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. In some areas industrial and urban services activities are accommodated in business zones.
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.
In the North District, given the limited supply of industrial and urban services land and the inability to increase the supply, industrial and urban services land needs to be safe-guarded and efficiently managed.
Industrial land supply
The North District has the lowest amount of industrial land in Greater Sydney and the highest proportion of the land used for urban services.
The North District has 572 hectares of industrial and urban services land, spread over 43 precincts19 (refer to Figure 17). This represents four per cent of Greater Sydney's total stock of industrial and urban services land. Only approximately seven per cent (39 hectares) is undeveloped, indicating strong demand for this scarce resource.
This land contributed approximately $ 7,905 million or three per cent to NSW Gross Domestic Product in 201520. It also accommodated for approximately 68,000 jobs (four per cent of jobs) in the District.
Table 4: North District largest industrial and urban services precincts
|LGA||Precinct||Undeveloped Land (ha)||Developed Land (ha)||Total (ha)|
|Lane Cove||Lane Cove West||6||45||51|
Source: Department of Planning and Environment, 2017, Employment Lands Development Program, 2017 Report, NSW Government, Sydney.
Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest whole number
Figure 17: North District industrial and urban services land and freight assets
The six largest industrial and urban services lands in the North District are listed in Table 4. A total of 2,212 businesses operated within the precinct. Excluding the category of 'other', the top three business categories were:
- construction (254 businesses, 11 per cent)
- professional, scientific and technology services (248 businesses, 11 per cent)
- financial and insurance services (230 businesses, 10 per cent).
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.
Since 2011, nine hectares of industrial and urban services land in the North District have been rezoned for other uses21. While some land use changes meet longer term growth and productivity requirements, the provision of services and jobs close to business and where people live is critical to the District's productivity.
Pressure for residential and retail uses dominate in areas that are more accessible and valuable, such as locations close to hospital upgrades and transport improvements (for example, St Leonards, Frenchs Forest Hospital, Macquarie Park and Hornsby-Ku-ring-gai).
Consistent with development throughout the Eastern Harbour City, many smaller industrial precincts have a higher than average proportion of urban services activities.
While these precincts may appear to be only a small part of the industrial land supply, they provide important urban services and, in some cases, creative industries.
Industrial and urban services land provides space for emerging future industries. Playing a pivotal role in the future of industry, they could support more creative industries as well as services such as waste management and recycling facilities.
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 North District, the per person amount is below the benchmark in 2016, and the per capita amount was anticipated to reduce between 2016 and 203622.
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 18 and for the North District shall be as follows:
Retain and manage: All existing industrial and urban services land should be safe-guarded 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.
Figure 18: North District industrial and urban services and approaches
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 practice, 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.
Review and manage: The Greater Sydney Commission will review all industrial 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 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 demands for land. In limited cases, conversion to other uses may be appropriate. Equally in some locations, 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. The review and manage approach applies to Hornsby within the North District.