Central to Eveleigh strategy

Central to Eveleigh strategy

Packed in – bad planning vs smart growth

15 June 2016, Australian Technology Park

The City hosted a public meeting to discuss the future of the NSW Government’s Central to Eveleigh precinct and the intensification of residential development at the Waterloo housing estate.

Plans for the 19ha housing estate by the government’s development arm, UrbanGrowth NSW, will substitute the existing 2,000 homes with 7,000 new homes, bringing in more than 14,000 new residents.

Panel speakers:

  • Geoff Turnbull Redwatch
  • Graham Jahn AM Director City Planning, City of Sydney
  • Lachlan McDaniel City of Sydney Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel
  • Auntie Norma Ingram City of Sydney Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel
  • Richard Weeks Waterloo Public Housing Action Group

Main image: The diagram above was produced by UrbanGrowth at the request of the community to provide an indication of how density might work.

Waterloo plans will destroy inner city

The NSW Government’s development arm, UrbanGrowth NSW, wants to intensify residential development at the Waterloo housing estate.

Its plans for the 19ha housing estate will substitute the existing 2,000 homes with 7,000 new homes. This will lead to up to 14,000 new residents increasing the density from 210 people per hectare to over 700 people.

Residential development of this density is unprecedented in Australia and rare internationally. Neighbourhoods of this density are found in parts of Hong Kong. New York and Paris have only a few.

The most comparable renewal area in Sydney is the ACI precinct near Moore Park that will have a residential density of 360 people per hectare over 13ha of land. Waterloo will have twice this density on 1.5-times the land area.

Based on what UrbanGrowth has shown in public, we expect 10 or more buildings of 30-storeys on the Waterloo estate, with others of up to 20-storeys.

Green Square comparisons

Comparisons with the Green Square town centre are misleading.

The town centre, will have the highest residential densities in the Green Square urban renewal precinct and when complete will have up to 4,000 new homes over 14ha, which means a residential density of 450 people per hectare.

The town centre will also include 123,000 square metres of office space and 12,000 square metres of retail space.

Infrastructure, transport, community facilities, parks, streets and public areas will need careful planning and design and significant investment to meet the high intensity of use and demand from this population increase.

The City of Sydney is calling on the NSW Planning Minister and UrbanGrowth NSW to work with the City to reconsider the proposal. 

Intensifying residential development to this extent risks displacing the high-quality tech and startup businesses that are driving the new economy and are so important to the state and national economies.

At this density it is very difficult to get enough sunlight to parks and homes. There will probably be too much winter overshadowing in parks and surrounding residential areas, and buildings will probably fail to meet the NSW Government’s own solar access and cross ventilation standards.

This proposal would also result in the loss of all, or most, existing trees in the area and it will be impossible to maintain the increase in traffic.

Waterloo is part of the Central to Eveleigh project, which covers 500ha, 21% of the City of Sydney Local Government Area, and could be taken out of the City of Sydney’s control.

UrbanGrowth has had meetings with the City to inform us of the decisions that have been made in developing the Central to Eveleigh strategy.

The City has had no input into the planning and urban design outcomes expected in the Strategy, which have been developed independently by UrbanGrowth. These outcomes include dwelling and employment targets for the corridor and precincts, and the building heights and land use changes required to support those targets. UrbanGrowth has briefed the City on those strategic planning and urban design outcomes after they had been resolved.

Last updated: Thursday, 16 June 2016