Photographs:  (left)Aerial View of Site; (right)Solarach after fire in 2007; (below)Vegetation along frontage – large number of native trees dead, exotic pest species in flower. The ex-UNSW site at Little Bay was gifted to the University for the establishment of a Medical School.  The School was never built but the site has been used for Biological Science research and very notably for Solar Energy Research.  Solarch, the first building to generate green power in NSW once stood on this site.  The site also contains a number of playing fields.  In 2006, the University decided that the site was surplus to its needs and obtained  permission from the Minister of Education, then Carmel Tebbutt, to sell. In early 2007  La Perouse Precinct Committee was briefed on a proposal to build around 150 town houses on this site.  Council planners in their report suggested that UNSW should be aiming for much higher density on the site.  The Solarch building was not to be retained and conveniently burnt down within days of the briefing.  The proposal was passed by Randwick Council and earlier this year the University sold the site to Charter Hall, a Property Funds Manager.

Charter Hall are now proposing a new Masterplan for the site which will see between 400 and 600 dwellings.  The mix of buildings will include 5 x 5 storey  and 4 x 3 storey appartments.  Further details:

The public face of the project is Elton Consulting.  The following appears on their website: Projects include the Carlton Brewery re-development at Broadway and the Hillsong Rosebery proposal.  Directors include:  Brian Elton, a former General Manager in the Department of Housing;  James Evans,who co-authored and managed the production of the award winning Community Engagement in the NSW Planning System website and handbook as well as working on the State Plan and the Metropolitan Water Plan;  and Trish Oakley former Chief of Staff to the former Deputy Premier, Andrew Refshauge.*

Elton Consulting conducted the first public consultation at Little Bay yesterday.  Features of the proposal include:

1.A walking and cycling path to connect Bilga Crescent Housing Estate with sites at Prince Henry.

2.A viewing platform for the Heritage Listed Miocene geological site and an opportunity to route the walking/cycling path to include this platform.  The Miocene site contains pollen of many species including the Wollemi Pine.  Link for detail.

3.Protection of the Ochre ‘mine’ in partnership with the La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council.

4.A road, passing by where Solarch once stood, has been tentatively named Solarch Avenue.

*At one point there was a proposal to develop this site as a state of the art Permaculture Village and according to a source from the now defunct Ecoliving Centre at UNSW (axed in 2006) there was support from Refshauge for this proposal……. if only!

This development, which could add another 1500 residents to Little Bay, further supports the need for Stockland to develop the Shopping Villiage and Medical Centre at Prince Henry in accordance with the Landcom Award Winning Masterplan.

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