Waterloo precinct

Waterloo precinct

Have your say

Tell the NSW Government and Opposition to abandon the current proposals and return planning control of the site to the City of Sydney.

Saving Waterloo

Our proposal for a better way

We've put forward an alternative approach to the redevelopment of the Waterloo housing estate. 

On 4 March, Council held an extraordinary meeting to consider a report on a better way for the community.

At our public meeting on 6 March 2019, the City's director of planning, development and transport, Graham Jahn gave a presentation on the City's alternative approach to the Waterloo housing estate.

We want your feedback on our approach so we can consider it for our submission to the state government. Email us:


Artist's impressions of the City's alternative proposal

The City's alternative approach for the Waterloo housing estate features buildings of 12 to 13 storeys on the streets around a 2.2 hectare park with plenty of sun. The majority of the rest of the buildings will be 7 to 8 storeys.


The City's approach would see a widened, tree-lined George Street in Waterloo designed to be safe for people walking and riding bikes. It will be lined with buildings of 7 to 8 storeys with shops and cafes on the ground floor.

Waterloo housing estate redevelopment

NSW Land and Housing Corporation has released its preferred masterplan for the redevelopment of the Waterloo housing estate.

Our role in assessing the project

The City was invited by the Department of Planning and Environment to help assess the masterplan for the redevelopment of Waterloo precinct. The City is a member of the project review panel with:

  • Department of Planning and Environment
  • Transport for NSW
  • Office of the Government Architect. 

Meeting local community needs

Our role on the project review panel will ensure we can make a significant contribution to the strategic planning process.

We will aim to ensure urban renewal of Waterloo precinct meets the needs of the local community and is driven by community engagement and good design outcomes.

The project can deliver a mix of public, affordable and private housing across the area to promote equity, social cohesion and inclusion. Essential support services need to be provided locally.  

The historical and cultural significance of Waterloo for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities must be reflected in the precinct design and in the services and employment opportunities the redevelopment will provide.

High quality open spaces and public areas of sufficient size must be incorporated into the precinct design to meet the needs of future residents and workers. 

Social housing

The state government has committed to maintain the number of social housing dwellings in Waterloo precinct. 

We will continue to work collaboratively with the Department of Family and Community Services to:

  • support social housing tenants during the urban renewal process
  • improve local amenity and safety
  • enhance community wellbeing
  • manage waste and cleansing.

Our dedicated social housing project manager meets regularly with social housing tenants in the area and advocates on their behalf to address any issues of concern. 

The Lord Mayor hosts 2 open forums in Waterloo each year, bringing together senior staff from key agencies such as Family and Community Services, NSW Police and the local member of NSW Parliament. 

The City held a public meeting in June 2016 about the state government's plans for Waterloo. A follow-up meeting was held in August 2016.

Advice for tenants 

We have provided funding to Redfern Legal Centre to support social housing tenants affected by the redevelopment of the Waterloo estate. The centre's Waterloo Tenancy Advice Outreach Service provides free, independent advice and information about relocations and other tenancy-related issues. 

The service operates from the Factory Community Centre at 67 Raglan Street, Waterloo on:

  • Tuesdays: 9.15am–1pm
  • Wednesdays: 1.30pm–4.15pm. 

You can also contact the Inner Sydney Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service on 02 9696 5975. 

The City takes part in the Waterloo Redevelopment Group and other forums. The City funds the Waterloo Public Housing Action Group to run tenant-led consultation activities.  

Waterloo metro quarter development masterplan

Waterloo metro quarter is the area above the new Waterloo metro station between Cope, Botany, Raglan and Wellington streets. The NSW Government owns the site and UrbanGrowth NSW is developing the project.

UrbanGrowth NSW and Sydney Metro have prepared a development masterplan for the Waterloo Metro Quarter.

A model of the development is on display at Town Hall House on level 2. 

The public exhibition period for the Waterloo metro quarter has now closed. 

State significant precinct study

UrbanGrowth NSW has prepared a state significant precinct study to:

  • transfer the City’s planning powers for Waterloo metro quarter to the Minister for Planning
  • change the planning controls to allow building heights of up to 116.9m (29 storeys) instead of the current 15m (4 storeys) and to allow a floor space ratio of  6.1:1 instead of the current 1.5:1 
  • develop the site for mostly residential apartments, with  some commercial, retail and community uses 
  • provide a plaza to connect the Waterloo metro quarter to Cope Street.

State significant development application

Sydney Metro has prepared a development application for the Waterloo metro quarter, which will be determined by the Minister for Planning. The development application is dependent on the minister approving the new planning controls proposed by UrbanGrowth in the state significant precinct study.

The development application proposes:

  • around 700 new apartments in buildings of 14, 23, 27 and 29 storeys
  • between 5% and 10% of the apartments to be affordable housing for a minimum of 10 years
  • up to 70 social  housing apartments
  • up to 427 car parking spaces. 

Main image: #WeLiveHere2017. The #WeLiveHere2017 team collaborated with Waterloo residents to create a light project with the tenants of Matavai and Turanga towers.

Last updated: Wednesday, 13 March 2019