FAQ

Have a question about the Riverstone Scheduled Lands project? Consult our FAQ below or contact us at riverstone@landcom.nsw.gov.au with your question.

General information

What are the Riverstone Scheduled Lands?

The Riverstone Scheduled Lands consist of about 1,600 residential lots located about 48 kilometres northwest of Sydney CBD.  They were subdivided in 1881.  While much of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands has been rezoned to allow for residential development, the land has not been developed because it is not serviced with infrastructure such as roads, drainage, water, sewer and electricity. It is referred to as a “paper subdivision” because it is a subdivision on paper only, and to date has not been developed. The lots are currently owned by over 320 landowner groups.

In consultation with landowners and stakeholders, Landcom developed a new process under the NSW planning legislation, Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (Paper Subdivision) Regulation 2013, to allow a relevant authority to re-subdivide and service these lots.  This process was developed in order to promote and coordinate the orderly and economic use of such lands, and support the NSW Government’s objectives for enabling housing supply.

See the map showing the extent of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands.

Download the factsheet for Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3)

Download the NSW Planning Northwest Growth Centre Land Zoning Map, SEPP (Sydney Growth Centres 2006)

Landcom has been appointed as the Relevant Authority for the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3) under the paper subdivisions legislation. Precinct A (Stages 1-3) is the pilot for this new process. For more information about the process refer Planning for Paper Subdivisions Guidelines 2013

Landcom is coordinating and delivering the redevelopment of Riverstone Scheduled Lands Development Plan Precinct A (Stages 1-3) on behalf of landowners.

The Minister for Planning has asked Landcom to investigate possible development for the remainder of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands, including Precinct A (Stages 4-5), Precinct B and Precinct C. We have commenced these preliminary investigations, however, we currently have no formal role beyond these investigations and there is no timetable for development of lots outside Precinct A (Stages 1-3).

What is Precinct A (Stages 1-3)?

Precinct A (Stages 1-3) is the first section of land that has been identified for development in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands. It is an area bounded by Junction Road to the east, Crown Road to the south and Edmund Street to the west.

Landcom has been appointed as the Relevant Authority for Precinct A (Stages 1-3) under the paper subdivisions legislation (refer to Planning and Environment Notices).

See the map showing the extent of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3).

What is happening with the remainder of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands, ie land that is not located in Precinct A (Stages 1-3)?

Lots outside Precinct A (Stages 1-3) in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands are not covered by the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Development Plan Precinct A (Stages 1-3) 2016.

Lots not covered by the Development Plan have been rezoned to allow for subdivision but cannot be developed until service infrastructure such as roads, drainage, water, sewer and electricity is delivered.

Landcom is coordinating and delivering the redevelopment of Riverstone Scheduled Lands Development Plan Precinct A (Stages 1-3) on behalf of landowners.

In December 2017, the Minister for Planning requested Landcom investigate possible development and staging for the remainder of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands, including Precinct A (Stages 4-5), Precinct B and Precinct. We have commenced these preliminary investigations, however, we currently have no formal role beyond these investigations and there is no timetable for development of lots outside Precinct A (Stages 1-3).

Information about Blacktown City Council’s developer requirements can be obtained from Blacktown City Council.

What is Landcom’s role in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands?

Landcom has been appointed as the Relevant Authority for Precinct A (Stages 1-3) in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands under the ‘paper subdivisions’ amendments to the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Landcom is coordinating and delivering the redevelopment of Riverstone Scheduled Lands Development Plan Precinct A (Stages 1-3) on behalf of landowners.

In December 2017, the Minister for Planning requested Landcom investigate possible development and staging for the remainder of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands, including Precinct A (Stages 4-5), Precinct B and Precinct. We have commenced these preliminary investigations, however, we currently have no formal role beyond these investigations and there is no timetable for development of lots outside Precinct A (Stages 1-3).

Does Landcom own any of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands?

No. Landcom is not a landowner in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3).

Who owns the land in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands?

The majority of the development lots are held by private landowners. There are around 1,600 lots held by over 320 landowner groups across the Riverstone Scheduled Lands.  Of these, around 280 lots are within Precinct A (Stages 1-3) and are owned by 50 landowner groups.

Blacktown City Council and the State Government also own land across Riverstone Scheduled Lands, mostly zoned for conservation.

What is the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Development Plan Precinct A (Stages 1-3)?

The Riverstone Scheduled Lands Development Plan Precinct A (Stages 1-3) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 was created by Landcom to allow for the future development of lots in Precinct A (Stages 1-3).

The Plan outlines how:

  • infrastructure will be delivered
  • land will be subdivided
  • costs of developing land will be recouped through contributions from landowners.

Land for sale

When will I be able to buy land at Riverstone Schedule Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3)?

Landcom will be selling a limited number of lots within Precinct A (Stages 1-3).  The majority of lots will be retained or sold by landowners.

It is expected that we will have housing lots for sale from 2019. Please watch this website for project updates and sales information.

Paper subdivisions legislation

What are paper subdivisions?

These are lots that are subdivided on paper, but have not been developed due to their irregular subdivision patterns, highly fragmented ownership and/or a lack of appropriate zoning and infrastructure services.

In some cases, the subdivisions date back to the 1800s and can be as small as 200m² in area and less than 10m in width – sometimes with no land between lots for ‘common’ areas such as roads and footpaths.

What is the paper subdivisions legislation?

The legislation is designed to help landowners in paper subdivision areas like the Riverstone Scheduled Lands to coordinate the delivery of infrastructure required to unlock their land for development.  

Under Schedule 7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Minister for Planning may designate a relevant authority to coordinate subdivision of land.Under the legislation, the designated relevant authority (such as Landcom) can propose a development plan based on current planning controls.

What is a Subdivision Order?

A Subdivision Order is made by the Minister for Planning to enable a nominated relevant authority (a council, Landcom or other specified body) to carry out the provisions of a Development Plan which may include subdivision works, acquisition of land by agreement or compulsory process and the requirement to pay development contributions.

In a ballot held in March 2016 the majority of landowners in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3) voted in favour of the proposed Development Plan for their lots.

A Subdivision Order was issued by the Minister for Planning in November 2016, directing Landcom, as the relevant authority, to proceed with the development of Precinct A (Stages 1-3) as per the Development Plan.

Precinct A (Stages 1-3) case manager

What is the role of the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Case Manager (Case Manager)?

Landcom has appointed GHD to provide case management services.

GHD is offering a confidential and independent support service for landowners in Precinct A (Stages 1-3).  The service aims to provide support to landowners who may be having difficulty understanding or meeting the requirements of their Voluntary Contributions Agreement. The service also supports landowners who may have received notice that part or all of their land is at risk of being compulsorily acquired by Landcom.

You can contact the case manager Reem Finkelde via email, reem.finkelde@ghd.com or phone 02 9239 7098.

Why is Landcom offering this service?

Following a comprehensive review of property acquisition activities, the NSW Government introduced a series of reforms designed to make the acquisition process fairer, more transparent and focussed on the needs of landowners.

For landowners in Precinct A, Stages 1-3 the Case Manager can provide support during the development process to help them meet the terms of the Voluntary Planning Agreement and minimise the risk of their land being acquired.

Why might Landcom compulsorily acquire land?

If a landowner does not pay costs as agreed in their Voluntary Contributions Agreement, Landcom may compulsorily acquire part or all of their land 'by agreement' in accordance with the Development Plan and Voluntary Contributions Agreement.

The acquired land would be sold in order to recover all relevant project costs, which includes Shared Costs, Individual Costs and Specific Costs. Any surplus funds from sale of land are returned to the landowner.

Are the discussions held between landowners and the Case Manager confidential?

Yes. All discussions between the Case Manager and landowners are confidential, unless a landowner asks for certain information to be passed to Landcom.

Do I have to communicate through the Case Manager?

No. You do not have to take up the services of the Case Manager. We encourage you to continue communicating directly with Landcom to work towards meeting the obligations of your Voluntary Contributions Agreement. You can contact the Landcom team on 1800 238 321 or via email at riverstone@landcom.nsw.gov.au.

Can the Case Manager provide advice to the landowner?

No. The Case Manager cannot provide legal, financial, town planning or other advice to landowners but can ask questions on their behalf to Landcom about procedural matters relating to the Voluntary Contributions Agreement. Landowners must always seek their own independent advice regarding the Development Plan and how it affects them.

Precinct A (Stages 1-3) subdivision process

Can I build on my Riverstone Scheduled Lands lot as it is?

No. The Minister for Planning has rezoned the Riverstone Scheduled Lands to allow urban development. Blacktown City Council will only allow development to proceed once sewer, water and electricity infrastructure is in place and the subdivision is registered. Landowners can then prepare development applications and seek approval from council to build on their land. Find out more about Blacktown City Council’s developer requirements.

What infrastructure is needed to develop the Riverstone Scheduled Lands?

To enable development the Riverstone Scheduled Lands require new and upgraded roads, water, sewer, and electrical services. New schools, public transport and community services are also planned to support new housing and development.

Once the subdivisions for Precinct A (Stages 1-3) are complete, will my land be ready to build on?

Once the subdivision works for Precinct A (Stages 1-3) are complete and the subdivision is registered, landowners will receive new certificates of title for their lots. Landowners will then be able to sell their land or lodge Development Applications with Blacktown City Council. Find out more about Blacktown City Council’s developer requirements.

What will happen to the trees on the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3)?

Some trees will be removed as part of the subdivision works.  The Development Plan provides for dedicated conservation areas.

What happens once the Development Application for the new subdivision is approved by Blacktown City Council?

After a Development Application for the new subdivision is approved, a suitable construction contractor is appointed through a tender process to complete the infrastructure works required for the development. Landcom has appointed WEM Earthmoving Pty Ltd to undertake subdivision works in Precinct A (Stages 1-3).

Precinct A (Stages 1-3) landowner arrangements

What do I pay for as a landowner?

Landowners in Precinct A (Stages 1-3) have paid for the cost of development works, including the cost of:

  • all new infrastructure services (sewer, water, electricity), roads, drainage
  • remediation of contaminated land
  • demolition of existing structures
  • government fees and charges related to developing their land.

Landcom is managing these works on behalf of the majority of landowners.  A small number of landowners have opted to independently manage these works using appropriately licenced contractors.

What is a Voluntary Contributions Agreement?

Landowners in the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3) must make a contribution towards the cost of the subdivision works outlined in the Development Plan. The proportion of each landowner’s contribution is calculated and described in the Development Plan.

The cost of the subdivision works include the cost of all new services (sewer, water, electricity), roads, drainage and remediation of any contaminated land and demolition of existing structures. Landowners are also responsible for planning and project management costs, which include government fees and charges. 

A Voluntary Contributions Agreement is a contract between individual landowners and Landcom for the development of their land. It outlines the amount payable and options to fund development works.

How can I pay for the costs associated with development?

Landowners had two options for funding the costs associated with development in Precinct A (Stages 1-3), being:

  • Monetary Contribution: Money is paid to Landcom prior to work commencing, or
  • Land Trade: A portion of land is traded with Landcom to cover the costs associated with development.

If a landowner had not entered into a Voluntary Contributions Agreement  with Landcom by the end of February 2017, either because they choose not to or were unable to, under the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, compulsory land acquisition powers can be triggered. The trigger of acquisitions provides certainty for all landowners, as it allows the Development Plan process to go ahead in the manner that the majority of landowners voted for in the landowner ballot in early 2016.

How does the monetary contribution option work?

An upfront payment by the landowner is made to Landcom and held in a dedicated account for the Development Plan costs.

Development costs are withdrawn from the account by Landcom during the development of land on behalf of landowners.

New Certificates of Title are created and given to landowners once subdivision works are complete and the Deposited Plan of the subdivision is registered with NSW Land Property Information.

Surplus funds remaining in the account after costs have been met at the completion of the Development Plan will be returned to the landowner.

The developable area of land always remains in the ownership of individual landowners.

If I pay by monetary contribution, do I have to pay for it all upfront or can I pay in instalments?

Landowners in Precinct A (Stages 1-3) who chose to pay for the cost of development via a monetary contribution were required to pay upfront before the commencement of subdivision works for their stage.

If I am funding through monetary contribution, how much notice will I have to pay?

Landowners in Precinct A (Stages 1-3) were required to make their payment 90 days before the commencement of subdivision works for their stage.

How does the Land Trade option work?

Landowners in Precinct A (Stages 1-3) had the option to pay for their share of costs of development with part of their land - this is called land trading. This means trading some of their land to pay for Development Plan costs.

Landowners could choose which lots they traded and which lots they kept.

Landcom will complete the works and sell the traded lot(s) on the market.  Landcom will recoup its costs and return any surplus funds to the landowner as soon as reasonably practicable after the completion of the Development Plan.

What are the government development fees and levies I will have to pay?

There are application fees to council for the development approvals and two types of development fees and charges that are payable on new developments in the area:

  • Special infrastructure Contribution fees: the whole of the North West Growth Centre, within which the Riverstone Scheduled Lands is located, is subject to an infrastructure levy administered by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to contribute towards the cost of biodiversity certification and land for schools, transport and emergency services in the area.
  • Section 94 fees: new development in the local government area is subject to a Section 94 levy administered by Blacktown City Council to contribute towards the cost of local facilities and services such as drainage areas, parks and community facilities.

Why do I have to pay for infrastructure?

It is standard practice for developers in NSW to pay for the cost of the roads, water, sewer and other services needed for developing their land.

Why do I have to pay Landcom development management fees?

Development management fees are one of the costs incurred in developing land. These costs apply as they would for any private developer in NSW.

What will happen if I choose not to enter into a Voluntary Contributions Agreement with Landcom?

If a landowner in Precinct A (Stages 1-3) did not enter into a Voluntary Contributions Agreement  with Landcom by the end of February 2017, then Landcom can move to acquire the land under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act outlined in the Development Plan. This ensures Landcom can deliver the Development Plan approved by landowners through the ballot process.

What happens once a Subdivision Order has been issued?

After the Subdivision Order was issued by the Minister for Planning in November 2016, Landcom, as the relevant authority for the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3) commenced work to deliver the Development Plan.

What is the consent ballot?

Under Schedule 7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the supporting provisions in the Regulation, landowners must vote on whether to consent to a Development Plan prepared under the provisions of the Act. The consent ballot is the voting process for landowners. A minimum of 60% of landowners, owning at least 60% of the land area, need to vote in favour of for the Minister for Planning  to issue a Subdivision Order for development to proceed.

What was the ballot result?

The ballot for Precinct A (Stages 1-3) was held in March 2016 resulted in 80% of landowners holding 88.5% of the land area voting in favour of the Development Plan. This result met the majority required for the Minister for Planning to make the Subdivision Order allowing Landcom to proceed with the Development Plan.

View the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3) 2016 Consent Ballot Results Statement

View the Riverstone Scheduled Lands Precinct A (Stages 1-3) 2016 Consent Ballot Scrutineer’s Report