St Leonards and Crows Nest Priority Precinct

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On 15 October 2018, the Department of Planning and Environment released a package of detailed documents relating to the St Leonards Crows Nest Planned Precinct for public comment. This package comprises:

  • St Leonards Crows Nest Draft 2036 Plan;
  • St Leonards & Crows Nest Draft Local Character Statement;
  • St Leonards Crows Nest Draft Green Plan;
  • St Leonards Crows Nest Proposed Special Infrastructure Contribution; and
  • Crows Nest Sydney Metro Site Rezoning Proposal.

A number of detailed technical background studies (heritage, feasibility, urban design, transport etc) are also available to be viewed on the Departments website. All these documents can be viewed at;

These documents will be on public exhibition until 3 December 2018. Further details on the exhibition process, how to learn more and how to make a submission can be found at;

Council staff are currently reviewing these detailed documents and it is planned to report this matter to Council in late November/early December 2018 for Council to consider its response in relation to the draft documents.

Following Council’s consideration of this report this section of North Sydney Council’s website will be further updated.



On 4 August 2017 the NSW Government released its Interim Statement on the future of Crows Nest, St Leonards and the Artarmon industrial area.

The statement includes a draft vision, objectives, guiding principles and 10 character statements that are to guide future development and infrastructure delivery in the precinct over the next 20 years.

This is an important opportunity to have your say on the future of your local area.

Community comment closed on 17 September 2017.

View the Dept of Planning & Environment website

North Sydney Council’s submission 4 September 2017 (730KB)


What is a priority precinct?

A priority precinct is an area that the NSW Government has formed the view should support significant increases in jobs and dwellings due to its proximity to good public transport. Plans for the area are prepared by the Department of Planning & Environment, rather than local government.

On 7 July 2016, the former Minister for Planning announced a "strategic planning investigation" into Crows Nest, St Leonards and Artarmon industrial area. On 1 June 2017 the area was formally declared a "priority precinct". It now forms part of the NSW Government’s housing affordability package which includes fast-tracking the delivery of 30,000 new dwellings across the Metropolitan area.

The priority precinct covers parts of North Sydney, Lane Cove and Willoughby local government areas. It is focussed around the new metro station at Crows Nest and St Leonards station, and extends out towards the Naremburn, Holtermann and Hayberry conservation areas, Wollstonecraft and the Artarmon industrial area.

For details, including a map, go to Planning & Environment website.


What is the NSW Government proposing?

The NSW Government has engaged a suite of consultants to review the planning controls that apply to the precinct. It is understood draft plans will be released in early 2018 for public comment. The Minister for Planning will determine the final plans.

A new State levy (SIC) to fund district level infrastructure is also being developed.

In the meantime, the Interim Statement (pdf), which was released on 4 August 2017, gives some indication as to what is being proposed. It contains the following draft vision statement:

"The St Leonards and Crows Nest Station Precinct has a strategic role within the Sydney metropolitan area. It provides a unique opportunity to strengthen and develop many of the existing qualities which attract people to live, work and relax here. Future development will be responsive to place with a clear identity and purpose, which is inspiring, enjoyable and rewarding."

To support that vision, the Interim Statement suggests the following:

Density: St Leonards and the area surrounding Crows Nest Station will accommodate significant density increases through "transit oriented development" that will include both commercial and tall mixed use towers.

Employment: 19,000 new jobs will be supported across the precinct by 2036 by providing at least 284,000m2 of additional employment floorspace.

Crows Nest village and conservation areas: The fine grain scale and amenity of Crows Nest Village (between Hume St and Alexander St) and the conservation areas are to be protected.

Industrial land: The employment and urban service function of the Artarmon industrial area is to be protected although there is some suggestion the area will be allowed to diversify and evolve over time.

Open space: A network of new and existing open spaces will be created to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport use. There are no specific proposals at this time.

Social infrastructure: There is a commitment to providing "adequate social infrastructure" including 10% affordable housing and a new school.

Transport: Maximum parking rates will limit traffic generated by new developments and proposals to improve pedestrian links across the Pacific Highway will be considered.

Further details, including background studies, go to Planning & Environment website.


How has local government been involved?

Local government’s role in the priority precinct process is outlined in a Terms of Reference (19KB). This includes the establishment of an executive-level Project Control Group (PCG) and a Project Working Group that include representatives from Lane Cove, Willoughby and North Sydney Council. Ms Deborah Dearing, North District Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission, chairs the PCG.

The Department has sought Council’s comments on draft documents over the course of the year. Documents released by the Department do not, however, reflect North Sydney Council policy.

Council’s policy in relation to development around the new Crows Nest Metro station can be found in the Crows Nest Placemaking and Principles Study. The community is welcome to use the principles and ideas from this study to respond to NSW Government’s plans. Further details, go to Sydney Metro website.


When will the community be involved?

The community should play an important role in developing plans for the future of Crows Nest, St Leonards and Artarmon.

The Department of Planning & Environment is accepting public comment on the Interim Statement between 4 August - 17 September 2017.

The release of the draft plan in early 2018 will be the next formal opportunity to get involved.

Council has written to the Department calling for more opportunities for local community input.


More information

Council’s Strategic Planning department is responsible for coordinating a response to the priority precinct. Emma Booth, Team Leader Design can be contacted on 9936 8100.

Terms of Reference for the Priority Precinct (19KB)

CiS06 Council report 24 July 2017: Update on St Leonards, Crows Nest & Artarmon Priority Precinct (1MB)

Crows Nest Placemaking and Principles Study