Planning for the Ashmore precinct

The planning process

Located in Erskineville and on the border of Alexandria, the Ashmore precinct is one of the City of Sydney’s biggest urban development projects.

The planning controls for Ashmore have been developed over a number of years in close consultation with the community and landowners. We want sustainable and responsible development that meets the needs of a growing population but respects and protects the character of surrounding suburbs. The current planning controls for the site are the Sydney Local Environment Plan (LEP) 2012 and the Sydney Development Control Plan 2012.

We are now in the process of integrating the 2 sites at 57 Ashmore Street and 165–175 Mitchell Road, Erskineville, owned by Goodman, into the Sydney LEP 2012.

The vision for the site

Approved by Council in 2006, the Ashmore DCP outlines the vision for Ashmore as a mainly residential area within the suburb of Erskineville. Terraces, townhouses and apartments will be fronted by tree-lined streets and residents will be able to make use of a new network of pedestrian and bike routes to get to work, shops and the city. A retail area with cafés and a small supermarket will be next to a new large park, providing a focal point for residents of this new neighbourhood to relax and socialise.

Key DCP guidelines are:

  • Building design that is sustainable and innovative, which respects the character of surrounding areas and provides a range of dwelling types.
  • Staging to ensure that all development sites, within the overall precinct, can develop independently without adverse impacts on neighbouring areas.
  • The buildings to be designed so as not to overshadow adjacent properties or block city views from Sydney Park.
  • A quality public domain with a new large park and attractive tree-lined streets.
  • Pedestrian, cycle and traffic links to the city, public transport and local facilities.
  • Traffic management for a safe residential environment.
  • Critical infrastructure elements to manage stormwater.
  • Ashmore location

Meeting new targets

In 2007, the City embarked on the process to develop new planning controls for the whole City of Sydney local area. As part of this process, a study was done in Erskineville and Alexandria that included Ashmore. This study looked at opportunities to increase building heights and densities to meet housing targets set by the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036 and the City’s Sydney 2030 plan. As a result, the Sydney LEP 2012 now includes the following changes to the Ashmore planning controls:

  • Building heights of mostly 5 to 7 storeys, with a a maximum of 8 storeys (note: the Goodman owned sites are not including in the Sydney LEP 2012).
  • Increased the floor-space ratio from 1:1 to 1.5:1 and 1.75:1 across the precinct.
  • Increased the amount of open space from 7,400 square metres to 15,000 square metres.
  • A more rationalised street network.

Updating the controls

The Sydney LEP 2012 covers planning controls for Ashmore. A planning proposal for 2 sites owned by Goodman was approved by Council and the Central Sydney Planning Committee on 9 and 15 December 2013 to request the NSW Minister for Planning commences drafting the local environmental plan for these 2 sites. The Sydney Development Control Plan 2012 was updated 24 December 2013.

Technical studies

A number of studies have been undertaken to inform the preparation of planning controls for Ashmore.

The urban design study looked at appropriate building heights and types for Ashmore, staging of development, economic viability and the context of the development. The review recommended Ashmore precinct should incorporate a variety of building types and heights, reduce the impact of building at street level and provide designated urban space. As a result, the planning controls have a predominant building height of 5 and 6 storeys, lower building heights near conservation areas and a floor-space ratio from 1.5 to 1.75:1.

The social sustainability study looked at how to ensure Ashmore becomes a socially sustainable precinct. The study has 5 key areas of focus:

  • a range of housing options
  • good transport connections
  • quality open spaces
  • accessible community facilities
  • unique sense of place.

From these principles our planning controls ensure the precinct will have 15,000 square metres of open space, suitable sites for child care facilities, diversity through affordable housing opportunities, and a strong local identity through public art and street names.

The traffic and parking study assessed current transport and traffic conditions in the area, and the potential impacts of Ashmore on the local road network and on-street parking. The study found that when Ashmore is fully developed in 2027, the local road network in the morning peak will not be able to support vehicle demand. The City needs to continue working with the NSW Government to improve public transport connections in the area.

Infrastructure for the future

The successful transformation of Ashmore must be accompanied by the appropriate level of infrastructure to support existing and new communities. This includes social infrastructure such as schools, child care, health services, libraries and hard infrastructure such as public transport, traffic management and stormwater management.

To prepare for Ashmore’s changing future the City has prepared a plan to identify required infrastructure, available for download below.

The plan includes timeframes for delivery, the responsible agency and, where possible, costs.

Key findings include:

  • recent public transport upgrades will need further improvement by 2017
  • the Ashmore area has a higher proportion of children than others across the local area with an undersupply of child care facilities
  • stormwater management infrastructure upgrades are needed but funds are yet to be allocated.

Council and the Central Sydney Planning Committee have endorsed the Ashmore infrastructure plan for use in continuing discussions with relevant NSW Government agencies such as Transport NSW and the Department of Education.

It will be reviewed every 6 months to ensure infrastructure programming can be put in place before developments are completed and occupied.


John Davies
Specialist Planner
02 9265 9333


Sydney Local Environmental PlanMetropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036Sydney 2030

Last updated: Wednesday, 5 February 2014