The majority of poll respondents, approximately 53 per cent, indicated support for increased density in “satellite centers”, such as Rhodes, Parramatta and Liverpool, and outer suburbs in the Hills District, Sutherland Shire and northern beaches. The split tended to be along a generational divide.
With a pool of 901 respondents, the survey revives the debate about the NSW government’s medium density housing code that aimed to reduce red tape for building terraces and major homes, but met with strong opposition from local councils last year.
37 per cent opposed greater density in the city’s core, while 40 per cent supported it. 41 per cent of respondents felt inner city suburbs such as Woollahra, Newtown and Neutral Bay should get more residential housing, while 42 per cent of people were against this.
Pressure on NSW Government increases
For all parts of Sydney, however, the poll showed a preference for medium-density residences as opposed to high-density housing. Half of respondents supported more medium-density housing in inner suburbs, compared with 23 per cent who opposed this. 42 per cent were against additional high-density housing in these areas.
Ipsos research institute director Stuart Clark said: “People are clearly much more comfortable with medium density than high density, particularly when looking at their own suburbs.”
The poll comes amidst widespread opposition to the NSW government’s medium-density housing code which aimed to help boost supply of “missing middle” housing as an alternative to high rise and detached dwellings.
While the government is seeking to build greater density into Sydney’s neighborhoods, the code prompted many councils to seek a deferral of the planning rules to consider the impact of increased density last year. The publication of this set of results offers the alternative of medium-density development.
Support for increased density was greatest amongst people aged 18 to 34, renters and university graduates, whilst those aged over 50, retirees and homeowners were most likely to oppose it.