Sydney suburbs earmarked for high-rise blocks      Leesha McKenny, 15 March 2013

activation map

Bill  Randolph's PictureBill Randolph, from the University of NSW’s City Futures Research Centre, said the precincts were located in the right areas.

Admin Comment in response:

The original Metrostrategy – “City of Cities” – focussed on Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Chatswood, Hurstville, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith. The idea was to create fully functioning stand-alone cities within the Sydney Basin. Each of those cities needed major health,education, transport and recreational facilities. Having the airport, port, major teaching hospitals,3 of the top universities, and major recreation (beaches, botanic gardens, centennial park) in the one relatively small subregion of the basin – the East – is the big problem. Density is already high in the East and that’s without factoring in commuting workers and recreational visitors. Packing more people into the East around Mascot, Maroubra and Randwick will make it more difficult for the majority who live in the rest of the basin to access existing facilities. While parkland experiences can be delivered in the west we need to ensure that people have easy access to attractions like beaches that are only available in the East. Open space is a priority. A second airport to service the west is long overdue. There should be a priority to improve hospital facilities in the west. Education is changing with technology so the need for more campus space in the East should be examined closely before facilitating growth. The biggest ‘grower’ in the East is the Port – Freight is projected to grow around 10 times everything else – see We need a smart freight plan which utilises Kembla, Newcastle and Parkes and puts a lid on Port Botany. We don’t need residential growth right next to Australia’s largest airport and second largest container port. We need a buffer. Growth for Mascot is a bizarre notion and even South Maroubra is only 10 minutes from the Port/Airport complex.

Eight suburbs have been earmarked for high-rise apartment blocks up to 30 storeys tall and increased commercial development as part of a state government plan to boost high-density housing and employment in Sydney.

Fairfax Media has identified the eight “urban activation precincts” – where development is to be intensified near transport hubs – due to be unveiled by the Premier Barry O’Farrell and Planning Minister Brad Hazzard.

Parts of North Ryde, Macquarie Park, Epping, Wentworth Point, Sydney Olympic Park, Mascot, Randwick and South Maroubra are facing a raft of zoning and development control changes encompassing hundreds of homes and businesses, as well as government-owned or council land.

The effects of the highly anticipated changes are already being felt. Chris Dunkerley from the Epping Civic Trust said developers and real estate agents were doorknocking his neighbourhood, where single-storey dwellings are facing a likely rezoning for five storeys.

While some of Epping’s existing houses will be protected by a heritage conservation zone, Mr Dunkerley said new controls were expected to increase maximum building heights, ranging from 3 to 22 storeys.

In North Ryde, 30-storey buildings have been mooted.

In the Randwick and Ryde local government areas – which will host education precincts around the University of NSW and Macquarie University respectively – public housing estates have also been earmarked for possible redevelopment.

Bill Randolph, from the University of NSW’s City Futures Research Centre, said the precincts were located in the right areas.

“If this doesn’t work then we’re really stuck as a city,” he said. “We have to activate urban renewal across the city, and we’ve got to do it appropriately.”

But Professor Randolph said the authorities needed to take heed of the “real traps” that had befallen previous plans, such as overdevelopment in Strathfield and a community backlash in Ku-ring-gai. And he said it would be a concern if the precincts resulted in less affordable housing.

“It’s not just rezone and walk away,” he said. “It’s work with the local community, masterplan the areas, get agreement, and then work with the development sector to develop that agreed plan.”

Councils will be eligible for money from a $50 million fund to help them meet the additional demands that will come from the increased population.

But some of those councils, brought into Department of Planning working groups to develop the detail, have criticised the way precincts were determined.

Randwick’s Labor mayor, Tony Bowen, has said its council had “no input whatsoever” in nominating its two precincts. Nor did Auburn City Council, which likened the process to the “removal of local planning powers and decision making from council by the State Government”.

Ryde City Council also expressed concern that heights discussed for development on government-owed land in North Ryde “are substantially higher than the planning controls applying to the adjoining properties in the corridor”.

Mr Hazzard, who declined to comment on the location of the precincts, has previously said they will go out to public consultation once finalised.

“As Planning Minister, I well understand some local councils desire to have no development, or next to no development. This is unrealistic in many parts of Sydney, where the community wants to live.”

2 Responses to “Malabar,Chifley,South Maroubra, Randwick and Mascot identified for high growth”
  1. admin says:

    From Southern Courier:

    Professor Randolph supporting Light Rail over Monorail proposal. Comments on-line:


    Posted on
    17 Oct 11 at 04:30pm

    What Prof Randolph fails to comment on is that the most feasible way to send this light rail to link up with Central station is down Flinders and Oxford, then down Pitt St and up Castlereagh. This will invariaby cost as much, if not more than monorail due to absolutely stuffing around of traffic conditions. A dual direction monorail that continues all the way to Maroubra Jn with a branch past the Racecourse to Randwick and POW Hospital services St Vincents, SCG/SFS, Fox, Racedays, UNSW and POW, and would not be stopped by peak hour traffic. Plus, how many buses does it eliminate the need for?

    franco petrella

    Posted on
    7 Oct 11 at 11:49am
    Excellent idea. Just got to make it pretty.

    Jon Kondor

    Posted on
    6 Oct 11 at 02:36pm
    As stated in my letter, the advantages by far outweigh the negatives. Of course there’s going to be expense! With both systems; but please think of the future and don’t clog up our roads with more ON ROAD solutions that are immovablle.

    Eric Tierney

    Posted on
    6 Oct 11 at 01:10pm
    What streets between Central and Moore Park do the supporters of monorail plan to put pylons along. Or do they intend to bless the gay strip of Oxford St with the snaking edifice. Randwick Council has also failed to face realities with the idea of a one way loop at street level along Belmore Rd. Will UNSW people like to be carried the long way round to go home?


    Posted on
    5 Oct 11 at 11:30am
    Could not agree more with Jon Kondor,the monorail has to be the way to go. Light rail may sound good, but how on earth can you get it to work in with the transport system we have at present is beyond me. Having lived in cities that were built around a light rail systems, they work well. But, if one thinks they can impose a light rail system from the City to Randwick and beyond without major headaches to the existing transport, I don’t think so. And with regard to the asthetics of monorail versus light rail, would not the proposed light rail have overhead power lines? Just what we need more power lines overhead – surely not. The opportunity to build light rail to Randwick was lost quite some time ago when the Council permitted buildings to be built along the corridor that was originally left aside for this sole purpose. Regards, Bob.

    Kim Pedersen

    Posted on
    5 Oct 11 at 02:24am
    Randolph “presumes” the cost would escalate with monorail, but what he neglects to mention, as other street rail enthusiasts do, is that monorail operating and maintenance costs are a fraction of light rail once it’s built. Look at the big picture, then decide. Monorail makes much more sense than trains mixing with traffic and pedestrians.

    Rubens Camejo

    Posted on
    4 Oct 11 at 10:39pm
    It won’t happen. Governments are addicted to the fuel excise. Every one driving on our roads to work in preference to public transport is contributing an average of $30pw It would be unthinkable to have a monorail system that travelled from Central to the UNSW via the Moore Park football precinct then onto Maroubra Junction, down Maroubra Road to Eastgardens, then down Fitzgerald Avenue and onto South Maroubra on its way to the beach. Once it got there it would make too much sense for it to continue onto Coogee, Randwick, down High St, back to the UNSW and back along Anzac Pde to Oxford and Liverpool Streets, down Elizabeth back to Central. It would also be unimaginable that the system would run every 3 minutes in peak hours and every 10 minutes off peak AND it having a duplicate line so that the system run both ways.

    The whole thing would be devastating because it might just work. Hell, other areas such as Bronte, Bondi, Watsons and Doubles Bays might want such a system. What of the peninsula up north; they might even be able to do without a new Spit Bridge. Suburbs adjacent Victoria and Parramatta Roads might also want such a system if it is shown to work in the east.

  2. Andrew Roydhouse says:

    Has anyone else spotted that Randwick is the odd one out?

    Every other new “precinct” either has existing HEAVY RAIL (capacity to move people that is) and other supporting infrastructure or ferries (not subject to road congestion).

    In Randwick’s case we have neither. The much vaunted light rail “promised”, much like the Eastern Suburbs Railway, is not currently planned to go within kilometres of the proposed South Maroubra “Urban Activation” high rise precinct. Funny that.

    With the 800m zone around High St, the proposed light rail WILL NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY to service an additional 25,000 units worth of residents. This figure is derived from using 8 storey units with the median unit size approved by RCC over the past 5 years btw assuming a 15% floorspace per unit block for lifts, corridors, fire escapes etc.

    The lack of existing infrastructure in Randwick is repeatedly denied by our elected representatives. Yet the State Education minister admitted last year that there are not enough places in inner city public secondary schools for the 2012 Year 3 public students to enter Yr 7 in 2016.

    Nearly every Randwick public and private primary school (virtually all in the northern 2/3rds of Randwick) are at or over capacity. Private school principals have held numerous ‘crisis’ meetings with the State Education ministers in recent years to no avail.

    Recently the ‘glassing’ of a man at Coogee Bay was widely reported in the media – did you notice he was taken PAST Prince of Wales Hospital to St Vincent’s Emergency? Why was he taken six times the distance? Because PoW is unable to cope with demand and cannot look after local residents (see recent article in the Southern Courier).

    Many areas in Randwick FLOOD every time there are heavy rains – storm water and sewerage infrastructure is unable to cope with existing demand let alone tens of thousands more units above the over 8,000 additional dwellings approved by RCC since 2004 (when the State Govt required between 800-1,000 by the end of 2013).

    So it is no wonder Randwick was included on the list. If Randwick’s own Council has been so keen to over-develop the area then how can they object to the State Govt getting in on the act? How indeed!

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