Sydney City's Industrial Future

Client: City of Sydney Employment Lands Strategy


In March 2015 the City of Sydney Council and the Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC) adopted new planning controls for industrial land located in the City of Sydney area. Whilst certainly not famous for its industrial land precincts, the City of Sydney is home to some of NSW most strategically important industrial land, located between Sydney Airport and the Sydney CBD. The City of Sydney 'employment lands' (as they are dubbed in NSW) are home to a diverse range of industrial activities including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transport and logistics related industries, postal activities and warehousing which service inner city areas.

However this significant industrial precinct has been the subject of inherent tensions in the NSW planning system as a result of diverse market dynamics in the area namely the pressures associated with de-industrialisation, the market redundancy of some industrial land and pressures for residential development in a red hot Sydney housing market.  

The Strategy is informed by an Employment Lands Study prepared by SGS which was prepared to determine the long-term demand for industrial and business zoned land in the southern areas of the City.  The study outlines that 'in an economic era defined by the rise of knowledge intensive activities in advanced economies Sydney remains Australia's pre-eminent location for high value, advanced business services jobs'. The same can be said for housing, with Sydney currently riding a sustained wave high demand for inner city housing in close proximity to infrastructure. However, there remains a need to ensure some land within the Sydney local government area is available for heavy industrial uses and other activities that may unreasonably impact on more sensitive uses.

The overall vision of the strategy is to facilitate:

  • a more flexible approach to land use in parts of the employment lands will facilitate higher density employment and new economic activities such as new industrial uses, creative uses, knowledge industry development and flexible commercial, retail, industrial and community spaces.
  • the provision of affordable housing in and around the southern employment lands as employment grows and the demand for low paid essential workers, such as child care workers and cleaners, increases.
  • land uses that are essential to the efficient functioning of the City. This ensures activities associated with key state infrastructure, including the airport and port, and other activities that need access to the CBD, can locate in the area. It will also ensure the rapidly growing residential and worker population in the inner city subregion can access essential services.

The strategy is good step forward for the City and will create both opportunities and certainty in the study area. Particularly on the fringes of the study area, the strategy will create opportunities for mixed-use development and retail opportunities in a transitional context between existing residential areas outside the study area and traditional industrial areas in the heart of the study area.

The Strategy also seeks to address the lack of flexibility with some zones in the area with the goal of providing flexibility for some areas, which are need of renewal. The strategy also creates certainty for existing industrial businesses in the area with regard to protection of incursion from sensitive land uses.

For more information, the strategy can be viewed at this link: City of Sydney Employment Lands Strategy

Go to news


We'd like to let you know of an exciting change here at TPG Town Planning, Urban Design and Heritage.

We have joined forces with Western Australia's only specialist place-making consultancy, Place Match, to create an exclusive one-stop shop for place creation services.

Click here for more information.

Latest Events

Follow us: 

Bookmark SiteTell A friendPrint this page