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Retaining and managing industrial and urban services land

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Planning Priority E12

Greater Sydney's existing industrial, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution industries 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.

Industrial and urban services land in the Eastern City District provides cost competitive and welllocated land for industries and services that support businesses in the Harbour CBD, other centres and Greater Sydney's two existing international trade gateways of Port Botany and Sydney Airport.

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 reduces the need to travel to other areas, minimising congestion on the transport system.

Table 4: Eastern City District's largest industrial and urban services precincts

LGA Precinct Undeveloped Land (ha) Developed Land (ha) Total (ha)
Bayside Banksmeadow 5 220 225
  Botany 0 66 66
  Mascot 2 73 75
  Port Botany 0 109 109
Inner West Bays Precinct (Glebe Island/White Bay 3 68 71
  Marrickville 1 66 67
Randwick Port Botany 0 204 204
Strathfield Flemington 0 54 54
  South Strathfield / Enfield 18 157 175
Sydney Alexandria 4 148 152

Source: NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Employment Lands Development Program 2017 Report (ELDP 2017 Report), NSW Government, Sydney.

Industrial land supply

The Eastern City District has 1,497 hectares of industrial and urban services land, spread over 58 separate precincts (refer to Figure 19)27. This represents approximately 11 per cent of Greater Sydney's total stock of industrial and urban services land. About three per cent (39 hectares) is undeveloped, and the District has record low vacancy rates of four per cent, indicating strong demand for this land.

This land contributed approximately $15.4 billion or six per cent to NSW Gross Domestic Product in 201528. It also accommodated approximately 123,000 jobs (15 per cent of jobs) in the District29.

The largest industrial and urban services precincts in the Eastern City District are listed in Table 4. These precincts are clustered around the trade gateways of Port Botany and Sydney Airport/Mascot, with large tracts at South Strathfield/Enfield and Alexandria. The remaining precincts in the District, while relatively small, account for approximately 32 per cent of the total industrial and urban services land, and are essential areas for the location of urban services growth.

Outside the Harbour CBD, Mascot, Alexandria and Botany are the most significant employment precincts in the District in terms of job generation.

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.

The District is home to one of Australia's busiest container terminals which is forecast to grow from the current annual container volume of 2.4 million to 8.4 million. It also contains half of Greater Sydney's existing container intermodal facilities, a freight rail network and extensive private lands that support import and export activities. For these logistics industries to thrive, and for Greater Sydney to be a primary choice for national and international logistics businesses, access to sites over two hectares is essential.

Small, inner-city industrial precincts have relatively affordable rents and provide high proportions of urban services jobs for local communities. The value of these precincts should not be underestimated.

Industrial and urban services land in the Eastern City District is highly constrained due to the development of residential dwellings and large-scale retail, which are higher-return land uses, and the lack of opportunities for new supply. There is strong competition for space from non-urban services industries that seek proximity to Sydney Airport, Port Botany, the Harbour CBD and health and education precincts. While these businesses must be supported in a service-oriented modern economy, capacity for industrial and essential urban services must be retained.

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 person. The research found that in the Eastern City District, the per person amount is below the benchmark in 2016, and the per capita amount is anticipated to reduce further between 2016 and 203630.

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

Map depicting distribution of industrial and urban services land, trade gateway and intermodal facilities. The map also shows waterways, protected natural areas, metropolitan rural areas, strategic centres, roads and freight and/or shared rail lines.
Download this image eastern_figure_19.jpg (format PNG / 668 KB )

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. For the Eastern City District the approach to managing industrial land is that it be retained and managed.

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 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 Parramatta Road Corridor Urban Transformation Strategy (November 2016) provides for a diversity of jobs and housing to meet the needs of a broad cross-section of the community. Along with the Parramatta Road Corridor Implementation Tool Kit, they guide the incremental transformation of the Parramatta Road Corridor in line with the delivery of necessary infrastructure. Provisions for development consistent with this Corridor Strategy and Implementation Toolkit are made under a section 9.1 Direction. This Corridor Strategy and Implementation Toolkit reflect the extensive process undertaken and therefore the land subject of this Corridor Strategy is not subject to the industrial land strategies and actions of the District Plan.


Retain and manage industrial and urban services land, in line with the Principles for managing industrial and urban services land in the Eastern City District by safeguarding 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 land.

Bayside Council, Burwood Council, Cit of Canada Bay, Council of the City of Sydney, Inner West Council, Randwick City Council, Strathfield Council, Waverley Council, Woollahra Municipal 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