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Built Environment Plan released: Is this future for Redfern and Waterloo?

The Redfern Waterloo Authority’s draft Built Environment Plan (BEP) has been released to mixed reviews. The South Sydney Herald examined what the plan means for some of South Sydney’s most important sites writes Joseph Correy and Geoffrey Turnbull in the March 2006 issue of the South Sydney Herald.

Australian Technology Park: Zoned as Business Park with some Public Recreation along Henderson Road.

The RWA estimate the ATP will eventually be four times its current size and generate 5,000-8,000 additional jobs. A foot and bicycle bridge will be created to improve connections to the Railway Station and a vehicle tunnel is also a possibility. The ATP will further expand into South Eveleigh but there will be no zoning changes proposed for adjoining private and Department of Housing land.

North Eveleigh: Zoned as Business Zone and Special Purposes – Infrastructure.

The disused railway land between Wilson St and the railway line will be developed with a range of uses. On the western end the RWA proposes a predominantly residential development with mixed business and residential closer to Redfern station. Building heights are to be from 4 to 10 storeys, with a 16-storey iconic building towards Redfern Station.

The Block: Zoned as Business – Mixed use with Pemulwuy Park retained as Public Recreation.

In the South, maximum heights increase from 2-3 storeys to 3-5 storeys while floor space ratio increases from 1:1 to 1.5:1 for mixed development but are reduced to 0.5:1 for purely residential developments like the Aboriginal Housing Company’s proposed Pemulwuy project.

Redfern Railway Station

Plans for the redevelopment of Redfern Station are expected to be available later in 2006. The station development is unlikely to be finished before 2010.

Gibbons - Regent Streets: Zoning is to be Business Zone – Commercial Core.

The area bounded in the north by Lawson Square and in the south by Margaret St is to be developed as the commercial core of Redfern with maximum heights changing from 4 storeys to 2-18 storeys.

Former Rachel Forster Hospital: Zoned as medium density residential.

The BEP did not clearly state whether the medical centre currently fronting Albert St would remain or whether the site would be used for health purposes.

Former Police Station and Court House sites: Zoned as Business Zone – Local Centre.

The existing courthouse is to remain at its existing building height and the old police station will be replaced with a maximum 3 to 6 storey building.

Former Redfern Public School: Zoned as Special Purposes – Community.

This Redfern Public School site is in the process of being sold to the Indigenous Land Corporation for a Centre for Aboriginal cultural, social and sporting excellence.

The South Sydney Herald asked local players what they thought about the BEP for Redfern and Waterloo.

Mick Mundine, Aboriginal Housing Company:

“The RWA has revealed their intent to decimate the Aboriginal community in Redfern with this latest plan. This is a big win for developers, and makes it clear that the NSW Government is determined to sell all Redfern’s assets to pay for their mismanagement of the state’s budget.”

Geoffrey Turnbull, REDWatch:

“The Plan does not address local transport needs, rat runs and regional traffic issues and is weak on public domain, social equity, community identity and cohesion. All these areas were identified under the RED Strategy as major issues or agreed RED core principles alongside the areas on which the Plan concentrates.”

Tony Larkin, Chamber of Commerce:

“The BEP needs to be read in conjunction with the employment and enterprise draft because they are both tied into their goal to stimulate employment and revitalise Redfern and Waterloo.”

[This material at the beginning of this article is based on the REDWatch Summary of the RWA Built Environment Plan which can be accessed by the link below.]