The future of Fairfield’s rural lands in Horsley Park and Cecil Park has been affected by the Federal Government's decision to proceed with the Western Sydney International airport at Badgerys Creek and the NSW State Government's planning for expansion of the Western Sydney Employment Lands (including proposed arterial roads through the area).
Following the designation of the Fairfield rural lands as an Urban Investigation Area under the Greater Sydney Region Plan and the Western City District Plan in 2018, Council engaged consultants to undertake a land capability study and identify a number of options for future development.
The options for the future development of Horsley Park and Cecil Park were publicly exhibited between 9 November 2018 to 8 February 2019. Council on 9 April 2019 considered submissions from the community and resolved to endorse a proposed preferred Structure Plan.
Council has now received feedback from the NSW Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) and State agencies highlighting the need for further detailed investigations into a range of infrastructure, environmental and transport planning issues.
Planning investigation work is being coordinated by a steering committee co-chaired by the Greater Sydney Commission and Fairfield City Council. Council is seeking funding support from the State Government to further progress planning for the Fairfield Rural Lands Urban Investigation Area. Council Officers have continued to have discussions with representatives from the Greater Sydney Commission and State agencies through the UIA Steering Committee.
A report to the Fairfield City Outcomes Committee held on 14 September 2021 (Item 86) provides an update on the status of key planning issues relevant to the Fairfield Rural Lands Urban Investigation Area (UIA) in Horsley Park and Cecil Park.
This includes a recent report released by the Aerotropolis Independent Community Commissioner to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces regarding landowners concerns about land that has been rezoned for acquisition in the Aerotropolis and affected by aircraft noise restrictions under the State Environmental Planning Policy – Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Planning rules introduced by the NSW State Government in October 2020 restricts ‘noise sensitive development’ (including residential development) on land in Horsley Park affect by the 20-25 Australian Noise Exposure Concept (ANEC) footprint of the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek as well as requires aircraft noise insulation (commenced in April 2021) for future residential development located within 13km of the airport.
The Commissioner’s report outlines a number of important recommendations to the State and Federal Governments in regard to aircraft noise issues. However, at this stage it is unclear whether the recommendations applying to these restrictions also apply to properties located in the Fairfield Local Government Area.
Since the last report to Council in September 2020 regarding the aircraft noise restrictions, Council has continued to advocate with the State Government for the removal of the planning noise restrictions and to allow consideration of future 1 acre (4,000m2) subdivision in the area as identified under the Fairfield Rural Lands Urban Investigation Area Structure Plan. In March 2021, Council convened a public meeting with residents of Horsley Park and Cecil Park and confirmed that it would continue to lobby for changes in these rules.
During 2020 and 2021 a number of major planning and infrastructure projects have progressed. This includes approval of the M12 Motorway project, progress in investigations for the East/West Passenger Rail, upgrade of The Horsley Drive (between the M7 and Cowpasture Road), provision of the Western Sydney Advanced Water Recycling Facility to service the Western City and new Southern Link (state arterial) Road through the northern section of Horsley Park.
These planning and infrastructure projects will support future development in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and new airport as well as have a significant bearing on future planning for the Fairfield Rural Lands Urban Investigation Area.