Industrial and urban services land includes the Western Sydney Employment Area, which attracts local, national and international businesses.
Major industrial and urban services sites include the corridor from Liverpool to Campbelltown and the Fairfield to Eastern Creek corridor. The latter includes Smithfield-Wetherill Park, Greater Sydney’s largest industrial estate, which employs more than 8,000 people. Further land is proposed to be rezoned for industrial and urban services in Western Sydney Employment Area, Erskine Park, Western Sydney Airport Growth Area, Elizabeth Drive Enterprise, South West Growth Area and Greater Macarthur Growth Area.
Managing industrial and urban services land
Industrial activity and urban services are important to Greater Sydney’s economy and the nature of this economic sector is continuing to change, with emerging technologies and new industries with different requirements. Industrial land is evolving from traditional industrial and manufacturing lands, and freight and logistics hubs, into complex employment lands. This trend is consistent with other parts of Greater Sydney, particularly east of Parramatta.
Existing sites face pressure to rezone to residential uses, especially near Liverpool and north of Greater Penrith. While locations like Wetherill Park and North St Marys may absorb more industrial activities in the short term, the District’s new communities need jobs and services close to home. It is therefore important to retain the existing sites and plan for more industrial and urban services land.
Safeguarding industrial and urban services land can facilitate industries of the future, including creative industries and environmental services such as waste management and recycling facilities.
Timely and cost-effective infrastructure delivery will support the development and competitiveness of these lands, which compete with other Australian capital cities for large tenants like national distribution centres.
Increasing demand for local urban services and an innovative and adaptable industrial sector will require well-connected, serviced and economically viable land for businesses such as mechanics, repair centres, wholesale warehousing, light manufacturing, creative industries, freight, logistics and construction materials warehousing and supply centres.
Future employment growth across all industries and urban services will require additional floor space, additional land or both. Urban services are often less able to increase their floor space efficiency or locate in multi-storey buildings.
Research has identified a benchmark of three square metres of urban services land per person19. The research found that in the Western City District, the per person amount exceeds the benchmark in 2016, and this amount is anticipated to reduce between 2016 and 2036.
However, owing to the substantial long-term population growth and development in land release areas, there may be a need for additional industrial and urban services land.
Principles for managing industrial and urban services land
The retention, growth and enhancement of industrial and urban services land should reflect the needs of each of Greater Sydney’s three cities, and their local context. It should provide land for a wide range of businesses that support the city’s productivity and integrated economy.
Industrial land approaches shall be consistent with Figure 19 and for the Western City District shall be as follows:
- Retain and manage: All existing industrial and urban services land should be safeguarded from competing pressures, especially residential and mixed-use zones. This approach retains this land for economic activities required for Greater Sydney’s operation, such as urban services.
Specifically these industrial lands are required for economic and employment purposes. Therefore, the number of jobs should not be the primary objective – rather a mix of economic outcomes that support the city and population. The management of these lands should accommodate evolving business practices and changes in needs for urban services from the surrounding community and businesses. Where a retain and managed approach is being undertaken, councils are to conduct a strategic review of industrial land as part of updating local environmental plans.
There will also be a need, from time to time, to review the list of appropriate activities within any precinct in consideration of evolving business practices and how they can be supported through permitted uses in local environmental plans. Any review should take into consideration findings of industrial, commercial and centre strategies for the local government area and/or the district.
The retain and manage approach applies across industrial land in the established urban areas of the Western Parkland City, including the existing Western Sydney Employment Area.
- Review and manage: The Greater Sydney Commission will review all industrial and urban services land under this approach to either confirm its retention (as described in the approach above) or manage uses to allow sites to transition to higher-order employment activities (such as business parks) and seek appropriate controls to maximise business and employment outcomes. The review will consider the current level of industrial and urban services land supply, the changing nature of industries and the transformation in the sector impacting on changing demands for land. In limited cases, conversion to other uses may be appropriate.
Equally in some cases the retention of industrial activities will be a starting objective. The Greater Sydney Commission will collaborate with other State agencies and councils and seek input from stakeholders as part of the review.
The review and manage approach applies to the established areas of Liverpool and Fairfield local government areas.
- Plan and manage: In land release areas, there is a need for additional industrial and urban services land in response to long-term projected population and development growth. The Greater Sydney Commission will work with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, other State agencies, including Transport for New South Wales, and councils as strategic plans are prepared to determine additional industrial and urban services land requirements. Additional industrial and urban services land needs to be accompanied by timely sequencing and servicing of infrastructure.
The plan and manage approach applies across parts of the Camden, Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith local government areas.