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Paint Shop Precinct Rezoning Determination

The Paint Shop Precinct Planning Controls have been finalised and posted late on Friday 24 February on both the Department of Planning and Environment’s Paint Shop Exhibition page and on the legislation website.

REDWatch did a quick review to let people know. The current caretaker restrictions heading into the state election mean that TfNSW were unable to put out flyers to the community to let them know about the determination. TfNSW updated its website before caretaker commenced on 3 March with a copy of the Community newsletter (PDF, 1.4 MB) it would have distributed and also a What we’ve heard & Where we’re heading (PDF, 989.13 KB) document. Given these documents are not being distributed please  spread the word about the determination.

While the total gross floor space has not been reduced it has been rearranged by relocating buildings. The building proposed over the Paint Shop has been removed. A 10% design excellence incentive has been introduced by reducing the initial floor space ratio across the site. Planning decisions over $10mwill be made as State Significant Developments rather than by Council.

Key changes in response to submissions

The Finalisation Report summarises the key changes in the following words (page 29)

Following public exhibition, TfNSW was asked to consider the issues raised in submissions and provide recommended amendments to address concerns raised. The key amendments recommended by TfNSW in response to public, organisation and government agency comments and submissions include:

  • Connecting with Country – Development of the themes of Ngurang (places) and Mura (tracks) to allow to allow the stories, history, memories and Aboriginal voices to be expressed throughout the Sub Precinct through public art, interpretation, wayfinding and curation of First Nations business. As well as new ground level indoor/outdoor spaces for the Aboriginal community in the eastern end of the site in a location highly visible from Redfern Station and easily accessed from Wilson Street.
  • Heritage – Improved built form setting and heritage outcomes including:
    • removal of the built form addition over the Paint Shop
    • improved conservation of the fan of tracks
    • increased visibility of the Paint Shop and additional ground-level permeability.
  • Land Use Distribution – Relocation of residential development away from the rail corridor.
  • Permeability and grain – Further refinement to create a fine grain and highly permeable ground plane with the introduction of laneways, arcades and atriums throughout the site.
  • Commercial typologies - Flexibility to develop alternative building approaches to tower and podium that support large format innovation and tech uses.
  • Connections - Preliminary investigation of an over rail connection to South Eveleigh.

Page 30 and 31 of the Finalisation Report contain illustrations of the amended proposal. In the artistic impression below it looks like the park comes all the way to Wilson Street but this is not so. REDWatch understands that the 2/3 storey building at the Shepherd Street entrance has been shown with a green roof. One consideration on the height of this building is to ensure sunlight into the park.

Fig 13a Amended TfNSW Proposal Paint Shop Precinct North Eveleigh - Artist Impression

Remember however that this is a rezoning so the final buildings will not look like they do on page 30 of the Finalisation Report. The final designs will be determined at Development Application stage.

Fig 13b Amended TfNSW Proposal Paint Shop Precinct North Eveleigh - master plan layout

In the absence of the amended planning control maps and the TfNSW Response to Submissions, REDWatch has also extracted the other Diagrams from the Paint Shop Determination that show the amended proposal from the DPE Determination report. In the proposal above the public square label points to a building and not the public square behind it. No key has been provided as to what the pink colour represents. It is probably retail or community facilities.

The planning control maps were subsequently released and the LEP maps can be downloaded from the DPE exhibition website - Paint Shop Sub Precinct Rezoning Maps

A more detailed view of what was changed and why can be found in Section 7 Consideration – Paint Shop Sub Precinct of the Paint Shop Sub Precinct Rezoning Finalisation Report.

The Paint Shop Sub Precinct Design Guide provides many updated maps that show the updated proposal and proposes the guide lines for delivering the amended proposal. Care should be taken however as the LEP planning controls have much greater planning weight that design guidelines. The artist impressions really just show one possible outcome for the site and the developers final designs will likely be nothing like the depictions for new buildings. 

What has been approved?

A brief summary of what has been approved has been provided by Council to REDWatch:

  • 110,000sqm - commercial and/or high-tech space
  • 3,700sqm community facility
  • 28,300sqm residential
    • 15% affordable housing
    • 15% co-living, seniors housing or diverse housing
  • 11,200sqm open space
  • Up to 20 car spaces for Little Eveleigh Street residents
  • Works such as public art, street furniture, landscaping, play equipment, lighting and roads can be carried out as exempt development

The links to the DPE determination documents are:

Paint Shop Sub Precinct Rezoning Finalisation Report (the assessment report)

Paint Shop Sub Precinct  Rezoning What We Heard Report (a DPE summary brochure on the changes).

Paint Shop Sub Precinct Design Guide (an updated design guide incorporating the changes)

• Paint Shop Sub Precinct Rezoning Maps (these will be the starting point for a developer to prepare their DA. As there is only height of building controls the developer will have considerable flexibility in where the floor space allocated to parks and roads end up. The design guide provides suggestions as to where this floor space should go but they are guidelines not planning law.

Please Note: That for a rezoning TfNSW are not required to produce a response to submissions or a detailed updated proposal or reference scheme. The rezoning is to test and set new planning controls hence it is difficult for residents to understand exactly what might have changed and what the site may end up looking like. There are some indications in the DPE Finalisation Report, The design Guide and in the TfNSW documents produced after the finalisation. Hopefully after the election TfNSW will make themselves available to answer community questions.

Transport for NSW links after the Finalisation

Also public on the Legislation website:

The Finalisation report says amendments to the Sydney LEP 2012 are proposed through a site-specific provision for the Sub Precinct including:
  • Direct translation of existing mixed-use and infrastructure zones. From Business Zone – Mixed Use to MU1 Mixed Use and from Special Purpose Zone – Infrastructure to SP2 Railways
  • Setting maximum building height controls to allow buildings up to 26 storeys (128.1m)
  • Setting maximum floor space ratio (FSR) controls to set maximum total floor space across the site, supported by a 10% incentive bonus for design excellence
  • A Heritage Map to retain existing heritage and conservation provisions
  • Site specific provisions to include requirements for provision of community floorspace and publicly accessible open space, minimum commercial/tech floorspace and maximum residential floorspace limits, the requirement to demonstrate design excellence through competitive design, and implementation of a Design Guide
  • Car parking provisions to identify maximum car spaces that may be provided for certain land uses and locations
  • A clause requiring the concurrence of the Planning Secretary for development to ensure sufficient public infrastructure is identified and delivered
  • A clause deferring the commencement of the provisions to allow for the finalisation of infrastructure provision to support the development of the precinct.
  • The Sydney LEP changes were subsequently released on the DPE Finalisation and they can be viewed at - Paint Shop Sub Precinct Rezoning Maps

Under negotiation to be finalised before June 2023:

  • Transport for NSW and the City of Sydney are to negotiate a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) which is to be exhibited before the end of June 2023. The VPA will determine and secure the ongoing ownership and management of the public open space, provide for local infrastructure and ensure 15% of total residential floor space is affordable housing.

Heading into the election

  • There are certainly down sides to the decision. Fatter buildings along the rail line to the east of the Shepherd Street entrance being one of them and building much closer to the existing units on the southern side of Wilson Street being another. If you have concerns about what has been decided, heading into an election you can raise your concerns with the candidates and their party spokespeople. Plan can be changed as the site has not yet gone to market and a government body is the only body with an interest in the site. It is worthwhile noting that the master plan planning approvals in 2008 had a building above the Paint Shop, the controls have now been changed and it is gone. It is only when a developer parts with money based on what the controls say can be delivered that changing controls becomes difficult for the community. The developer will almost certainly try to change the planning controls to "deliver a better outcome" in its DA and the subsequent modifications.



This is a quick overview from REDWatch, we have not fully unpacked all the implications from the decision but have edited this post as new information has become available.

Updated 9 March 2023