Castle Hill's showgrounds could give a big boost to affordable housing

Castle Hill's showgrounds could give a big boost to affordable housing
Castle Hill's showgrounds could give a big boost to affordable housing

The Castle Hill showgrounds in Sydney's north west has gained a boost with a masterplan unveiled recently that would see 20% of the total planned dwellings to be classified as affordable for first-home buyers critical public service workers.

The New South Wales Government finalised the rezoning of the former showgrounds land in December 2017 after a planning process that began in August 2014.

The Castle Hill Showgrounds is playing host to a station on the Sydney Metro north west which is due to begin operations next year.  Showgrounds is one of the NSW Government's planned precincts and growth areas.

360 of the 3,600 planned dwellings will be offered for sale at below-market rates for first-home buyers and a further 360 dwellings will be offered as rentals attracting below-market rental prices according to Joe Chiha, who was quoted in the Hills Shire Times.

According to Hills Shire council, after rezoning, the former showgrounds land could yield up to 9000 dwellings however the NSW Government has put a cap of 5000 dwellings on the precinct whilst other infrastructure issues are sorted out.

Schools are cited as one of the primary concerns.  Mirvac recently withdrew a proposal to develop the land citing differences in the planning controls from when they first got involved.

The proponent for the 3,600 dwelling proposal now before council is from a consortium of companies including Tangarra and Decode.

Castle Hill's showgrounds could give a big boost to affordable housing
Render of proposed 3600 dwelling development at Castle Hill's Showgrounds - image: Tangarra

The new Hills Showground station will be located on Carrington Road near the intersection of Showground Road.  A westerly trip to the next stop up the line will see passengers able to access jobs and facilities located in the Norwest Business park and an easterly trip will deposit passengers at the doorstep of the Castle Towers shopping centre.

When the Sydney Metro North West project becomes operational, the NSW Government often cites the peak frequency of a train every 4 minutes.  As the trains will be driver-less, the Sydney Metro will have a unique ability to rapidly add or remove trains from service to cater for an unforeseen demand at other times without needing to undertake lengthy timetable changes.  

The second phase of the Sydney Metro project is well underway with the NSW Government recently ordering 5 new tunnel boring machines in September 2017.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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