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Maximising opportunities to attract advanced manufacturing and innovation in industrial and urban services land

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Planning Priority C11

Greater Sydney's existing industrial, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities contribute to its role as Australia's manufacturing capital. These activities occur on industrial land that also accommodates urban services, freight and logistics services and advanced manufacturing.

Urban services include activities such as motor vehicle services, printing, waste management, courier services and concrete batching plants. These activities serve local communities and businesses and require adequate access to industrial land across the District. Demand for this land will increase commensurate with population growth. Good local access to these services also reduces the need to travel to other areas, minimising congestion on the transport system.

Industrial land supply

The Central City District has 4,656 hectares of industrial and urban services land, spread over 75 precincts (refer to Figure 19). This represents the highest proportion of Greater Sydney's total stock of industrial and urban services land (approximately 34 per cent). About 27 per cent (1,244 hectares) is undeveloped16.

The largest industrial and urban services lands in the Central City District are listed in Table 4.

There are 21 industrial precincts in the Parramatta Local Government Area. Around 80 per cent of all jobs in industrial areas are in manufacturing, wholesale, transport, postage and warehousing. Other activities include construction, education, waste management, fuel distribution and bulky goods retail.

Fuel storage and distribution terminals in Camellia supply approximately 50 per cent of NSW's petroleum requirements17.

Industrial and urban services land in The Hills Local Government Area ranges from traditional industrial areas to business and technology parks, with activities including light industry, heavy industry, manufacturing, high-tech, urban services, warehousing and logistics.

Industrial and urban services land in Cumberland Local Government Area is required for emerging innovative industries in digital innovation, media, arts, creative industries, food and beverage manufacturing, allied health, research and development and advanced technology manufacturing. Given the proximity to Greater Parramatta and access to transport and freight routes, these sites are ideally positioned to provide innovation and important urban services that support the growth of the Central City District.

Cumberland Council's draft Employment and Innovation Lands Strategy and Land Use Planning Framework recognise the opportunity to transition its economy into higher order and productive industries and the knowledge-intensive economy. It seeks to develop an innovation ecosystem and grow a number of key sectors: digital technologies/ media, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, manufacturing, creative industries, fashion, allied health, advanced knowledge services and freight and logistics.

In Blacktown Local Government Area, a major industry cluster of transport and logistics, storage, warehousing and distribution is developing. This cluster, together with more established industrial precincts, will capitalise on the growth of the Western Parkland and Central River cities.

A future Western Sydney Freight Line through the southern part of the District will make surrounding industrial precincts such as Yennora even more accessible and valuable for freight, warehousing and logistics businesses.

Figure 19: Central City District industrial and urban services land and freight assets

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Table 4: Central City District's largest industrial and urban services precincts by local government area

LGA Precinct Undeveloped Land (ha) Developed Land (ha) Total (ha)
Blacktown Eastern Creek 332 230 562
Glendenning 22 174 195
Huntingwood 61 198 259
Kings Park 2 210 211
Marsden Park 193 48 241
Ropes Creek 186 0 186
Seven Hills 10 186 196
Cumberland Greystanes 45 118 162
Smithfield, North 7 345 353
Yennora 1 187 188
Parramatta Camellia/Rose Hill 18 218 236
Silverwater 9 142 151
Rydalmere 2 103 105
The Hills Annangrove 109 36 145

Source: NSW Department of Planning and Environment 2017, Employment Lands Development Program 2017 Report, NSW Government, Sydney
Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.

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.

There is growing pressure on industrial and urban services land to be converted to residential or retail uses. In the Central City District, this pressure is particularly strong in parts of GPOP in areas such as Rydalmere, Camellia, Silverwater and Auburn.

Industrial land in GPOP provides capacity for a range of activities that are critical to supporting population and jobs growth. This includes land for bus depots, production of building material, waste processing and water recycling.

As GPOP undergoes transition, careful planning will maintain capacity for a range of industrial activities that are fundamental to the function of the city. Planning will also provide assurance that industrial and urban services activities can coexist with existing and new development.

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 person18. The research found that in Central City District, the per person amount exceeded the benchmark in 2016, and the per capita amount is anticipated to reduce between 2016 and 2036.

Principles for managing industrial and urban services land

Industrial land approaches shall be consistent with Figure 20 and for the Central City District are as follows:

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 below) or manage uses to allow sites to transition to higherorder 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 due to the impact of changing demand for land. In limited cases, conversion to other uses may be appropriate. In some locations, such as GPOP, specifically Camellia, Rydalmere and Silverwater, the safeguarding 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. This approach applies to the Cumberland, The Hills and City of Parramatta local government areas and the established areas of Blacktown Local Government Area (refer to Figure 20).

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 manage approach is being undertaken, councils are to conduct a strategic review of industrial land as part of updating local environmental plans.

There will 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 or the District. This approach applies to the North West Growth Area (refer to Figure 20).

Figure 20: Central City District industrial and urban services land approaches

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Review and manage industrial and urban service land, in line with the principles for managing industrial and urban services land, in the identified local government areas (refer to Figure 20) by undertaking a review of all industrial lands to confirm their retention or transition to higher order uses (such as business parks) and prepare appropriate controls to maximise business and employment outcomes, considering the changing nature of industries in the area.

Greater Sydney Commission, Blacktown City Council, Cumberland Council, City of Parramatta Council, The Hills Shire Council and other planning authorities


Retain and manage industrial urban and services land, in line with the principles for managing industrial and urban services land, in the identified local government areas (refer to Figure 20) by safe-guarding all industrial zoned land from conversion to residential development, including conversion to mixed-use zones. In updating local environmental plans, councils are to conduct a strategic review of industrial lands.

Blacktown City Council, The Hills Shire Council and other planning authorities


Facilitate the contemporary adaptation of industrial and warehouse buildings through increased floor to ceiling heights.

Councils and other planning authorities


Manage the interfaces of industrial areas, trade gateways and intermodal facilities by:

Land use activities

a. providing buffer areas to nearby activities, such as residential uses, that are sensitive to emissions from 24-hour freight functions
b. retaining industrial lands for intermodal and logistics uses from the encroachment of commercial, residential and other non-compatible uses which would adversely affect industry viability to facilitate ongoing operation and long-term growth
c. identifying and preserving land for future intermodal and rail infrastructure
d. accommodating advanced manufacturing where appropriate by zoning that reflects emerging development models
e. ensuring adequate land is available for transit uses, for example, bus layovers 

Transport operations

f. providing the required commercial and passenger vehicle, and freight and passenger rail access
g. improving freight connectivity by both road and the proposed Western Sydney Freight Line from Villawood to Eastern Creek, via Yennora, Smithfield and Wetherill Park to improve business-to-business and supply chain connectivity along this industrial corridor.

Councils, other planning authorities, State agencies and State-owned corporations