Have your say on Urban Heat Planning Controls

Have your say on Urban Heat Planning Controls

Friday, 25 February 2022

As our city grows and becomes more urbanised, Penrith City Council is committed to cooling our city and reducing heat impacts from the urban environment to provide our community with a liveable, active and healthy lifestyle throughout summer.  

Nearly every summer, Penrith records the hottest temperatures in Sydney where the mercury can rise above 45 degrees. On 4 January 2020, Penrith was officially the hottest place on Earth with a temperature of 48.9 degrees. It broke a Bureau of Meteorology temperature record that had been held since 1939. 

Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen said the impacts of urban heat and the need to implement smart strategies to combat scorching hot summers are paramount. 

“As urban development occurs, natural land and vegetation is being replaced with roads, car parks and buildings. These hard surfaces absorb and radiate much more heat and leave little moisture in the ground,” Cr Hitchen said. 

“There’s less opportunity for cooling like it would in a natural landscape. 

“Then there’s waste air from air conditioners and heat from vehicle engines. When combined with absorbed heat, it makes urban areas much hotter becoming islands of heat known as the urban heat island effect.”  

Council is proposing to amend the Penrith Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2010 to introduce a new clause to ensure the mitigation of the urban heat island effect is considered. This clause would apply to all new development in residential, business, industrial, special purpose, recreation, rural villages and Environmental Living zones. 

Council’s Urban Heat Planning Controls Package is on public exhibition until Monday, 7 March 2022. Council is asking the community to provide feedback and comments by visiting www.yoursaypenrith.com.au/urbanheat or email

Council is also exhibiting a Draft Amendment to the Penrith Development Control Plan (DCP) 2014 that proposes to introduce a new Urban Heat chapter.   

The chapter focuses on design responses found to have a significant effect on reducing the impacts of the urban heat island effect. By proposing cool roof colours and materials to reduce heat absorption and increase reflectivity, cooling through building design and optimising mechanical heating and cooling. 

There will also be controls to support the retention of existing trees and planting new trees, with a focus on tree numbers, species, irrigation and soil volume. 

The Urban Heat Planning Controls Package is complimented by programs being delivered under Council’s Cooling the City Strategy and Resilient Penrith Action Plan. Including advocacy to the State Government through the Planning for Heat Discussion Paper, our Cooling the City video series and Beat the Heat programs to build the capacity of our community in adapting to heat. Another important contribution to cooling our city is greening and tree planting, with Council planting trees in both parks and streets in some of our hottest and most vulnerable suburbs,.

“Through effective planning design and building measures, we aim to cool our city, making our buildings and outdoor spaces more comfortable, particularly during summer, for people living and working in our City,” Cr Hitchen said.

For further information, please visit www.yoursaypenrith.com.au/urbanheat

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Friday, 25 February 2022.