City of Sydney Open Space Demand and Acquisition Analysis

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The brief: The City of Sydney commissioned HillPDA to examine the open space acquisition component of their Section 94 Development Contributions Plan (2006 Plan). The 2006 Plan superseded and consolidated six contributions plans which existed prior to its adoption.

Our role: HillPDA’s role in this project was to:

  1. Analyse the current approach to land acquisition and provide independent advice as to the rigour and reasonableness of the approach;
  2. Assess whether the 2006 land acquisition model could be reasonably applied to the anticipated population increases through to 2031;
  3. Assess and recommend a rate for land acquisition in each of the identified precincts; and
  4. Advise whether the use of indirect contributions was an appropriate method to recover the costs of land acquisition and recommend, where relevant, any changes to the nominated rate.

The results: The outcome of HillPDA’s report was an understanding of the restrictions to open space acquisition within the Sydney CBD, with modelling undertaken by HillPDA indicating a number of paths that could be followed to attain more sustainable development contributions for open space acquisition.

Key learning’s: A review of contribution plans prepared by other councils indicated that the high cost of urban land in Sydney has constrained the acquisition of open space significantly within Sydney CBD.

Summary of services: Policy Analysis, Analysis of future impacts based on population projects, Analysis of future open space requirements, Analysis of direct and indirect funding for land acquisition