Planning proposal: Waterloo estate (south)

New planning controls for Waterloo estate (south) to provide a mix of public, affordable and private housing will come into effect on 28 February 2023.

Project Status: In progress

Draft planning agreement

The draft planning agreement is between the City of Sydney, the Land and Housing Corporation and the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. It is on public exhibition from 24 January to 20 February 2023.

The planning agreement explains how public infrastructure such as roads, parks, and community facilities will be provided, including:

  • dedication of land for new road reserves
  • upgrade of existing road reserves
  • construction of two new public parks
  • construction of 2,400sqm of community facilities.

For more information and to provide feedback, visit the Department of Planning and Environment website.

About the Waterloo estate (south) area

Waterloo estate (south) is 12.32 hectares – that’s around 65% of the total Waterloo estate.

It currently includes:

  • 749 social housing units owned by NSW Land and Housing Corporation
  • 120 private units and houses
  • some commercial properties.

The area for the redevelopment for Waterloo estate (south) is marked in the map below.

The NSW Land and Housing Corporation has indicated further requests will follow for other parts of the Waterloo estate.

Map outlining the areas of redevelopment.

Planning proposal background

NSW Land and Housing Corporation lodged a request with the City of Sydney in May 2020 to change the planning controls for Waterloo estate (south). This followed an announcement by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces in November 2019 that the City of Sydney is the plan making authority for the Waterloo estate.

The City of Sydney prepared a planning proposal that made some important changes to the request from the NSW Land and Housing Corporation to increase the amount of affordable housing in the development. This included housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households and to improve the living environment for residents so that: 

  • streets and walkways will be wider and easier to navigate
  • there will be a new main street with shops and services
  • more of the buildings will be medium rise
  • there will be fewer towers and these will be at the southern edge of the estate, where they will minimise the overshadowing of apartments 
  • there will be more sunlight and wind impacts will be better managed. 

Our planning proposal included space for a large park next to the Waterloo metro station and a smaller park. Also, spaces for community facilities, retail and commercial uses.

Council and the Central Sydney Planning Committee approved the planning proposal to be referred to the Minister for Planning once the NSW Government made an appropriate offer for the delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

View the meeting agendas, Council and committee reports, webcasts and minutes:

The Department of Planning and Environment took over planning responsibility for the Waterloo estate in March 2021 and made some further changes to the planning proposal. The department placed the Waterloo estate (south) planning proposal on statutory public exhibition from 4 March to 9 April 2022. We provided our submission the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

On 11 November 2022, the department finalised the planning controls for Waterloo estate (south) with a deferred commencement to 28 February 2023 to allow a planning agreement for the delivery of public infrastructure to be completed. 

To find more information about the finalised planning controls, visit the department’s website.

What this means for tenants in Waterloo estate (south)

NSW Land and Housing Corporation is responsible for the redevelopment of the estate. This means it decides who it partners with and who’ll own or manage new social and community housing.

The long-term project includes many steps such as detailed development applications for new buildings. The applications are likely to be assessed by NSW Department of Planning and Environment as NSW Land and Housing Corporation projects over $100 million are state significant development.

NSW Land and Housing Corporation said it will give at least 6 months notice to any tenants who must move while the site is being redeveloped. The City of Sydney will work closely with the NSW Government to make sure the wellbeing of existing tenants is prioritised during the changes.

If you have any questions about future tenant relocations, please contact the NSW Land and Housing Corporation on 1800 738 718 or email [email protected].

Tenants can seek independent advice from the Inner Sydney Tenants’ Advice and Advocacy Service at Redfern Legal Centre on 02 9696 5975.