After nine years, Govt approves Council’s plan for Parramatta CBD expansion

THE NSW state government has given the City of Parramatta Council’s plan to expand boundaries and building height limits to support a growing population in Sydney’s west.

The government’s approval comes after nine years, with the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal in the works since 2013.

The plan will see the boundaries of the Parramatta CBD expanded, while the height limits for both residential and commercial buildings will be increased, all in order to make way for an estimated 43,000 new jobs and 12,000 new dwellings over the coming four decades.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal is also set up to protect key factors in the city that ensure a standard of liveability.

This will see protections put in place to retain “vibrant streets and natural light in public spaces”, as well as outlining new rules to guide development around heritage items.

“Over the last decade, Council has worked tirelessly with the NSW Government, community, landowners and developers to create a blueprint for development that acknowledges the specific needs of our unique City,” said Donna Davis, lord mayor for the City of Parramatta.

The council is still awaiting approval for its CBD Infrastructure Contributions Plan, without which it estimates that community infrastructure could be left without hundreds of millions of dollars in funding over the next 40 years.

“While today’s announcement will enable us to start putting our long-anticipated plans into action, there is more work to do. In order for the transformation of our City to be truly successful, we call on the NSW Government to endorse our supporting CBD Infrastructure Contributions Plan as soon as possible,” added Davis.

“This will ensure developers pay their fair share, so we have the necessary funding to deliver the infrastructure, facilities and services needed for our growing community.”

The proposal was approved with a number of amendments introduced by the state government, with proposed controls for some precincts rejected and changes to limits on office space volumes.

Getting the plans right

“The future of our CBD hinges on getting these plans right, so we won’t rest until our vision for the City is realised,” said Davis.

While the council is yet to submit its formal response to the proposed changes, The Property Council of Australia and Business Western Sydney has welcomed the finalisation of the plan.

“The new planning framework makes provision for the city’s future growth, while providing bonus floor-space to applicants that deliver on sustainability and design excellence,” said Ross Grove, regional director of Western Sydney.

Groves added that he would keep track of the impact of the finalised controls on the investment pipeline coming into the city, providing feedback where needed.

“The new incentives recognise that higher quality buildings come at a significant cost to industry, and that developers who go the extra mile will benefit from the capacity to do more on their site,” added Grove.

Executive Director at Business Western Sydney, David Borger, also noted the gazettal of the proposal was a major and welcome step forward for Parramatta.

“Parramatta sits at the heart of Greater Sydney. Over the long term, it’s going to be the workplace destination of choice for the surrounding population, as well as a place of high amenity and an emerging centre for arts and culture supported by a vibrant night-time economy,” said Borger.

Borger also added that it is now important to focus on and ensure the renewal of the commitment to Stage 2 of the Parramatta Light Rail connecting to Olympic Park.

“This project will weave the nearby precincts along the route into a connected corridor enabling further growth and employment opportunities across the wider subregion. We cannot drop the ball on the opportunity this next stage brings to the city,” concluded Borger.

SOURCE: Australian Property Journal.

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