Investigation areas

Southern employment lands

Within the southern employment lands, 2 investigation areas have been identified. These areas are not zoned for market housing, but where its development would support the wider objectives for the area, the City will consider planning proposal requests to rezone sites.

Employment lands strategy boundary map

Guideline for planning proposal requests 

The guideline to preparing site specific planning proposal requests in the City of Sydney employment lands investigation areas provides a transparent and consistent framework for planning proposal requests in investigation areas. The guideline includes information about:

  • the matters that will be considered in the evaluation of planning proposal requests
  • the City’s priorities for infrastructure and how changes to planning controls can support its delivery, including affordable rental housing
  • the process for preparing a site specific planning proposal request, including required supporting documentation, applicable fees, preparing a planning agreement and the decision making process.

Benefit sharing

In the inner city, the value of land is directly related to the uses and densities permitted on that land. Given the much higher value of land zoned for residential uses, relative to land zoned for non-residential uses, rezoning sites to allow residential development results in a significant increase in the land value. This is called the 'planning gain'.

The guideline provides a framework for the sharing of the planning gain created in investigation areas as a result of changes to planning controls. This is to ensure that all land owners in the southern employment lands, as well as the affected working and living community, share in the material benefit of changes to planning controls.

The sharing of benefit will assist in the provision of infrastructure, including affordable housing, to support growth in the southern employment lands.

The guideline provides a formula and rates to determine the ‘planning gain’ associated with changes to planning controls. The rates are indexed over time with reference to movements in the median price for strata dwellings in the City of Sydney local area.

The rates for calculating planning gain effective from 1 June 2018 to 31 August 2018 are:

Proportion of non-residential floor space retained in the request
Rezoning rate (R1) $/sqm
Floor space type
Additional floor space rate (R2) $/sqm

The above rates are indexed quarterly based on the rent and sales report issued by Housing NSW. At times we may be awaiting the release of this report and the rates may not be up-to-date. When this is the case, the most recent rates will be applied and the contribution amount will be later indexed.

Once established, the planning gain is shared equally (50/50) between the landowners and the public (represented by Council).

Affordable housing for low income workers, which supports sustainable employment growth and a diverse and healthy community, will be of substantial public benefit to all land owners in the southern employment lands. In most cases it will be the preferred public benefit outcome of any change to planning controls in investigation areas.


Tamara Bruckshaw
Manager Green Square and Major Projects
Strategic Planning and Urban Design02 9265 9743


Daniel Thorpe
Strategic Planning and Urban Design02 9265 9865

Last updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2018