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  • Writer's pictureJason Stephenson


The team at Land Evolution has been assisting landowners through the re-zoning and precinct planning processes within the Aerotropolis. We have helped many landowners and developers improve their position, but we understand that there are many more that need help writing their submissions.

In order to assist we have created this list of common concerns and points for consideration. The information has been broken down under the following headings:

· Precinct Planning Concerns

· Acquisition Concerns

· Flooding and Stormwater

· ENZ Zoning

· Wianamatta-South Creek Rural zoning area

· Problems for Developers

We recommend that you seek out the points under these headings that are unique to your situation to assist you in the writing of your submission.

Please note that not all this information will be relevant to you and your property and that what is provided here is a guide to assist you in developing your submission.

As always, we are available to guide you, however we prefer that you contact us via email during this time at We are experiencing a lot of enquiry and are getting back to people in the order that they contact us to be as fair as possible.

So let’s get into it:

Precinct Planning Concerns

Concern: That amended Precinct Plans have not gone on exhibition with the EIS.

Why this is a concern and why it should be addressed in your submission:

It is important to note that the Explanation for Intended Effects (EIS) currently on exhibition proposes to amend the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), however it does not detail the changes proposed to the Draft Precinct Plans. The department plans to finalise the Precinct Plans in December and it appears that they do not intend to seek further input from the community & industry.

Since there have been significant changes including a reduction in Open Space, and comprehensive road realignments, we believe that we should have the opportunity to review the full impact of the changes prior to finalisation.

Acquisition Concerns

1. Concern: That the EIE highlights lands that are earmarked for acquisition however the structure and process for acquisitions has not yet been determined.

· The process could and should be drafted and exhibited with other documentation to give a clear line of sight. Without this information landowners may not get the opportunity to provide input into the acquisition process.

2. Concern: That not everyone will be offered flexible acquisition opportunities

· The Responding to the Issues Report suggests that further work is being done to fund the acquisition of land on compassionate grounds. Given there can be difficulty in selling land earmarked for acquisition, this opportunity should be offered to all landowners that want to sell their land. Without this ability, people could once again be locked in a position where they cannot move on.

3. Concern: That the value of land earmarked for acquisition is unclear.

· Valuations of land could be skewed based on the re-zoning of lands to SP2. We recommend that the underlying zoning should remain the same (Mixed use/enterprise etc.) and provide a separate plan for acquisition rather than changing the entire zoning. This has been done in some cases but not in others.

4. Concern: Where partial acquisition of landholdings are proposed, there should be an option that allows landowners to have their entire landholding acquired by the government.

· It is often difficult to negotiate the sale of land that has significant portions earmarked for acquisition. Further to this the value of the sale can be skewed because purchasers don’t want to take the risk on the acquisition valuation in the future.

Flooding and Stormwater

1. Concern: That the flood studies completed/released to the public to date are not sufficient to inform the SEPP amendments.

· The flood studies are out of date as there has been significant changes to catchments since they were developed, yet they are still being used to set zoning boundaries

· Page 26 of the Responding to the Issues Report advises that a revised flood study is underway and due for release in December. Usually, the flood studies are done prior to classifying land as flood prone within the SEPP.

2. Concern: That Councils are not the best placed consent authority to manage flood investigations through the aerotropolis

· The catchments affect multiple Councils and there is a risk of poor coordination and differentiating standards being applied.

· The flood reporting should be led by the department as they have oversight across the entire catchment and access to design work for state authority assets that will have an impact on the flood modeling.

· There is a risk that standards will be applied differently across Council areas.

3. Concern: That land being re-zoned for stormwater infrastructure is inappropriately sized

· The stormwater treatment reporting released to date does not model or size any infrastructure, particularly regarding water detention and filtration. However, the EIE re-zones and allocates land for this purpose. There is significant, and justified concern, that the land allocated for stormwater treatment purposes is overly onerous and there has not been any reporting released to justify the amount of allocation.

· There is a statement in the Open Space needs Study that claims a review of the stormwater infrastructure was completed and that the land required for stormwater infrastructure was appropriately sized. This information has not been released for public review and comment.

ENZ Zoning

1. Concern: That there does not appear to be a clear position on the acquisition of ENZ land.

· ENZ land provides public benefit and opportunity for passive opens space including cycleways, breakout gym equipment etc. Based on this it should be acquired at an appropriate rate.

· There is no incentive for people to sell and create the interconnected network if the land is of less value than its current state.

2. Concern: That ENZ & open space land has been devalued and that there is no incentive for this land to be sold or developed into its proposed final form

· A contributions plan should be put in place that allows developers to enter into a Works in Kind Agreement (WIKA) or Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) for the rehabilitation and dedication of these lands as an offset to development contributions.

· A process could be put in place to allow developers to offset impervious Floor Space requirements with ENZ and open space land. This would facilitate more financially viable warehouse and manufacturing facilities while adding value to the ENZ and open space land. Combined with a Works in Kind Agreement (WIKA) or a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) these ENZ land and works could be dedicated to the government free of charge. This would be a win for all parties.

3. Concern: That zoning has been created based on ecologically sensitive land maps that have not been ground truthed

· It is proposed to finalise the extent of biodiversity protections within the aerotropolis however the bulk of mapping has been done by aerial images, not ground truthed as is best practice. There should be provision to amend boundaries if the mapping is found to be incorrect.

4. Concern: That types of open space are not clearly identified

· The Open Space Needs Study outlines types of open space, but these should be mapped for clarity, particularly if the amended precinct plans are not being released. This allows stakeholders to better understand the requirements and volumes of open space types.

Wianamatta-South Creek Rural zoning area

1 Concern: The EIE shows the Wianamatta-South Creek areas that are returned to RU4: Primary Production Small Lots, refer to Page 11. If your property is in this area you should be submitting on the basis that:

· Landowners should have the opportunity to be acquired by government now should they choose. Although the zoning is being returned to RU2, buyer confidence for the area has been undermined by the temporary ENT zoning that was applied to the land and the lack of transparency regarding the future zoning/use.

· Seek clarity on the proposed future zoning/ use and if it is planned to return the areas to ENZ again in the future.

Problems for Developers

1. Concern: That Connecting to Country Guidelines have not been released for consideration concurrently.

· It is unknown how these will impact development.

2. Concern: That Masterplanning Guidelines have not been released with the SEPP amendments.

· These need to be reviewed concurrently to give clear feedback.

3. Concern: That an amended Precinct Plan has not been released with the SEPP amendments.

· These need to be reviewed concurrently to give clear feedback.

4. Concern: It is unclear how amendments to the precinct plan will be administered via the amended Clause 4.6 variation.

5. Concern: That the DCP created previously unseen conditions and is untested in the Market

· There should be a mechanism for review of the DCP after 12 months of being implemented. Some conditions are onerous, and it has the potential to slow/limit investment in the area. If this is found to be the case it should be reviewed and revised to ensure that the airport has the business uses surrounding it to justify and support the plan.

6. Concern: That the DCP conditions are not specific and measurable or assessable.

· They are open to interpretation which can cause confusion and gives no certainty to the outcome required. As a result, much re-design is anticipated through the approval process which will cost significant sums and slow investment.

7. Concern: That timing of non-initial precincts is unknown

· This is deferring investment/acquisition.

8. Concern: Lack of servicing strategy makes investment risky

· A clear servicing strategy is required.

· DA’s cannot be approved by a Consent Authority without the ability to demonstrate serviceability. Without a strategy that includes locations and timing of infrastructure no Investment into development can occur.

9. Concern: The EIE states that Clause 52 of the SEPP will be amended to identify the acquisition Authority but it does not advise who it will be or the terms of acquisition. It is important to understand these details.

10. Concern: That there is a lack of clear pathway for Development Approvals

11. There needs to be a clear pathway for Works in Kind and Voluntary Planning Agreements to be implemented and infrastructure items need to be identified up front to assist with feasibility associated with acquisition.

· Without this information developers are hesitant to acquire land.

· If infrastructure is needed to unlock the development, they need line of sight to understand if there is opportunity for reimbursement.

· If infrastructure on the land requires works and dedication, they need to understand if the cost of land will offset contributions.

12. Concern: That construction and dedication of stormwater infrastructure will not be coordinated or flexible

· There should be a process in place that allows developers to build and dedicate stormwater infrastructure as an offset to development contributions, this will resolve many acquisition cash flow funding concerns for the acquisition authority.

· If regional basins are not completed early enough, developers will be forced to build temporary basins. This will incur additional costs and limit development opportunity. It would have a significant impact on uptake of development through the fragmented areas in particular. Regional basins should be forward funded particularly through fragmented areas.

The link below will direct you to the website for lodgment of submissions for the EIE.

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