War on the Homefront: NSW Premier Chris Minns’ French solution to housing crisis

Inspired by the overhaul of Paris in the 1800s, Chris Minns wants a rapid-fire rollout of three- to four-storey apartment blocks to revolutionise development in Sydney and help solve the housing crisis.

The Premier told The Daily Telegraph his plan includes the delivery “at scale” of mid-size complexes that have a “commonality of design”, revealing that the Building Commissioner recently presented “really exciting” concepts to the state government.

It’s understood such blueprints would have the potential to be fast-tracked through the planning system as Macquarie St aims to lift new home supply across NSW from 48,000 to 75,000 a year.

And to counter the concerns of communities and councils that are sceptical about increased density, another plank in the strategy involves enlisting the private sector to create an “online pattern book” of the best examples of existing mid-size developments in Sydney.

Projects higher than six storeys are not eligible for consideration.

During an exclusive interview for The Daily Telegraph’s War on the Homefront mini-series, the Premier said “three- and four-storey walk-up apartments … are right throughout Paris” and other global cities “but have largely dropped off the built environment in Sydney and we need them.”

Mr Minns said “model developments … make sense. They are used right across the world, all the way back to Napoleon III … where the Haussmann design was effectively instituted across Paris.

“Humans like that because looking at a street full of terrace houses or Haussmann-era Paris streets or boulevards is attractive on the eye.”

Streets with a lot of variation weren’t as pleasing, he said.

“It’s a bit like looking at a face full of cracked teeth,” the Premier claimed.

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