Our Place Inner West – Local Strategic Planning Statement, sets out the vision for the area in 2036 and the actions that will be taken to achieve this vision. It provides the land-use planning framework for the Inner West, providing a link between the Greater Sydney Commission’s Eastern City District Plan and the priorities of Our Inner West 2036 – A Community Strategic Plan for the Inner West Community.
It is a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) made in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and will be used to guide Inner West Council’s Comprehensive Local Environmental Plan, Development Control Plan and Development Contributions Plan. Our Place Inner West will assist government agencies, private interests and other institutions to better co-ordinate future infrastructure such as transport, schools, hospitals and open space to ensure they are provided where and when they are needed most. This is assisted in the LSPS by the identification of certain actions as being dependent on commitment to the required infrastructure.
Community input from residents and other stakeholders has aided in the development of this document together with evidence-based studies and strategies.
Based around six themes it identifies the challenges and opportunities for our communities, in the context of a changing climate, changing technologies and a growing population. The Statement sets out planning priorities, objectives and actions to enable opportunities for social, economic and environmental benefits to be taken while maintaining the character, culture and values so important to the identity of Inner West communities.
Our Place Inner West has a significant focus on sustainability and resilience across all themes. The urgent need to reduce greenhouse emissions and minimise the impacts of climate change with green infrastructure, together with the need to ensure our community, environment and economy are resilient to climate impacts and economic, health and infrastructure shocks arising from a range of factors, has led to an increased focus on localised solutions. Priorities from zero emissions to improved active transport infrastructure, from planning for inclusive communities to quality housing aligned with infrastructure, have actions that provide for local alternatives to centralised infrastructure. Small and precinct scale solutions will improve access and reliability for the community and business to the places we want to go for work, well-being and play, as well as the goods, services and customers we need for our economic health.
The other key focus of the Local Strategic Planning Statement relates to our sense of place. Community engagement has shown that the character, diversity, creativity, culture and heritage of Inner West are central to our identity. Additionally, Council has committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ right to self-determination. As the traditional custodians of the land in which Inner West is situated, Council recognises the contribution and value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can contribute to our sense of place - supporting the continuity of the cultures and histories that are significant to the area. Priorities, objectives and actions across the themes address these issues.
While the projected 42,000 increase in population by 2036 has been factored into the Local Strategic Planning Statement by planning for an average of 1,000 new dwellings a year, the plan is not driven by dwelling growth. Rather, it will utilise the development required to cater for population growth to achieve the priorities and objectives set out in this statement – addressing key challenges while also being sensitive to what makes the Inner West a special place.
Housing affordability is a significant issue and the affordability gap will widen further unless we take action now. The plan includes a number of actions to assist in reducing this gap, however Council cannot fix the housing affordability gap alone. Other levels of government have a greater capacity to make systemic changes to support affordability. Council will continue to provide leadership in this area to pressure other levels of government to do their part to close the gap.
While Council and the community can make significant achievements locally, there are also important matters at the broader state and district levels that are beyond the responsibility of Council alone. These include the provision of major infrastructure such as public transport and education and the enabling of the major transformation of certain identified areas to catalyse district and region wide benefits. In these cases, it is important that Council work with State Government and other stakeholders towards the achievement of sustainable outcomes across local, district and regional scales.
While Our Place Inner West is intended to guide the planning framework for 20 years, we cannot foresee all the changes that will occur in that time period. It is therefore imperative that Council regularly monitor the progress of the actions and the extent to which the identified priorities, objectives and vision are being met. The results will provide critical evidence to guide future reviews of Our Place Inner West.
The public exhibition of Our Place Inner West will provide further guidance to ensure Inner West 2036 achieves the vision of this Local Strategic Planning Statement.