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City releases alternate plan for Waterloo Estate

The City of Sydney today released an alternate proposal for the NSW Government's redevelopment of the Waterloo Housing Estate, calling on the Government to scrap their current plan and hand planning control of the site back to the City of Sydney. The media release is below.

City releases alternate plan for Waterloo Estate

The City of Sydney today released an alternate proposal for the NSW Government's redevelopment of the Waterloo Housing Estate, calling on the Government to scrap their current plan and hand planning control of the site back to the City of Sydney.

"It's almost impossible trying to find anywhere on earth where a Government has proactively planned to build a residential neighbourhood as dense as this Government is planning for Waterloo," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

"Waterloo should not be a planning experiment - it's home to thousands of people who are devastated by what this Government is trying to do to their community.

"The City has extensive experience in urban development and we know that what the Government is planning is an urban disaster - that's why our staff have worked on a feasible alternative.

"While the Government's proposal includes two parks, they will be overshadowed by the tall towers in midwinter, meaning grass will struggle to grow. The parks will also be impacted by strong winds as a result of the buildings around them."

The Government's plans include increasing density on the Estate from 2,012 dwellings to 6,800 dwellings two thirds of which are in 17 towers up to 40 storeys high.

Despite the site being public land, the Government is proposing 65 per cent of the homes on the site will be private housing, with only 30 percent dedicated as social housing and five per cent as affordable.

City of Sydney planning staff have examined the Government's proposal and the publicly available financial information, and have developed an alternative approach.
 

The City's proposal includes a total of up to 5,300 homes. It retains the two 30 storey Matavai and Turanga towers which are important and well-loved markers for the community, but other buildings would be between seven to nine storeys, with 12 to 13 storeys around a major park, and four storey buildings interspersed throughout.

It includes 40 per cent social housing homes and five per cent affordable housing homes, with the rest for private housing.

A significantly larger park would be the centrepiece of the precinct, occupying 2.2 hectares and receiving more than the minimum required levels of sunshine.

The City's proposal also includes:

  • a better ratio of social and market housing (45 per cent social and affordable housing and 55 per cent private housing compared to the Governments  ratio of 35:65);
  • better buildings with more sunshine and natural ventilation;
  • better economics, demolishing fewer buildings requiring less new private housing;
  • less height and density that will integrate better with the surrounding area; and
  • better and greener parks and public spaces with more sunshine without windy downdrafts.

"Instead of being surrounded by towers, our park will have winter sunshine surrounded by shops and cafes," the Lord Mayor said.

"Our plan also allows existing social housing residents to stay in the Estate while the redevelopment occurs - we can do that by first building the new housing in spaces around the existing buildings.

"The NSW Government has a choice - use this once in a generational opportunity to create the kind of place where people will want to live and spend time in, or build a future ghetto of tall towers and overshadowed and unsafe public areas."

The City's alternative proposal for Waterloo will be considered at an extraordinary meeting of the City of Sydney Council on Monday 4 March. The Council is also holding a public meeting to discuss their plans on Wednesday 6 March at Alexandria Town Hall from 6pm.

For over 15 years, the City of Sydney has expertly planned, coordinated and assessed large-scale development. Since 2004, the Council has approved $25 billion worth of private sector development - and importantly, thanks to its Design Advisory Panel, it is high-quality, sustainable development that contributes to Sydney's amenity and its international reputation.

 

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