The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has published its own frequently asked question document on the North Wilton Precinct Draft Precinct Plan. View the document here.
North Wilton, the largest component of Wilton New Town, will be an aspirational self-contained garden city, delivering 5,400 new homes in a recreation-rich setting with employment and services close to home.
Landowner Bradcorp’s transformation of the 870-hectare site will include an entertainment and recreational activity hub centred around a multi-function lake, which will enhance the development’s beautiful natural setting located below the Razorback Range. The gorges of the Nepean River and around 342 hectares of riverfront bushland reserve will be conserved for future generations.
In addition to affordable housing for first home buyers and young families, there will be 5,500 local jobs, a world-leading wastewater treatment system and a more than $500 million investment with other land owners in local infrastructure including roads, public transport, schools, playing fields and cycle paths.
Wilton New Town consists of an area with three major landowners including Bradcorp, Walker Corporation and Governor’s Hill. Precinct Plans for each area are being exhibited separately by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
On 22 September 2015, the then NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Rob Stokes announced that Wilton would form part of a new vision for the Greater Macarthur Region and that the planning process for Wilton New Town would essentially be government-led.
This vision for the region and Wilton was laid out in the Greater Macarthur Land Release Investigation Preliminary Strategy and Action Plan. The document recognised Wilton New Town as a priority growth area in the Macarthur region. This was an important step forward for Wilton New Town, as the NSW Government recognised that detailed planning for the locality should proceed.
The Greater Macarthur Land Release Investigation Preliminary Strategy and Action Plan proposed a number of actions for the NSW Government to advance the new town at Wilton. It also provided the framework and delivery pathway for growth and provision of new infrastructure.
Following the exhibition of the strategy, an amendment was made to the Growth Centres SEPP to identify the Wilton Priority Growth Area.
In September 2018 the NSW Government released Wilton 2040 – A Plan for the Wilton Growth Area, which detailed how infrastructure would be delivered to support new communities in Wilton New Town.
Bradcorp and the other two principle landowners in Wilton New Town have committed more than $500 million to the delivery of state and local infrastructure to support the Wilton New Town community.
Bradcorp’s contribution to state infrastructure will deliver more than 70 per cent of its state infrastructure requirements at 23 per cent of the urban development at North Wilton – meaning supporting infrastructure will be delivered at a faster pace than housing.
Around 5,400 new dwellings, including terrace houses, will be delivered to assist in meeting Sydney’s demand for housing supply and affordability at North Wilton.
This will include a diverse range of housing types and living experiences suited to a variety of families and households, with opportunities for first homebuyers, young families and retirees.
North Wilton will be built around modern planning principles supporting connectivity between home, work and play. There will be two activity nodes providing communal meeting places for work, recreation and human interaction.
Bradcorp’s plans include off and on ramps to the Hume Motorway, a direct access off-ramp to connect Hume Motorway to North Wilton and duplication of the bridge.
There will be a bus interchange and roads providing bus access to Picton, Campbelltown and Wollongong with regular peak services commencing early and increasing to every 15 to 20 minutes as the population grows. Bradcorp will contribute $8 million to subsidise local bus services or innovative ‘on demand’ buses.
The plans include protection of the freight and rail corridors.
North Wilton will have strong connections with major centres and infrastructure nodes in Western Sydney, including the future Western Sydney Airport, Sydney’s Priority Growth Areas, future M9 Orbital and Western Sydney Employment Area as well as good connection to all motorways and major metropolitan roads throughout Sydney and to Wollongong and Port Kembla.
Bradcorp, the other Wilton New Town landowners and the State Government are committed to appropriate education and health facilities being available to the community.
At North Wilton there will be a private K-12 school site committed with the first stage of development and provision for a Public K-12 site when the population warrants it.
Bradcorp is also committed to developing long-term Western Sydney University health partnership.
Across the Wilton New Town site in total there are plans for two primary schools and one private K-12 (including those mentioned above), four child care centres and space for medical practitioners and allied health services.
The landowners have publicly stated that they wholeheartedly agree that Wilton New Town needs to be supported by significant investment in key infrastructure including public transport and roads, new schools, access to health services and plenty of jobs and we have advocated this view for many years.
The landowners have worked tirelessly over many years to ensure their plans will make for a self-supporting garden city providing homes, employment and facilities that represent the very best town planning and place-making principles. As part of this strong commitment, more than $500 million will be invested into the new community to fund essential infrastructure. This will comprise $178 million for State infrastructure, including major road upgrades, a public transport interchange, a road network that provides for efficient bus operation, two new public primary schools, a new public K- 12 school, a private K-12 school site, local playing fields and a recreational lake. In addition, around $350 million will be invested into local infrastructure including local roads and parks, community facilities, and a local aquatic centre.
Environment and character
In April 2017 Bradcorp announced it had reached an agreement with mining company South32 in regard to the North Wilton project.
Under the agreement, South32 has agreed to relinquish rights under Bradcorp’s land to facilitate rezoning for residential purposes, allowing development to proceed without potential impact from future underground mining.
Bradcorp is committed to delivering world class sustainable and environmentally-friendly outcomes at North Wilton, including by preserving a substantial amount of isolated tree patches, paddocks and windrows through design principles.
Other key features include:
- Conservation of waterways and around 342 hectares of native bushland.
- 11-hectare man-made lake which forms part of an integrated wastewater treatment cycle – in design stage with Sydney Water.
- Partnering leading energy provider for smart city approach with renewable energy, cheaper electricity bills and reduced reliance on the grid.
- Eight walkable neighbourhoods with extensive cycle paths.
- Green grid of local parks, active sports fields and boulevards that link to the surrounding native bushland, encompassing over 47 hectares of open space.
- A blue grid of man-made and natural water features that connect to the Nepean River.
- Based on 21st century evolution of the ‘Garden City’ concept of Sir Ebenezer Howard.
- Location environment distinguished from other ‘cookie cutter’ developments.
- Urban design to further protect and enhance existing trees and where appropriate replant existing native species.
Bradcorp intends to plant new native trees throughout the urban area, including along roadsides and within reserves. The project includes conservation of waterways and around 352 hectares of native bushland.
Bradcorp’s conservation areas align with the primary corridors identified by the Office of Environment and Heritage for the protection and conservation of the local koala population.
The NSW Government has indicated that high conservation value areas will be conserved through either Biobanking Agreements or Biodiversity Certification. The NSW Government is simultaneously considering long-term ownership or trust arrangements for the conservation area, according to the Greater Macarthur Land Release Investigation Preliminary Strategy & Action Plan. These areas will contribute to the character and visual appeal of Wilton New Town and will provide opportunities for people to experience nature.
Construction and traffic impacts
During the construction process impacts such as noise, dust and construction vehicle movements would be assessed as part of future development applications and managed in accordance with an adopted Construction Management Plan.
A Construction Management Plan would set out restrictions such as times for construction work, number of vehicle movements, and maximum decibel levels.
In parallel with the State Government’s preparation of the Wilton 2040 – A Plan for the Wilton Growth Area, Bradcorp has been developing a concept for an additional ramp off the Hume Highway that would provide direct access to its land to the west of the Hume Highway for vehicles coming from the north.
This new “direct access ramp” would be an additional access to Bradcorp land for the construction of its first stage of development, enable improved access in the longer term to the amenities of the New Town and could provide a new access for traffic coming from the north to the Bingara Gorge community.
The second feature of Bradcorp’s concept is to bring forward the delivery of the north facing ramp, which already forms part of the road network proposed for Wilton New Town, to align with the construction of the “direct access ramp”.
The consultation events were well attended and participants were fully engaged with the project team regarding the additional direct access and acceleration of the north facing ramps concept.
There was clear support for any solution that managed construction and future vehicular traffic to Bradcorp’s land and avoided the use of Pembroke Parade and Fairway Drive.
Support was also expressed for additional emergency services access and egress to Bingara Gorge and for improved connectivity across the Hume Highway, to the proposed schools, town centres and amenities of Wilton New Town. Improved pedestrian and bicycle access was strongly supported.
Some residents were concerned that the direct access ramp would lead to Bingara Gorge being used as a rat run and congestion on other local roads.
Bradcorp agreed to undertake modelling on the issue and submit it to the RMS for consideration, before discussing the results with the community.
Drivers will choose to use the spine road through Bingara Gorge only if it is more attractive than using the Hume Highway and Picton Road to access the northern and western area of Bingara Gorge.
The design of the spine road makes it unattractive to for use as a through road. It is narrow and contains six intersections, including traffic signals and roundabouts.
In addition, it is curvilinear in design forcing the driver to adopt a low operating speed of around 40-50 km/h. The Hume Highway/Picton Road free flow route for traffic heading east is designed to facilitate fast movement and minimise delay.
The southbound traffic on the Hume Highway turning left onto Picton Road will travel at 110 km/h up to the intersection where they then turn left onto Picton Road via a slip lane which is free flowing. The operating speed along the Hume Highway is approximately 110 km/h. With the delivery of Wilton Priority Growth Area, the Picton and Hume Highway intersection will be upgraded to run at a high level of service.
The release of the Wilton North Precinct Plan including the direct access ramps is the first formal signal that RMS and NSW Government support the direct access ramps, following consideration of traffic modelling on the issue.
Bradcorp is committed to continuing the discussion with the community about the ramps.
Engagement with the community and other key stakeholders is fundamental to the development surrounding Wilton and is an integral part of the rezoning process.
Extensive engagement has been conducted with stakeholders and the community by the major landowners during the preparation of the detailed studies and the preparation of their evolving master plan to inform their initial Planning Proposal.
- Community engagement activities have included:
- Community drop-in sessions
- Website updates and feedback forms
- Meetings with adjacent landowners
- Dedicated email and phone contacts for enquiries.
Bradcorp will provide further opportunities for the community to have their say as the process continues.
Council has advised that the rezoning of a property will not result in a change in its rating category, except in the case of vacant land, which must be categorised in accordance with its zoning. For example, if a property is currently rated as residential and then the land is rezoned as commercial / industrial land, the property will continue to be rated as residential. It would only have its rating category changed if the actual use of the land changed – that is if it was being used for commercial or industrial purposes rather than residential purposes.
In terms of the rateable valuation, the Valuation of Land Act requires the Valuer General to value land for rating purposes at its “highest & best use”.
Following rezoning, the Valuer General may review the rateable value of affected properties and this may result in an increase or decrease to the rateable value. This in effect could result in an increase or decrease in rates payable due to the valuation change. In situations where a rezoning has resulted in an increase in rates payable, Sections 585-599 of the Local Government Act 1993 enable a ratepayer to apply for postponement of the part of the rates which, because of its zoning or permitted use, is valued for rating purposes in a way that reflects its permitted use rather than its actual use.
Bingara Gorge is part of the Wilton Priority Growth Area boundary but is nominated as a separate precinct. Lend Lease, which is the developer of Bingara Gorge, is continuing to deliver new homes within this community as part of their current residential zoning and planning controls.
Residents and landowners within Bingara Gorge will also be included in the community engagement process. There are no major land use changes anticipated to existing properties within Bingara Gorge and land sales will continue.