Log in

Forgot your password?
You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Rail Corridor Expansion / Central to Eveleigh redevelopment – it’s big!

Central to Eveleigh redevelopment – it’s big!

NSW cabinet recently decided redevelopment of the railway corridor stretching 3km from the CBD’s Goulburn Street car park to Macdonaldtown would be part of an international Expression Of Interest (EOI) process writes Geoff Turnbull in the August 2013 South Sydney Herald.

The “Central to Eveleigh Global Precinct Opportunity” has two distinct components linked by a Cleveland to Lawson Street rail corridor, bike and pedestrian route. It proposes covering the railway lines between Central Station and Cleveland St linking Surry Hills and Prince Alfred Park with Chippendale and Ultimo. The high cost of building over the rail corridor would need to be met by up to 90 storey high rise development according to some commentators.

At the Eveleigh end, high-rise over the railway corridor at and next to Redfern Station is proposed alongside the development of already identified land at the Australian Technology Park (ATP) and North Eveleigh.

New high-rise developments are also proposed over current operational railway areas west of ATP. Railcorp’s Air-conditioned Depot Carriage Sheds are combined with some Eveleigh public housing for one development while the Macdonaldtown stabling yards and station potentially produce a high-rise abutting Leamington Avenue. Improved pedestrian and bike routes across the Eveleigh corridor are also proposed.

City Shapers in the Draft Metro Strategy gives priority to “investigate the regeneration potential of areas such as Town Hall, Central to City Road and Central to Eveleigh”. While still on exhibition, the Metro Strategy was used as the basis for the announcement alongside Council’s 2030 Strategy proposal to build over the rail corridor around Central.

The Redfern Waterloo Authority planning controls on government land adjacent the rail corridor will be reassessed as part of the EOI process. Larger buildings and fewer setbacks to surrounding conservation areas may result for the community with land sale revenue going to treasury rather than the construction of Redfern Station.

Developer interest is reported but there is also scepticism within the industry that this will be the cash cow the government hopes. Earlier studies on Redfern Station suggested that property prices would need to increase substantially to make building over the station viable. There is concern that if Redfern station has to wait for building above the lines to be viable then an accessible station is still a long way off.

A council resolution following the announcement noted council was meeting the Metro Strategy new housing targets but that new commercial and jobs development was needed. Lack of interest in commercial space has seen Frasers switch approved commercial space to residential at Central Park. Commercial blocks at the ATP have not been released due to insufficient interest.

While the CBD end looks most viable for building above the lines, it is the already identified sites at ATP and North Eveleigh that are likely to be the first to go to market.

UrbanGrowth NSW, which has carriage of the EOI process, expect by the end of 2013 that a Rail Futures Report will make building over lines possible without limiting future rail system requirements. This will also determine if all of North Eveleigh can go to market.

Under the provisions of the government’s New Planning System the community is to participate in the preparation of plans and a vision for their local areas and a Community Participation Plan in line with the processes in the White Paper should be prepared. UrbanGrowth is currently preparing such a plan for discussion with the community.

REDWatch has asked UrbanGrowth to explain the proposal to the community surrounding the site and to hold a community forum as soon as possible. A broad based community reference group, transparency and release of studies including around Redfern Station and improvements on web portals have been requested by REDWatch.

Most importantly the community needs to be consulted about the constraints and requirements expected of the site’s developers before the EOI goes out. The preservation of heritage buildings is one constraint recognised in the announcement but there are others that need to be included in the EOI. This discussion needs to happen upfront so the community and developers have certainty about what is expected to be delivered.

Geoff Turnbull is spokesperson for REDWatch - www.redwatch.org.au/RWA/corridor for more information.

Source: South Sydney Herald August 2013