Aerotropolis ready to take off

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THE development of the 11,200-hectare Western Sydney Aerotropolis site is ready to take off, following the release of the draft plans.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the chance to plan and build an international airport and its supporting city is a rare privilege.

“The Aerotropolis will be Sydney’s newest economic hub and will be a 30-minute city, where people live close to jobs, schools, health services and high-quality open space,” Stokes said.

“With construction of the airport underway, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a brand new city, and we want the community to be part of the process.

“We’re getting on with the job of planning for a new city to make sure that land around the airport will be ready to build on well before the first plane takes off,” he added.

Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres said the Aerotropolis economic development precinct is already attracting significant international interest with 17 global and regional partners ready to move in.

The next phase of planning paves the way for land to be rezoned by mid next year. The precinct will eventually provide up to 200,000 jobs to western Sydney.

Six aerotropolis precincts will be rezoned in the first round, which is hoped to be completed in mid-2020.

Development body, the Urban Taskforce, chief executive Tom Forrest welcomed the release of the draft plans, along with the draft State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).

“This is good news for landowners and developers in the area who are keen to progress plans to contribute to the future development of the Aerotropolis,” Forrest said.

“The plans announced today provide detail on key aspects of the Aerotropolis, such as flexible land use zones which incorporate a variety of uses, including agribusiness, commercial, residential, advanced industries, and research and development,” Forrest said.

However, the Urban Taskforce has expressed concerns that property values had already been driven up, even before the rezoning process has commenced, based on a series of government announcements.

“If the NSW government adds additional state Infrastructure charges or “value capture contributions” (taxes) on top of already inflated land prices, they risk sterilising the land by rendering development unfeasible. The details of these charges have not yet been determined and every effort should be made to keep them to a minimum to ensure that the development and jobs (as well as GST revenue and stamp duties) can flow asap.

“Further detail on the SIC and Value Capture charging regime, along with details of supporting infrastructure, are anticipated to be released next year,” Forrest said.

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