The Baird Government has been forced to release the draft plan for the future Parramatta road which reveals 60,000 new dwellings as the target.
The development being labelled the ‘new’ Parramatta Road will be the biggest so far in terms of housing that is planned for Sydney. The number of houses along the corridor is set to almost quadruple from 18,000 to 69,700 by 2031.
The NSW Minister for planning, Pru Goward said that the corridor has long been in need of a facelift.
“The NSW Government is committed to considered, sensible revitalisation of this corridor, which has been an eyesore in our global city for too long,” she said.
A total of $28 billion is expected to be invested in the development which encompasses ten councils.
Underground cabling and cycle paths as well as traffic diverted to the WestConnex motorway are all listed in the report as being the key to the revitalisation of Parramatta road which was once a crucial hub.
On weekdays an estimated 100,000 trips per day are taken on the road and for 8 hours of the day the average speed is 20 kilometres per hour due to gridlock.
Camperdown, Leichhardt, Homebush, Granville, Auburn, Burwood, Taverners Hill, and Kings Bay have been identified by the draft report as the key areas for growth and development.
Homebush and Granville are shown to be the two precincts which will see the majority of the development under the plan.
Homebush which has three train stations along the road will see a 16,000 dwelling increase or one quarter of the total development.
Granville which has two stations will see a 19,000 dwelling increase, roughly one third of the total.
The report hinted at a change in local government planning controls to accelerate development in a passage which has been met by with contempt from local governments.
“Precincts are special areas identified for growth and change where planning rules and zonings may change in the future,” the report read.
The Mayor of Leichhardt, Rochelle Porteous said the passage proved “it is another expensive, sugar coated public relations exercise to disguise the Government’s intention to remove local planning controls from local councils and force high-rise development into the residential streets of the inner west.”
But the State’s representative body for development, Urban Taskforce, saw some sort of inter-council body as vital to the success of the project.
“The current 8 councils may need to be amalgamated or form a joint organisation of councils. The State Government could take the leadership role through their urban renewal arm Urban Growth or the proposed Greater Sydney Commission could emerge as the lead agency. A single agency must be responsible for implementation so that the vision is realised,” a statement from Urban Taskforce read.
The Shadow Minister for Planning, Luke Foley, described the draft as a “recipe for disaster” as amenities were not outlined.
“A plan for 60,000 new apartments, with not a single school or childcare centre, and no parks and playgrounds is not urban renewal,” he said.
“This explains why Pru Goward was determined to keep these plans under wraps until after the March 2015 election.”
“Labor wants to see guarantees around design excellence and there must be adequate provision of essential community infrastructure.”
Cr Porteous also expressed concern about what was missing from the draft.
“It is frankly insulting to the community to put such a document out to consultation,” she said.
“The only money on the table is $200 million for amenity works along the corridor from Parramatta to Camperdown, which is not even a fraction of what is needed for real infrastructure upgrades to accommodate a much larger population.”
Pru Goward has responded by saying that the draft never endeavoured to include these details as they would be part of the second stage of the plan, due next year.
State Government reports indicate that Sydney will need 600,000 new dwellings in the next two decades to house a predicted 1.6 million person increase.
Parramatta Road will remain toll free but Luke Foley believes this will cause a “rat race” to avoid the heavy tolls of the WestConnex Motorway which will serve the same route.
The draft will be open for comment until February 15 next year.