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Robert Lee

Principal and Partner
BSc (Urb & Reg Planning), Dip TP, Dip SSRM, PhD
+61 2 8307 0121

Rob is a Principal with expertise developed from working in both the UK and Australia. He holds qualifications in urban planning and economic development and is a Certified Practicing Planner and a Member of the Australian Planning Institute.

Rob holds specialist skills in many areas including large scale strategic planning projects at precinct, metropolitan and subregional levels, economic and financial appraisals, business plan development, retail planning, market assessments and retail simulation modelling.

For a number of years, Rob has been engaged to provide expert advice to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure in NSW. His advice has covered many topics including economic analysis on proposed retail developments. In 2013 Rob acted as project director for the Strategic Retail Assessment for Western Sydney, undertaken for Department of Planning and Infrastructure. The study established a model of the retail market in Western Sydney. The model took account of the prevailing strategy and policy framework including various NSW Government targets and allowed for testing of retail floorspace supply against anticipated demand, highlighting geographic areas and commodity groups where there is expected to be a supply shortfall and areas where there is capacity to accommodate growth.

Rob has provided input to a range of strategic planning exercises. He has completed numerous masterplanning projects and a large number of strategic employment lands studies (for both commercial and industrial areas). These include employment lands studies for: Holroyd, Armidale, Leichhardt, Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai as well as commercial centres strategies for Canada Bay and Port Stephens. While each of these studies is unique, all have included extensive supply-side auditing and demand side forecasting with outputs typically having a combination of economic development and land use planning strategies and actions. On the land use planning side, this requires an understanding of the land and floorspace requirements implied by employment forecasts and targets and Rob is accustomed to translating requirements into amendments to LEP and DCF frameworks.

Rob directed the housing market component of the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy, undertaken concurrently with several other studies, which informed the overall strategy. The study involved a housing market and feasibility study, identifying long term housing supply and demand in the region, as well as projected trends in dwelling mix, feasibility and housing preferences and a detailed gap analysis. Housing capacity was identified and recommendations were made to align dwelling provision with infrastructure plans, considering development feasibility by area based on current and projected future market conditions, and optimal outcomes from environmental and social perspectives. Rob managed a variety of sub-consultants, including urban designers and architects, transport planners, mine subsidence experts, and environmental specialists.

Rob has project evaluation experience ranging from large metropolitan wide studies to site-specific wok and is familiar with financial and economic appraisal in line with NSW Treasury Guidelines. Recent examples include financial and economic appraisal for housing development at Glebe, Redfern-Waterloo, Telopea, North Parramatta and West Ryde. He completed a financial and economic appraisal of the proposed masterplan for the Moore Park/SCG precinct. Many appraisals have formed part of full business case preparation such as the capital business case for the Sydney Tropical Centre redevelopment. Although work usually concerns single development sites, Rob has also completed a number of high-level feasibility studies. For example, in 2013 Rob completed an assessment of renewal potential at public housing concentration estates across all Housing NSW holdings. This applied a broad feasibility framework to quickly produce a mapped illustration of estates with renewal potential including estimated land value uplift and dwelling yield.