High-rise plans move forward in two Sydney suburbs

More high-rise is coming to Sydney’s suburbs, after the state government approved a new development precinct in Wentworth Point and put plans for another at Macquarie Park on public exhibition.

The rezonings, which will allow towers of up to 25 storeys and a proposed 37 storeys, are part of the government’s strategy to build higher density near transport hubs.

A total of 7700 new dwellings could be built across the two areas – with six ”urban activation precincts”, including Macquarie Park, expected to be finalised in the coming financial year.

Of the eight precincts announced last year, Wentworth Point brings the number approved to three and two others are being finalised. Another three are on hold.

The Wentworth Point approval means 2300 dwellings can now be built in the former industrial precinct, an 18-hectare site next to the Parramatta River.

It will also include parks, an 18-classroom school and what would be the tallest tower in the Auburn local government area, soaring up to 25 storeys high.

Planning Minister Pru Goward said the development would take place alongside improvements to local transport links, such as a new eastbound ramp allowing direct access to the M4 Motorway and WestConnex.

”Wentworth Point lies between Sydney’s two CBDs – the city and Parramatta – and means families can buy or rent homes close to jobs, transport and parks right on the edge of Sydney Harbour,” Ms Goward said.

The government said the rezoning plans had received ”strong support” when placed on exhibition last year.

But Bronwyn Evans, the president of resident group Wentworth Point Community Central, said the plans had not taken into account the additional burden of thousands of apartments also being built nearby.

”We understand that development has to happen, that’s not the issue,” Ms Evans said.

”The issue is that the government is failing to provide the essential infrastructure to make it work. People will be buying apartments that they can’t get to.”

More than double the number of dwellings – up to 5400 – are proposed for the Macquarie Park precinct, where the rezonings set out in the draft plan would allow for towers up to 37 storeys high.

The precinct would take shape over the next two decades around Herring Road – a street that would be redeveloped into a boulevard lined with wider footpaths, outdoor cafes and a cycleway under the proposal.

”Much of the precinct is just a short walk from Macquarie University train station, which will be connected to the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link when it opens in 2019, and is on the doorstep of the recently upgraded Hills M2 motorway,” Ms Goward said.

Member for Ryde Victor Dominello said a study would look into the future educational needs of the area and report back on options, such as more classroom space, later in the year.

”The growth of Macquarie Park as an economic hub has created strong demand for new housing capacity and the NSW government recognises that the proposed Herring Road development will need to be matched with investment in local schools,” Mr Dominello said.

The Herring Road plans are on exhibition until August 10.