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27 December 2015 Posted by 


Development potential unlocked, say experts

MORE than 90 long-awaited changes to existing Strata Laws have passed through the NSW Parliament with a strong response from the property industry.

Property industry leaders identify the reforms as an ideal opportunity to unlock new growth opportunities in Western Sydney.

The centrepiece of the reforms are changes that allow strata blocks to be sold or redeveloped with the consent of 75% of the building owners, down from the 100% agreement as previously required.

Eugene Marchese, Principal of award winning architecture and engineering firm Marchese Partners, welcomed the new collective sale and renewal model.

“It will facilitate gentrification in areas that are close to transport, services, education and entertainment that normally would not have been able to be gentrified because of the inability to get the minority of owners in these areas who don’t want change,” Mr Marchese told WSBA.

“For apartment buildings that were built in the 1950's, 60s and 70s (and even beyond) these were built under different circumstances with different demands.

“The majority of these apartment buildings are all strata buildings. The new laws will help unlock the potential of these building of which most have reached the end of their life cycle anyway.”

Richard Hughes, Principal of property advisory firm Catylis, also supported the new laws and called on local councils to embrace the new opportunities for redevelopment by increasing densities in areas dominated by ageing apartment stock.

The passage of the reforms has been a long time coming, with initial proposals and stakeholder consultation being announced by the former Minister for Fair Trading following the election of the O’Farrell Government in 2011.

“Planners will now have the flexibility to re-zone land in suitable urban areas to accommodate increased residential densities to encourage an increase in residential development,” Mr Hughes said.

“Increased supply of residential developments will reduce pent up demand which in turn will lead to lower growth in housing prices. Developers will benefit by having additional opportunity to purchase development sites and potentially by being able to negotiate direct with the owners or body corporates of existing apartment blocks.”

The reforms also clarify existing rules around pet ownership and neighbourhood disputes.

NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello has indicated that now the Act has passed both Houses of Parliament that public consultation on draft Regulations to support the Acts will start in early 2016.


Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Email: info@wsba.com.au
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Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.