“This policy will undermine the feasibility of new housing investment in Greater Sydney,” said Property Council’s Luke Achterstraat. Image – Canva
  • NSW's draft Design & Place SEPP was placed on public exhibition
  • The Property Council of Australia has expressed disappointed
  • The policy is set to have a detrimental impact on housing investment, affordability, and job creation

The Property Council of Australia has expressed disappointment in the draft Design & Place SEPP after it was placed on public exhibition.

The policy is set to have a detrimental impact on housing investment, affordability, and job creation.

Property Council’s NSW executive director Luke Achterstraat said, “Whilst well intentioned, the SEPP as exhibited is unworkable and inadequate consideration has been given to the impact upon viability of new housing for current and future generations – this has significant consequences for families in NSW wanting to buy their first home.

Luke Achterstraat
Luke Achterstraat. Image – LinkedIn

“Specifically, the rigid application of vaguely defined principles will simply lead to well-designed projects sitting in a queue.”

As stated in the SEPP (Design and Place) 2021, there are five design principles with each including multiple design considerations:

Design principle Design considerations
Deliver beauty and amenity to create a sense of belonging for people Overall design quality


Comfortable, inclusive, and healthy places

Deliver inviting public spaces and enhanced public life to create engaged communities Culture, character, and heritage


Public space for public life

Promote productive and connected places to enable communities to thrive Vibrant and affordable neighbourhoods


Sustainable transport and walkability

Deliver sustainable and greener places to ensure the well-being of people and the environment Green infrastructure


Resource efficiency and emissions reduction

Deliver resilient, diverse places for enduring communities Resilience and adapting to change


Optimal and diverse land use

Under these considerations lie multiple requirements developments must meet.

Mr Achterstraat said, “Every day Australians are being priced out of auctions each Saturday should rightly ponder why councils now have additional scope to veto new housing builds at a time when only one of 35 local councils in Greater Sydney are on track to meet their housing targets, set by the government.

“No details around holding costs, increasing building material costs, administrative burden and other aspects of feasibility have been provided.”

Mr Achterstraat said the SEPP would reduce quality housing options for buyers and aspirants.

“The Premier has rightly pledged housing affordability to the top of the list but imposing further costs and process delays in an already complex system only raises the price tag for first home buyers.”

The Property Council of Australia is ready and willing to work with the NSW Government to address the issue, said Mr Achterstraat.

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