THE future of North Rocks’ popular Weekly Markets has been included in the long-term plans for a new community in the area.
Carlingford Rotary Club Markets is a long-standing weekly market at North Rocks which regularly attracts large crowds with the resultant benefit to charity.
The inclusion of the markets is part of the long-term vision for a new community within the heart of the popular suburb.
North Rocks Village has been proposed by EG Developments for the 12.67-ha site on North Rocks Rd.
It includes a new residential neighborhood incorporating a mix of new homes, as well as extensive parkland, an oval, a large village square and multipurpose community spaces including a library.
The site has been home to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC), publicly known as NextSense for six decades.
The weekend Rotary markets have been based at NextSense for four of those six decades.
Carlingford Rotary Chairman Mike Morgan said the markets were a key source of fundraising and since inception had netted the Club more than $5M, of which $1M has gone directly back to the RIDBC and NextSense.
Mr Morgan said each year Carlingford Rotary Club sponsored a teacher at NextSense to undertake a post-graduate course while also sponsoring a nursing scholarship for an Indigenous student at Western Sydney University.
The Sunday markets also fund the club’s charitable work for other programs like Parramatta Mission’s Meals Plus service and sending dental and hearing aid equipment to Samoa.
Executive Chairman of EG Dr Michael Easson said in addition to initial consultation with Parramatta Council, working closely with many local groups such as Carlingford Rotary Club had been a crucial step in understanding how North Rocks Village would meet not only housing demands including for seniors, but also cater for local community needs.
“The Rotary markets have been an integral tenant on the site for decades and have become an instrumental part of the community, he said.
“As EG started its long term planning work, we knew it was important to consult with Rotary about keeping that legacy alive. We want them to be able continue the fundraising work they do for the institute and other organisations, through the markets,” he said.
Dr Easson said while it was still in the early planning phases, once delivered, North Rocks Village would encompass an oval, village square, a multi-purpose community hub, childcare centre and neighborhood library.
Rare opportunity for developer
Almost 30% of the site will be publicly accessible open space with the oval precinct comprising around 1.8ha for a sports field and tennis courts.
A key feature of the masterplan is to retain a number of important mature trees and to plant many more within the project’s parks, along site boundaries and local roads.
Dr Easson said EG’s vision for future projects was to not just provide much-needed quality housing, but to create authentic civic spaces for everyone.
“Every developer has a responsibility to ensure they help curate a sense of community and don’t just cut and run. It’s important that when we deliver homes, we also deliver viable infrastructure and a genuine sense of community for people to connect with one another.”
“It’s rare in Sydney that a developer has the chance to design a new site and build infrastructure. We are respectful of that opportunity and want to ensure the new civic space at North Rocks Village is made up of the oval, community hub and a beautiful village square that can house events like the Rotary markets. “It’s going to make a really exciting contribution to North Rocks.”
The transformation of the former RIDBC site into a “green village” dotted with parks and community facilities will include a diverse range of housing options, with a significant proportion dedicated to seniors “living, aged care, and a component of key worker housing.
Mr Morgan said club members and supporters were pleased to learn that the market’s 40-year tradition at the site would continue as part of the plans.
“It’s been a tough couple of years for the markets with Covid and lockdowns, so we’re all looking forward to having a new location and the chance for new stallholders and residents to come down on a Sunday morning and discover everything on offer, including what I have on good authority is the best Gozleme in Sydney.”
The site for the proposed North Rocks Village is at 361-365 North Rocks Rd, North Rocks, just 5.5km north of the Parramatta CBD, 7km south of Norwest Business Park and 8km west of Macquarie Park.
Image: Executive Chairman Dr Michael Easson with Western Sydney Women Founder, Amanda Rose.