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.