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4.5 Redfern Railway Station, Gibbons and Regent Streets - Final

Land use and Design Concepts proposed in Final RWA Redfern-Waterloo Built Environment Plan August 2006.

4.5 Redfern Railway Station, Gibbons and Regent Streets

The Redfern Railway Station, Gibbons and Regent Streets site straddles the rail corridor. It is bounded by Lawson Street to the north, Margaret Street to the south, Regent Street to the east, and the rail corridor and residential development to the west.

Existing characteristics

Redfern Railway Station and its immediate surrounds is the southern gateway to the Sydney CBD. Despite its proximity to the Sydney CBD and its role in the metropolitan transport network, the Railway Station and Town Centre retain a suburban character and density.

With the exception of the Airport line, all suburban and inter- urban train lines stop at Redfern Railway Station. Central is the only other station that provides superior access to the Sydney metropolitan rail network. Despite this, Redfern Railway Station is underutilised and has become a through route for commuters rather than a destination. This is further reinforced by the limited activity around the station. Economic and social opportunities associated with activity generated by the Redfern Railway Station are at present unrealised.

The Town Centre area is located directly east of the Station. Redfern Street is the main shopping street and Regent Street is a secondary shopping street. These three streets are relatively separate shopping areas and do not form a cohesive, vibrant town centre. Business activity in Redfern and Regent Streets has suffered a decline in trade and patronage over the past decade despite signs of emerging small business, such as cafes and artist studios.

Employment is concentrated around the commercial towers, which are located opposite the Railway Station between Gibbons and Regent Streets within Lawson Square. The recent relocation of the police and government agencies to this area has boosted local business. Lawson Square is the highest point within the Town Centre, being located on the ridge. However, Lawson Square is windswept and empty and lacks any level of public amenity either for people coming to the Town Centre or for those passing through.

The Railway Station is the focus of local public transport activity in Redfern-Waterloo. Pedestrian movement from the Railway Station is generally eastward toward the Town Centre and westward to the University of Sydney. However, pedestrian connections to the Town Centre are not strong as Gibbons and Regent Streets traverse the Town Centre and disconnect the Railway Station from retail and employment activity.

These are arterial roads carrying metropolitan and regional traffic through Redfern to and from the Sydney CBD in a north – south direction. The amount and speed of traffic using these roads presents a physical and safety barrier for pedestrians.

The Railway Station itself is in need of an upgrade. The entry and ticketing arrangement and inadequate access, particularly for less mobile persons need to be improved. Recent development in the area such as the ATP now provide opportunities for better connection between the Railway Station and surrounding public destinations.

The areas around the Railway Station are generally unattractive and uninviting. This is to a large degree a result of buildings that do not have active street and laneway frontages. The lack of activated civic spaces and ground level business activity contribute to a perception of dereliction.

The Railway Station contains heritage items, which are identified in the South Sydney LEP, including the Redfern Station ticket office on Lawson Street.

The Town Centre has an established street, laneway and block pattern that will guide quality development and ensure connectivity and accessibility.

Existing land use zone

The following zones apply to the Redfern Railway Station, Gibbons and Regent Streets site:

  • Redfern Railway Station and the rail corridor is zoned ‘Railways’ under SREP No. 26. Within the ‘Railways Zone’ permissible uses are largely restricted to railway related activities.
  • The remainder of the site is zoned ‘Mixed Use 10’ under the South Sydney LEP. The land use zone permits a mixture of compatible uses such as residential, retail, commercial, light-industrial and industrial development.

Proposed land use concept

Establish a vibrant, active local hub for business, retail and residential activity around the Railway Station, with attractive, functional civic spaces and pedestrian scaled urban spaces linked by streets and laneways.

Diagram 4.9 (pdf ~538kb) illustrates the proposed land use concept for the site.

Proposed design concept

Transform the site to emulate its status as the southern gateway to the Sydney CBD by:

  • providing opportunities to harness the social, civic and economic potential generated by Redfern Railway Station as one of Sydney’s central public transport hubs
  • achieving a critical mass of density to activate and generate development
  • encouraging the development of a vibrant, culturally diverse, multi use Town Centre with quality medium and high density development
  • upgrading Redfern Railway Station including the concourse and entrance to cater for the existing and increased residential and commuter population, and improve connections to adjoining commercial sites, such as the ATP and North Eveleigh.

Create a new Town Centre at the Redfern Railway Station, Gibbons and Regent Streets site to provide a vibrant focal point for Redfern by:

  • providing sufficient development potential to create a business hub comprising jobs, shops, services and amenities for residents and workers
  • providing a quality, safe, activated and accessible civic space around the Railway Station
  • upgrading the Railway Station to improve the entrance, access and facilities
  • encourage the retention of laneway reserves where practicable
  • ensuring that the Railway Station upgrade allows for adjoining future development.

Reinforce the status of the Town Centre and Redfern and Regent Streets as the main shopping strips by:

  • establishing a new concourse at the station to improve east–west connections and access to the Town Centre
  • connecting the Railway Station to the Town Centre, Redfern Street, Regent Street, Marian Street, North Eveleigh, and ATP through defined pedestrian and cycle links
  • introducing traffic management measures to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility to and from Redfern Railway Station across Gibbons and Regent Streets.

Establish an identifiable character and appropriate urban scale for the Town Centre by:

  • creating a consistent block edge along all streets to a height of five storeys and tower development towards the centre of the blocks
  • retaining the two storey height of existing shopfronts along the length of Regent Street
  • creating a consistent scale and alignment around Lawson Square
  • providing a two storey height limit along the length of the Redfern Street laneway
  • ensuring all new development is built to the street boundary and in alignment with the street
  • creating areas for new ground floor retail space and active street edges, such as Redfern Street laneway, linking the station with Regent and Redfern Streets
  • creating a scale and architectural proportions that are consistent with existing shopfronts
  • retaining the small lot subdivision pattern particularly along streets and laneways
  • eliminating blank facades, extensive car entry/parking and servicing areas along public streets
  • ensuring that all new car parking is below ground level
  • providing a transition in urban scale from south of Marian Street toward the centre to respond to the existing residential development.

Provide a safe, high quality and pleasant public domain:

  • in accordance with the Open Space and Public Domain Strategy in Section 3.3
  • with quality landscaping, tree planting, lighting, wind mitigation, solar access and good urban design of civic spaces along defined pedestrian and cycle spines and streets
  • by locating active uses such as cafes and shops on the ground floor along all streets that are accessible and visible for passing pedestrians
  • by locating residential uses above ground overlooking streets and public spaces and not at ground level
  • that adjoins or is overlooked by active uses to provide passive surveillance at all times.

Provide quality private open space:

  • for new commercial development
  • for all new dwellings
  • with good solar access
  • with a high level of privacy for residents
  • that is appropriately landscaped.

Protect the heritage of the site by:

  • identifying heritage items on the site in accordance with the Heritage Strategy in Section 3.5
  • encouraging the reinterpretation of heritage through the reuse of heritage materials and fabric in any redevelopment
  • where practical, the adaptive re-use of significant heritage items associated with the Railway Station and railway lines.

The proposed heights and floor space ratio for the site are illustrated in Diagram 4.10 (pdf ~599kb).

Proposed land use zoning

  • Business Zone – Commercial Core
  • Recreation Zone – Public Recreation