Greater Sydney continues to benefit from the historic policy of locating major trip-generating activities (such as retail, hospitality, offices, health and education, community and administrative services) in centres at train stations.
The growth, innovation and evolution of centres is central to the economy of the South District. Centres continue to be a key organising element of the urban structure of Greater Sydney and provide access to jobs, goods and services.
Their vitality and viability are important to local economies and their character defines local areas. Well-planned centres help to stimulate economic activity and innovation through the co-location of activities, provide jobs closer to where people live and use infrastructure more efficiently.
This Plan builds on the existing strengths of each centre within a common framework to deliver on the wider productivity and liveability objectives to grow jobs across Greater Sydney and improve the community access to good and services.
To manage the growth and change of the South District's centres, a centres hierarchy has been established as:
- Strategic centres: Bankstown, Campsie, Kogarah, Hurstville, Miranda and Sutherland.
- Local centres (refer to Planning Priority S6).
All strategic centres will be the focus of public transport investments that seek to deliver the 30-minute city objective (refer to Planning Priority S12).
Some strategic centres in the South District have health and education activities. They differ in size and scale of economic activity. However, as strategic centres, they all have similar expectations, including:
- high levels of private sector investment
- flexibility, so that the private sector can choose where and when to invest
- co-location of a wide mix of activities, including residential
- high levels of amenity, walkability and being cycle-friendly
- areas identified for commercial uses and, where appropriate, commercial cores.
Creating the conditions for growth and making centres great places is a focus of Planning Priority S6.
Employment growth is the principal underlying economic goal for metropolitan and strategic centres. Therefore the designation of a commercial core within a strategic centre, for economic and employment uses, may be necessary to manage the impact of residential developments in crowding out commercial activity.
A balance must be struck in providing adequate mixed-use or residential zoned land around the commercial core zone to ensure new residential developments can benefit from access and services in centres. Centres are not just for economic exchange. They are places where communities gather, and recreational, cultural and educational pursuits are found. They are important to how people participate in community life.
Delivering housing within a walkable distance of strategic centres encourages non-vehicle trips, which foster healthier communities. Housing within centres contributes to a sense of vibrancy; however, the delivery of housing should not constrain the ongoing operation and expansion of commercial and retail activities.
Smart work hubs offer the conveniences of a modern office in local areas - high-speed internet, meeting rooms, video conferencing facilities, informal lounges and quiet booths. They operate as shared workspaces with other small businesses, government and corporate organisations. Opportunities for smart work hubs in strategic centres should be encouraged.
A vibrant and safe night-time economy will enhance Greater Sydney's standing as a global city, while meeting the social and recreational needs of shift workers, families, children and communities.
Planning for a night-time economy in centres should support a diverse range of small businesses such as retail and cultural events and assets accompanied by a suitable regulatory environment.
Research has shown that the South District will need to accommodate more than 680,000 square metres of additional retail floor space over the next 20 years15. In addition, there will be significant demand for additional office floor space. Creating the opportunities to attract retail and office development locally brings jobs closer to where people live. This requires growth in either existing or new centres. The principles for developing new centres are outlined in this Planning Priority on page 66. The Department of Planning and Environment will prepare a state wide retail planning policy.
With economic growth a core goal for centre planning, job targets, expressed as a range, have been identified for each strategic centre. These targets seek to inform planning authorities and infrastructure agencies of anticipated growth. They should not be seen as maximum targets.
The lower end of the range of these job targets reflects the baseline of projected jobs growth anticipated in the centre, while the upper end is an aspirational higher growth scenario to reflect outcomes in the case of future investment and land use planning in centres.
Principles for Greater Sydney's centres
As Greater Sydney's population grows over the next 20 years, there will be a need to grow existing centres, particularly strategic centres and supermarket-based local centres, create new centres including business parks, and attract health and education activities into centres. The principles for developing centres are:
- Existing centres: Expansion options will need to consider building heights and outward growth. In some cases, directly adjacent industrial land may be appropriate for centre expansions to accommodate businesses. Quality design and adequate infrastructure provision is critical to enable expansions. This approach needs to be informed by local government industrial strategies.
- New centres: These will be required across the whole of Greater Sydney.
- In established areas, innovative approaches to creating new centres are likely to be part of urban renewal and mixed-use developments.
- All new centres are to have good public transport commensurate with the scale of the centre.
- Business parks: Not all centres will start as retail centres. Creating jobs and providing services to local communities can be initiated within business parks. However, the built form of these business parks is critical - that is they need to be developed from the outset, as urban places which can transition into higher amenity and vibrant places while maintaining their main role as an employment precinct. Councils' retail and employment strategies should provide guidance on the transition of business parks into mixed employment precincts including, where appropriate, ancillary residential developments to support the business park.
- New health and tertiary education facilities such as hospitals and community health centres. These should be located within or directly adjacent to centres, and ideally co-located with supporting transport infrastructure. In some cases, health and education facilities may be the anchor of a new centre. Built form is critical to facilitate the transition of centres with health and education uses into more mature innovation precincts. A mix of retail and other services including hotel-type accommodation adjacent to the precinct should be supported (refer to Objective 21).
- Clusters of large format retail should be treated as part of the retail network, and planning for new clusters of large format retail should be done in the same way new centres are planned. This includes ensuring centres are places that can grow and evolve over time, and have adequate access to transport services and quality public domains.
Increases in online ordering and home delivery means some retail is essentially a distribution centre. These 'dark retail' stores are most suited to industrial areas as they involve significant logistics support and do not require community access.
Where there is a prevalence of retail activities in an industrial area, there may be exceptional circumstances which warrant the development of a new centre. This should be informed by a net community benefit test supported by a strategic review of centres (which identifies the need for the centre) and an industrial land review (which identifies that the loss of industrial activity can be managed) for the local government area. These reviews will be prepared by councils, and endorsed by the Greater Sydney Commission.
In such cases, the centre should be:
- located where public transport services are commensurate with the scale of the centre
- directly opposite a residential catchment accessible by a controlled pedestrian crossing
- more than a standalone supermarket
- of quality urban design with amenity, informed by a masterplan
- supported by planned and funded infrastructure commensurate with the needs of the centre. For new centres in industrial areas, the economic impact of the centre should be assessed for its effect on the operation of existing businesses in the locality and the viability of surrounding centres.
For new centres in industrial areas, the economic impact of the centre should be assessed for its effect on the operation of existing businesses in the locality and the viability of surrounding centres.
Planning for new and existing centres is to:
- be informed by council growth strategies, which should consider the network of centres, retail, commercial and industrial supply and demand and local housing strategies
- be potentially informed by district-based studies, facilitated by collaborations between councils
- consider the temporal nature of growth and change across Greater Sydney, both historic and future, and its influence on development opportunities at the local level
- recognise improvements to walkability as a core outcome for change in centres
- result in the development and implementation of land use and infrastructure plans to inform infrastructure investment and land use policy decisions
- respond to the detailed planning considerations of Strategy 12.1 and Strategy 22.1 set out in A Metropolis of Three Cities.
Bankstown is a large centre with a range of retail, healthcare, community and civic services. It is an important transport interchange with an extensive bus and rail catchment.
Sydney Metro City & Southwest will create significant opportunity for the future of Bankstown, its urban form and public realm. Investment in the Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre and improvements to its streetscape also demonstrate ongoing change, in Bankstown centre.
The improved frequency and reduced travel time on public transport to the Harbour CBD and beyond to Chatswood and Macquarie Park will strengthen the economic links between Bankstown and the Eastern Economic Corridor. This has potential to stimulate economic opportunities to attract jobs to Bankstown. New jobs and housing developments are also planned for the Bankstown Planned Precinct as part of the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor.
The opening of a Western Sydney University campus, together with the existing TAFE, will introduce a new vibrancy to the centre. This will have an economic flow-on effect, creating opportunities for more local jobs, including knowledge-intensive jobs.
Over time, investments in the centre have the potential for it to emerge as a health and education precinct.
Bankstown CBD has been identified as a potential Collaboration Area for planning for a highly productive, economically vibrant and liveable centre, leveraging the initiatives already underway, especially with the potential of a health and education precinct. Investment in, and redevelopment of, strategic sites also provide a unique opportunity for these to be examples of innovative forms of sustainable development.
|2036 baseline target||17,000|
|2036 higher target||25,000|
Campsie is a thriving commercial centre with a range of medical services nearby. It is identified as a Planned Precinct by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. The centre has a high level of amenity. It is an important transport hub for rail, local and cross-regional bus routes. Accessibility will be further enhanced by the Sydney Metro City & Southwest which will provide faster and more reliable services to other economic centres such as the Harbour CBD and Bankstown. Improving traffic flows through the centre will enhance the pedestrian experience. Other opportunities include increasing local jobs, enhancing the public domain and providing housing in the right locations.
|2036 baseline target||7,000|
|2036 higher target||7,500|
Hurstville is an important retail destination for the South District, with its high street and large shopping centres. It is a commercial precinct for residents and has a growing health services sector. Its cultural diversity presents tourism and nighttime economy opportunities. These activities are supported by good access to the centre by rail and bus services. Improvements to Hurstville's public spaces and better integration of these with the shopping centres will help activate streets and attract visitors to the centre, creating opportunities for local employment and new economic activity.
|2036 baseline target||15,000|
|2036 higher target||20,000|
Kogarah contains a concentration of medical facilities and a mix of retail and commercial activities, focused on the finance and insurance industry. The centre also caters for some night life that could be expanded with better services. Ongoing investment in the centre will support the health and education precinct focused around St George Hospital, and encourage opportunities for local jobs and economic activities to achieve the jobs target.
|2036 baseline target||16,000|
|2036 higher target||20,500|
Miranda is an important retail destination with a vibrant high street, large shopping centre and a mix of retail and local services, particularly health services. It is highly accessible by rail, local and cross-regional bus services. There are opportunities to enhance public spaces and activate secondary streets to make it a more attractive retail and commercial centre. The centre also caters for some night life that could be expanded with better services.
|2036 baseline target||8,000|
|2036 higher target||11,500|
Sutherland presents a diversity of retail, entertainment, commercial and community services, and has a civic role as the location of a District Court. A University of Wollongong satellite campus and Sutherland College Sydney TAFE are located nearby. Building on these strengths and activating streets will provide opportunities to grow local jobs and the night-time economy.
|2036 baseline target||8,000|
|2036 higher target||9,000|