Towards 2040 plan: Three reasons for hope

In line with the Greater Sydney Planning Commission’s overarching priorities, the Northern Beaches Council consulted with our community to get input on what’s important. You might have even been one of the many community members who participated in workshops, surveys and online feedback to help shape our future.

The result of this extensive consultation is the ‘Towards 2040 Local Strategic Planning Statement’ (LSPS).

While you might have been alarmed about the plans for higher urban density, the strategic plan ensures that our Northern Beaches lifestyle will be protected.

Development will also be focused on sustainability with regard to real estate in the Northern Beaches. Of course, the plan is also expected to impact real estate selling trends and real estate selling rules.

There are three key takeaways from the LSPS, which will guide the Northern Beaches Council’s land use planning in the area over the next 20 years.

No. 1: The top priorities are about protecting the natural environment

Since the focus of the LSPS is sustainable land use, it makes sense that the first five priorities underscore the importance of protecting the environment.

  • Priority 1: Healthy and valued coast and waterways
  • Priority 2: Protected and enhanced bushland and biodiversity
  • Priority 3: Protected scenic and cultural landscapes
  • Priority 4: Protected Metropolitan Rural Area (Terrey Hills, etc.)
  • Priority 5: Greener urban environments

The Northern Beaches Local Government Area has some of the densest tree canopies in Greater Sydney. However, the trees are growing old and are under threat from tree-cutting activities. The LSPS will address the ageing of mature trees and illegal tree clearing on private land, as well as ensure the planting of 5,000 trees per year.

Higher-density apartment living will be more prevalent in places like Dee Why-North Curl Curl, Manly-Fairlight, Freshwater-Brookvale and Narrabeen-Collaroy to keep emissions in check, as high carbon emissions have been associated with detached residences or dwellings. Moreover, this will help preserve available open spaces for green initiatives that will benefit the entire community.

To further prioritise the retention of green space, new housing will be medium-density style. The mix of new housing will include well-designed flats, low-rise dwellings, and social and affordable housing, including boarding houses.

Senior housing will be developed in areas that give older people easy access to transport and services. This mix will mean that young and older residents can continue to live on the Northern Beaches in the community they know.

No. 2: Urban density will be contained

The plan also calls for thousands of new dwellings (11,747 over 20 years, 3,400 over the next five years) to accommodate the projected growth in population density.

This is likely to be achieved in existing areas, with Warriewood-Mona Vale, Dee Why-North Curl Curl and Narrabeen-Collaroy being targeted to provide future residential needs.

No. 3: Heritage and local character will be protected

As embodied in Priority 17, ‘Centres and neighbourhoods designed to reflect local character, lifestyle and demographic changes,’ the LSPS is also meant to dispel our fears of losing our local identity as a people and community.

This will be achieved through ‘community place planning’ where everyone can get involved in creating and renewing beloved places or local haunts.

Perhaps right now, we haven’t fully grasped all that the Towards 2040 LSPS hopes to achieve for us, but these three elements of the plan indicate that we’re on the right track. If you wish to read the plan in detail, you can access it here.

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