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Waterloo South Gateway Determination Released

As the Council proposal was the one submitted for the determination, it is the modified Council proposal that will go to public exhibition before the end of the 2021. The determination requires specific changes and study updates be made by DPIE to the Council proposal prior to its exhibition. At the time of the Gateway it is not clear when this work will be finalised or when exhibition will take place.


REDWatch Meeting Thursday 1 July 6pm to discuss Waterloo South

Waterloo South Gateway Determination released

Some brief comments on the determination

Please note – this email contains hyperlinks. This means that if you see a blue underlined word or phrase that you can click on it and go directly to a document or to get more information.

REDWatch Meeting Thursday 1 July 6pm to discuss Waterloo South

Given the release of the Gateway Determination REDWatch has decided to go ahead with its July 1 meeting at 6pm on line for those who are able to join us. Please contact for Zoom details.

The REDWatch meeting will be open to anyone in the community. While we have asked for DPIE to present, we do not know if this will be possible. So REDWatch may be presenting as well as leading the discussion. REDWatch and some other groups were briefed yesterday afternoon about the proposal.

We are also asking Council and LAHC to attend, but understand that they too have only just seen the determination, so may not have had enough time to digest it. We will share what we can at tomorrow’s meeting.

A meeting is also being arranged for the members of the Waterloo Redevelopment Group on July 1 at 3.30 pm for information contact Adam Antonelli

Waterloo South Gateway Determination released

The Department of Planning Infrastructure and Environment (DPIE) has released its Gateway assessment and determination on the Waterloo South planning proposal. The documents can be accessed through DPIE – Waterloo Estate website , which includes information about the planning and development process and Q&As.

As the Council proposal was the one submitted for the determination, it is the modified Council proposal that will go to public exhibition before the end of the 2021. The determination requires specific changes and study updates be made by DPIE prior to exhibition. It is not clear when this work will be finalised or when exhibition will take place.

The determination sets out changes that have to be made to the proposal and checked by the Gateway team before exhibition. This means we have a reasonable idea of what the amended proposal might look like even though it will be sometime before we see the amended maps and housing makeup.

The Gateway documents are in the Under Assessment part of the website for Waterloo South. Below are links to download the relevant documents. I have grouped the documents together so you can work out what you want to look at. As I send this out, we have identified that not all the documents below are currently on the DPIE site and DPIE are trying to rectify this.

The two assessment reports below are likely to be of most interest to those already familiar with Council’s proposal. The Minister’s Determination sets out what needs to be changed, but as it is a summary document, the reasons are found in the two reports.

The Documents submitted for the determination:

·         1 Planning Proposal Report - Waterloo South

·         2 Waterloo Urban Design Report 2021

·         3 Environmental Wind Assessment - Waterloo Estate (South)

·         4 Retail Review - Waterloo Estate (South)

·         5 Community Facilities Peer Review - Waterloo Estate (South)

·         6 Draft Waterloo Estate (South) Design Guide 2021

·         7 Draft Sydney Development Control Plan 2012 - Waterloo Estate (South)

·         8 Waterloo South Letter of Offer

The assessment reports

·         Independent Advisory Group Report - Att F - Waterloo South IAG Final Report May 2021

·         Gateway determination Report - REPORT - Waterloo South Gateway Determination Report

The Minister’s determination and letter to the Planning Proposal Authority

·         Minister’s The Gateway Determination - Gateway Determination Waterloo South Gateway Determination

·         Minister’s Letter to Marcus Ray as the Planning Proposal Authority - Letter to Planning Proposal Authority Waterloo South Gateway Determination

The Minister did a media drop to the Sydney Morning Herald and if you have online access you will see the article under ‘A step in the right direction’: Stokes reveals plans for 3000 homes and three towers at Waterloo estate or on page 2&3 of today’s (Wednesday 30 June 2021) print copy.

The Minister also issued a media release which you can see on the REDWatch website under Waterloo Estate set to proceed to Exhibition.

REDWatch and agencies are encouraging DCJ Housing, LAHC, Council and DPIE to jointly arrange a newsletter or other communications to go out to all tenants.

Some brief comments on the determination

Given the comment in the SMH article it is important to state that the three towers along McEvoy Street proposed by Council remain there and have not been moved to around the large public park.

The Gateway proposes to take some of the height proposed around George Street and redistributes that floor space into the proposed cut-out areas in Council’s planned high rises. They were designed to mitigate wind caused by these high-rises, so a different way of handling wind will need to be determined.

The proposal was called in by the Minister because of differences between LAHC and Council over the economic viability of the Council proposal. The reports compare the original LAHC proposal with Council’s and looks at what is viable within LAHC’s mandate to self-fund the redevelopment.

On this basis the Council proposal for 20% Affordable Housing has been assessed as not being viable under the self-funded model. The Independent Advisory Group has modelled an option that might deliver up to 10% Affordable Housing which it thinks is viable, but further testing on this, and the affordable housing contribution from privately owned land, is needed before a proposal is finalised to go on exhibition.

The Gateway determination proposes a 30 /70 split of the combined social (847 units) and market housing (1976 units) with 237 units of Affordable Housing constructed and owned by a Community Housing Provider. If this happened the residential mix would be 27.7% Social Housing, 7.7% Community Housing owned Affordable Housing and 64.6% market housing. The Independent Advisory Group has suggested that a further 2-2.5% affordable housing could be obtained from the developer at LAHC contract stage. As these figures are dependent on further testing they are not guaranteed.

The Determination Report also looks at the different apartment size makeup between the LAHC and the Council proposals. LAHC advised that the Social Housing Units would not be the same size as market houses. Hence 30% of the units would not be the same as 30% of the gross floor area. The size of apartments also impacts financial viability.

One revelation from the Independent Assessment Group is that LAHC had included affordable housing within its 30% social housing allocation, not as an addition to the 30%, and that both social and affordable housing ownership would stay with LAHC. This is in contrast to what the community had been lead to believe that Affordable Housing would come out of the market housing 70%.

The IAG identified four useful principles to guide the redevelopment of Waterloo South:

·         Principle 1 “This redevelopment must provide the full range of housing tenures to ensure a diverse community into the future.”

·         Principle 2 “To accommodate the proposed density of development, the precinct must be developed with the highest urban amenity and design quality.”

·         Principle 3 “Every effort must be made to ensure that the existing communities on site are supported through the redevelopment process and, should they wish, be enabled to remain in the suburb after the development has taken place.”

·         Principle 4 “Public benefits and infrastructure are to be provided by the successful tenderer to ensure that a high quality urban neighbourhood is achieved for this development.”

While the principles are referenced in the Gateway Determination report, not all the items under each principle have been referred to in that report. It is hence unclear if the IAG recommendation (under Principle 3) that that a Tenant Transition Plan must be prepared has been accepted or not – one suspects not as it is not mentioned in the Minister’s determination.

While aspects of the Independent Advisory Group may not be picked up they do provide some ideas that the community might want to pick up in submissions and its discussions with LAHC.

There is much interesting information in the Independent Advisory Committee and the Gateway Determination Reports even if they do not tell us exactly what will be exhibited until more work is done.

Please join us at 6pm on Thursday 1 July at 6pm on Zoom if you have questions or are looking for more information.


This post is the content of a REDWatch Email Update on this subject.