Summary of the Precinct Plans
Notification of Land Owners
Notification of Key Stakeholders
Number of submissions
Response to Submissions
Issues raised in Submissions
In responding to the issues raised in the submissions, the Department has taken a stance by weighing a range of opposing viewpoints, in the context of state planning policies and guidelines, and where appropriate informed by additional specialist advice. Where changes have been made to the Precinct Planning Package since the exhibition, these are summarized below. Appendix B contains more detailed and specific answers to issues raised in the submissions.
Riverstone Industrial Area
This section describes the issues raised in the submissions, as well as those raised in ongoing discussions with government agencies and key stakeholder groups. Where necessary, the problems have been grouped and one answer has been given to avoid repetition. Reference should be made to the revised indicative subdivision plan and accompanying documentation for specific information on how the changes to the plans since the exhibition affect individual properties.
- Consolidation of Precinct Plans
- Land Use Table
- Height of Buildings
- Floor Space Ratio
- Residential Density
- Part 6 Local Provisions
- Exempt and Complying Development
DECCW requested the inclusion of a clause in the SEPP Amendments regarding urban salinity control. Since the exhibition, the list of development in the schedules has been revised and limited to only those types of development not covered by the SEPP of exempt and compliant development codes. The timetables have been removed from the DCP and placed in the Growth Centers SEPP, in accordance with the Standard Instrument format (which includes exempt and compliant development provisions in the LEP and not the DCP.
A number of clauses in the Alex Avenue and Riverstone Precinct draft plans referred to the relevant Development Control Plan (DCP). The exhibit's draft DCPs included schedules specifying the types of development that are exempt development or conforming development. It is proposed to apply a single exempt and compliant development schedule to all districts of the growth centers, rather than adopting specific schedules for individual districts.
Land Reservation and Acquisition Map
Growth Centre and Precinct Boundaries
Planning Policy Issues
Development Control Plan Issues
Section 94 Contributions Plan and SIC Levy Issues
The section 94 review was undertaken alongside the review of the Indicative Layout Plan to identify greater efficiencies in the use of land for public purposes. Other aspects of the draft section 94 contribution plan were jointly reviewed by Blacktown Council and the department to identify efficiencies and cost savings while ensuring reasonable provision of local infrastructure. The revised contribution plan is expected to be subject to review by the Section 94 Review Panel following its approval by Council.
Land Acquisition and Land Value Issues
In December 2008 (shortly after the start of the public exhibit), the Secretary of Planning announced a $20,000 per lot threshold for Article 94 contributions, the contributions of which had to be justifiable to the Minister. The Department of Planning, along with the Blacktown City Council, has reviewed the draft Section 94 plan to identify areas where costs can be reduced. This has the dual effect of reducing Section 94 contributions by reducing the cost of acquiring land and constructing public infrastructure, and by increasing the amount of developable land (over which the Section 94 cost can be spread) .
Indicative Layout Plan
Further details of the contribution plan review will be available from Blacktown City Council when it is. Changes to the indicative road plan lead to minor changes elsewhere in the area, as all elements of the ILP are interconnected. As a result of ILP changes since public rollout, the residential net buildable area of the precincts has increased by approximately 82 hectares.
Water Cycle Management, Flooding and Riparian areas
Where changes were possible to respond to individual issues in the context of all competing priorities, they have been made. Land identified for parks and sports fields, school grounds, and drainage is identified based on projected population for the entire district as indicated in the Precinct Planning Report. Opportunities, including the amalgamation of sports fields and schools, and the location of some off-site sports fields within flood-affected land, have been exploited to create more developable land within the site.
Biodiversity Certification and Ecology Issues
This is because some basins had to be enlarged to compensate for the removal of other basins, and because the location of some basins and channels moved to better fit the existing landform. The reason for this is that placing drainage basins on flood-affected land would reduce the storage capacity of the floodplain and increase the impacts of flooding on neighboring land. While some watersheds have been relocated to flood-prone areas, the ability to do so is significantly limited by the need to control flood flows before they enter stream mains and environmental considerations.
Aboriginal and European Heritage Issues
Traffic and Transport Issues
In addition to the above changes, minor adjustments have been made to the local road network to respond to other issues, most notably the revision of the main drainage strategy. Where the boundaries of drainage or open space have been adjusted, the road locations have also been adjusted accordingly. Where possible, taking into account other considerations, roads have been modified to respond to specific issues in submitted proposals, including avoidance of impacts on homes.
It has not been possible to achieve this in all cases, however, it is important to note that the local road network is indicative only and may be modified to address detailed issues at the subdivision stage.
Schofields Station Relocation
Scheduled Lands Issues
The Department of Planning works with Landcom to provide controls that enable the systematic development of the Scheduled Lands. An important issue for the Scheduled Lands is the timing of the delivery of essential utilities. The department has had ongoing discussions with Sydney Water to clarify the timing of the provision of water and sewage infrastructure for the Scheduled Lands.
The requirement to redistribute land and establish new roads in accordance with the road alignment in the draft framework plan is necessary to ensure coordinated development on the listed lands and efficient land use. The DCP requires development on Riverstone listed land to be carried out in accordance with the road layout shown on the DCP. As the Scheduled Lands are to the north of the Precinct, water has to be brought quite a distance through the Precinct and adjacent parts of Riverstone East Precinct.
Utility Infrastructure Issues
The Department has explored options for this land that would allow for medium density residential development in conjunction with lands to the east that are not odor restricted. The open space zoning of these properties was retained in the final Neighborhood Plan.
Community Services and Facilities Issues
The Ministry and DET considered alternative school locations in the drafting of the district plans and in this process it was determined that the proposed location best met the requirements of the district plan and DET. The issues raised in this submission and the proposed alternative school sites were considered by the Ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Education and Training after the exhibition closed. This assessment concluded that the current location of the school is preferred and that the two alternative locations do not represent major advantages compared to the current location.
Open Space and Recreation Issues
Precinct Planning Process/ Consultation Process Issues
As a result, the Planning Department extended its exhibition period from the usual 28-day exhibition period to a 72-day period. The ministry operated a shop in Riverstone town centre, giving landowners an additional opportunity to discuss the proposed changes with planning experts. In addition, the Department dealt with a large number of telephone and email inquiries and responded to a large number of letters, including many sent to the Minister for Planning.
Growth Centres Structure Plan
Growth Centres Development Code
A local center (equivalent to a town center in the Development Code hierarchy) with 25,000 square meters of retail space is proposed adjacent to the proposed new Schofields station in the Alex Avenue area. The draft ILP names a main road and secondary roads within the Local Center in the Alex Avenue area and identifies main roads, traffic access roads, parking access and service access roads. The cross sections and dimensions of the streets developed for the Riverstone and Alex Avenue areas differ in some cases from the cross sections in the Development Code.
Other relevant SEPPs and REPs
Cross-sections have been developed with reference to the Development Code, Blacktown Council standards and to the design of existing and proposed roads in adjacent areas. These streets will require integrated water sensitive urban design measures and for this reason different cross-sections may be required for these streets and will be determined by Council.
Section 117(2) Directions
The zoning of the existing Riverstone Industrial Area under the Blacktown LEP is to be retained. Concerns in relation to the impact of the EPBC Act on the scheduled lands are noted. Submission ID Issue Response 15636 The location of the school should be reconsidered due to the fragmentation.
The revised Development Control Plan should be referred to for details of the changes. This property has been included in the Riverstone Area Plan as it is currently zoned rural and is within the boundaries of the North West Growth Centre. The boundary of the site was changed to be consistent with the boundary of The Ponds development (the western edge of the Ridgeline Drive road reserve was adopted as the boundary of the site, except to the north of the site where the boundary of the approved residential subdivision in The Ponds was used).
More sports fields should be located in parks and other open spaces in the southern part of the Riverstone area. The zoning development scenario is not able to be controlled by the Planning Department. Decisions to develop (or not develop) the land rest entirely with the landowner.
The salinity section of the draft amendments to the SEPP should be reconsidered, with a draft provision recommended in the submission. Other projects like the Northwest Corridor Rail and duplication. A review of the road network in the southwestern part of the Riverstone area has resulted in changes to the road hierarchy.
The Department has had ongoing consultation with MoT on transport network issues in finalizing the Ring Plans. Reference should be made to Section 7 of the Ward Planning Reports for a breakdown of infrastructure timing.