Northbridge Plaza car park

The Northbridge Plaza car park represents an important strategic land holding for Council and the community.

On 29 April 2024, Council resolved to commence the process to reclassify the Northbridge Plaza car park and surrounding Council owned land (the car park) from community to operational land.

Land classification

Under the Local Government Act all Council land holdings need to be classified as either community or operational land. The land use categorisation is outlined by The Office of Local Government in Practice Note 1: Public Land Management:

"All public land must be classified by council as either “community” or “operational” land (ss.25 – 26). The main effect of classification is to restrict the alienation and use of the land. “Operational” land has no special restrictions other than those that may apply to any piece of land.

Community land is different. Classification as community land reflects the importance of the land to the community because of its use or special features. Generally, it is land intended for public access and use, or where other restrictions applying to the land create some obligation to maintain public access (such as a trust deed, or dedication under section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979). This gives rise to the restrictions in the Act, intended to preserve the qualities of the land.

Community land:

  • cannot be sold
  • cannot be leased, licenced or any other estate granted over the land for more than 21 years (now 30 years section 46 (3))
  • must have a plan of management prepared for it."

Purpose of reclassification

As part of planning for the long term use of the car park, Council has resolved to reclassify the land to operational land which would then enable Council to consider fully any public private partnerships or unsolicited proposals, or other commercial uses or operational matters for the site.

The reclassification better reflects the current use of the land, which is a car park associated with a shopping centre and better aligns to classification of other Council owned car parks such as the Albert Avenue car park which adjoins Chatswood Westfield.

Process of reclassification

To reclassify the land, Council will need to prepare a planning proposal to be submitted to the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.

As part of the reclassification process, Council will write to the NSW Government seeking approval for a gateway determination to publicly exhibit a planning proposal which supports the reclassification. Extensive community engagement, including an exhibition period and a public hearing will be undertaken. Council will then consider whether to proceed with the reclassification after taking community feedback into account.

What is being proposed?

The planning proposal is solely to reclassify the land, and does not seek to change any planning controls for the site. Any changes to planning controls would require a separate planning proposal which is not contemplated at this time and would require a separate resolution of Council.

The proposed reclassification does not seek any changes to the planning controls applying to the site such as height, floor space, or zoning. 

How is Northbridge impacted by the NSW Government Planning Reforms?

The NSW Government, through Low and Mid Rise Housing Reforms, has proposed changes which could affect Northbridge, if implemented as exhibited, as they are seeking higher density around town centres. The NSW Government has indicated they will announce further information in mid-2024.  

How will residents be consulted?

Council officers will attend the Northbridge Progress Association on 19 June 2024, and regular updates will be provided on Council’s web site. The reclassification process will also incorporate a public exhibition period and a public hearing which residents and interested parties can participate in.

What is the timeframe for the planning proposal?

Benchmark timeframes are published by the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure for processing these proposals. The planning proposal would qualify as a 'Basic' proposal under the guidelines, indicating the process could take around 220 days. Council is in the preparatory phase of this work, with the next step being stage 1. 

Image: Maximum benchmark timeframes in working days. Basic proposal - stage 1 (pre-lodgment) 30 days, stage 2 (planning proposal) 80 days, stage 3  (gateway determination) 25 days, stage 4 (post gateway) 20 days, stage 5 (public exhibition and assessment) 70 days, stage 6 (finalisation) 25 days, sub total (department target) 140 working days, total end to end 220 days.


Northbridge Plaza car park, 79/113 Sailors Bay Road, Northbridge 2063  View Map

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