North Sydney Council is preparing a planning study for its much loved Civic Precinct to provide a framework for development in the coming years.
The Civic Precinct stretches from the north of the CBD through to Falcon St, Crows Nest and incorporates popular community facilities including Stanton Library, St Leonards Park, the North Sydney Community Centre and local schools.
With the northern portal to the Metro scheduled to open in the next few years on the corner of Miller and McLaren Streets, Council is expecting future population growth and development pressure in the area. The planning framework identified for the Precinct will strengthen Council’s position in managing future development in the area.
The draft planning study:
Outlines a vision and an urban structure for the Civic Precinct.
Establishes the desired character and feel for the precinct that is supported by a series of urban design principles to guide future growth.
Outlines a series of actions to achieve the vision for the precinct.
Identifies opportunities to deliver additional public domain, improve transport networks and provide jobs and housing in appropriate locations.
The study is part of a broader effort to align local planning controls with the North District Plan (Greater Sydney Commission, 2018) and the Local Strategic Planning Statement (North Sydney Council, 2020).
The Future of the Civic Precinct
The draft study envisions the Precinct as a modern, connected area, primarily low-scale in character with a network of pedestrian links and open spaces. Two transitioning areas of mixed-use development are planned for near the North Sydney CBD and Crows Nest, allowing for more job and housing opportunities.
The area will continue to be characterised by older educational institutions, heritage-listed Victorian terraced houses, the greenery of St Leonards Park and a cluster of civic buildings and public open space at the precinct’s centre.
The village feel of the Civic Precinct will be preserved and enhanced to strengthen its anchor role within North Sydney’s green-civic corridor that connects all the parks and reserves from Port Jackson to Middle Harbour and provides a lower density green break between the two high-density areas of North Sydney CBD and St Leonards.
This distinct Civic and Education campus will be complemented by vibrant mixed-used zones at the NW and SE of the precinct that will act as transition zones towards the CBD and Crows Nest.
Actions under the planning study are:
create more jobs and housing opportunities near the new northern Metro portal
increase amenity and activation along the Pacific Highway
support small to medium sized business growth
provide urban design guidelines for education facilities
improve public open space
identify access and active transport network improvement opportunities
undertake further review of Falcon Street
undertake further review of Civic Core.
Public benefits that may be negotiated as part of any planning proposal to amend the North Sydney LEP 2013 are a new location for Kelly’s Place Day Care, a community centre, public domain upgrades, affordable housing, and public art.
To achieve the vision for North Sydney’s Civic Precinct, state and local government, the community and landowners need to work together. Through genuine collaboration, we can address the needs of our community and provide a modern and vibrant civic and social core for North Sydney.
The Need for a Planning Study
The purpose of the planning study is to develop a long-term framework for guiding development and improvements within the area.
Under current legislation, developers are able to bypass Council with their development aspirations directly to the NSW Government.
Having a firm vision framework places Council in a stronger position to reject inappropriate development proposals.
The Civic Precinct Planning Study was one of the “place-based” studies identified in Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement adopted in March 2020.
Background to the Planning Study
On 29 October 2018, Council accepted Accelerated LEP Review Grant Funding and subsequently agreed with the NSW DPIE to prepare specific projects to bring the North Sydney LEP and other planning instruments and policies into closer alignment with the Greater Sydney Commission’s North District Plan. The Civic Precinct Planning Study is one of these projects.
Subsequently the study has been identified in Council’s Local Strategic Statement as one of the “place-based” studies to be implemented in the LGA.
For further details, please visit
The Civic Precinct Planning Study has been undertaken in two stages. The Stage 1 report was endorsed by Council in October 2019.
Civic Precinct Stage 1 - Engagement Outcomes (523KB)
On 18 May 2020, Council resolved to exhibit the Draft Civic Precinct Planning Study.
Civic Precinct Planning Study (36MB)
Council Resolution 18 May 2020 (177KB)
Council Report 18 May 2020 (910KB)
Background Technical Reports (62MB)
Enquiries may be directed to Pedro Garcia of Strategic Planning on 9936 8100.