addressing the affordable housing needs of Ryde and will be happy to work with Council prior to submitting a new planning proposal to ensure it aligns with the current strategic and policy context.

 

Malcolm McDonald

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Executive Director