The community is being encouraged to guide future plans for Sydney’s Orchard Hills, with a discussion paper on exhibition until mid-December 2022.

Tanya Davies said that contributing to the discussion paper is important because it gives residents the opportunity to voice their concerns, ideas and opinions to the Department of Planning and Environment.

“It is important that the community have a direct line of communication with the Department of Planning and Environment, so the draft plans are better informed” Mrs Davies said.

“I encourage all residents to have their say and contribute to the discussion paper so that any future plans consider local views and interests.”

The Department of Planning and Environment’s Executive Director Planning & Land Use Strategy Catherine Van Laeren said the discussion paper provides an overview of Orchard Hills in terms of its local context, existing land uses, opportunities, and constraints.

“No one understands the area better than residents and local stakeholders, which is why it’s important we hear directly from the community before we prepare a draft Precinct Plan,” Ms Van Laeren said.

“The discussion paper has been informed by initial analysis, with further studies under way to help better understand the land and environment of the area, as well as what infrastructure – including roads, parks, and schools – is important to the current community, and what will be needed for those who will call Orchard Hills home in the future.”

Ms Van Laeren said precinct planning and the potential rezoning of Orchard Hills could deliver thousands of new homes, as well as shops, infrastructure, and open spaces for the area – all designed around access to a new metro station set to be opened in 2026.

“This is a state-shaping precinct, which will capitalise on significant planned investment by both the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, and we look forward to incorporating the public’s input into these plans,” she said.

The release of the discussion paper follows the recent appointment of Professor Roberta Ryan as the Independent Community Commissioner to guide the future planning of Orchard Hills. The role, which is independent of government, is to help the community understand the planning process – including the discussion paper – and what any proposed changes may mean.

For more information, and to provide feedback on the discussion paper, visit https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/draftplans/exhibition/orchard-hills