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 August 2017 the NSW Government released the Interim Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plan for Wilton, which detailed how infrastructure would be delivered to support new communities in Wilton New Town.
In November 2011, the State Government invited land owners with large properties in suitable locations to nominate sites with the potential to deliver new housing to help address Sydney’s housing supply shortfall. A number of major land owners nominated land around the Hume Highway and Picton Road intersection at Wilton for potential land release. The nominated area included the existing village of Wilton and the new Bingara Gorge community.
Following a Council resolution, the major landowners signed an agreement to work cooperatively with the Wollondilly Shire Council to prepare the high level draft master plan for Wilton New Town.
On 22 September 2015 the then Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Rob Stokes announced that Wilton would form part of a new vision for the Greater Macarthur Region.
This vision was laid out in the Greater Macarthur Land Release Investigation Preliminary Strategy and Action Plan. The document recognised Wilton as a Priority Growth Area in the Macarthur region.
What impact will the new development have on traffic conditions and the Hume Highway and Picton Road interchange?
It is intended that future development and provision of local facilities (including employment, schools, childcare, shopping) will reduce the need for local and nearby residents to travel long distances for work, education and recreation. Road network improvements needed as a result of additional traffic generated by Wilton New Town will be delivered as required as per the NSW Government finalising the interim Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plan for Wilton.
The major 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.
What were the key elements of the major landowners’ plans and will there be enough infrastructure and services?
The landowners in Wilton New Town 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 have advocated this view for many years.
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. Key highlights of Wilton New Town include:
Local Jobs and Economic Development
- 11,000 permanent jobs in retail, education, healthcare, social assistance and public administration
- 1,700 construction jobs for 30 years
- 200 hectares of town centre and enterprise lands, together with commercial retail and community floor space
- Supermarkets, discount department stores and neighbourhood retail centres
- $7 billion investment in Wollondilly over 30 years.
- 12,000 houses across the site
- Housing diversity, from first home buyers to retirees
- Detached housing on a range of lot sizes, townhouses, villas, apartments and shop-tops
- A focus on affordable housing – meeting the needs of the region.
- Fibre connection to the National Broadband Network
- “Work from home” and remote access to services.
Environment and Wellbeing
- Harmony with the existing natural environment
- Healthy by design principles
- 100kms of walking and cycling trails, almost half of which will be through open space and conservation lands
- Conserve ecological features and biodiversity
- Rehabilitate and retain 620ha of bushland
- Preservation of Aboriginal and early Australian heritage.
Health and Education
- Two primary schools
- One public K-12
- One private K-12
- 4 Childcare centres
- Space for medical practitioners and allied health services.
- Neighbourhood: the heart of every community
- Neighbourhoods will be connected and accessible by foot, cycle and public transport
- Multi-function lake and aquatic facilities
- Leisure centre, sports fields and recreation centres
- Library and community centre.
Transport and Infrastructure
- $178.5m for State roads, transport and social infrastructure
- Upgrade to Hume Highway and Picton Road Interchange
- Upgrade of Picton Road
- New public transport interchange in the town centre and associated park n ride facilities.
- Retention of a heavy rail corridor for future Government-funded rail line
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.
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.
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.