Parramatta could see 12,000 new dwellings as CBD Planning Proposal gets greenlight

The long-awaited changes to the planning rules for the area will offer the potential to create much needed housing supply and quality jobs for Sydney’s second city

Parramatta could see 12,000 new dwellings as CBD Planning Proposal gets greenlight
Parramatta could see 12,000 new dwellings as CBD Planning Proposal gets greenlight

Parramatta is set to see a solid pipeline of new housing following the sign off of the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal.

The long-awaited changes to the planning rules for the area will offer the potential to create much needed housing supply and quality jobs for Sydney’s second city.

Urban Taskforce CEO Tom Forrest has welcomed the finalisation of the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal said the new amendments provide capacity for approximately 11,900 new dwellings in the CBD.

"This decision is welcome as it will provide more opportunities to boost housing supply in this LGA and assist the City of Parramatta to reach its five-year housing target of 23,660 new homes by 2026,” Forrest said.

However, the final changes to the Local Environmental Plan contain decisions that reduce the proposed development area and remove critical incentives for development of office space.

Urban Taskforce notes that Parramatta North and the Phillip Street Block have been excluded from the process with decisions postponed due to concerns over their heritage and public amenity values.

During the finalisation of the Planning Proposal, Council excluded sites previously endorsed in the Parramatta CBD Planning Investigation Area, inevitably ‘kicking the can down the road’ to be progressed at a later stage.

This has happened again in the Parramatta North and Phillip Street Block and is a missed opportunity to utilise the full potential of the CBD area, according to Forrest.

The other last-minute DPE change to the plan includes restrictions to the floor space ratio (FSR) from those originally proposed by Parramatta Council.

“Parramatta Council proposed an exemption from any FSR controls for office development (greater than 1,800 sqm) in the Commercial Core and the Mixed Use zone. This was proposed to allow for maximum flexibility and as an incentive to future investors.

“The Urban Taskforce has repeatedly called for flexibility in the planning controls which will enable the market to create developments that are best suited to the area and best respond to the demand for office spaces, retail, and homes. Council had proposed precisely this and DPE re-imposed unwelcome controls which will limit commercial development and opportunities for quality new jobs,” Forrest said.

“Parramatta Council’s worthy intention was to enable A-Grade office towers to be built with modern designs. The competitive and creative designs of today’s modern office towers ensure great look, functional space and build form which is best suited to the demand of the market today and in the future,” he added.

Notwithstanding the reduced size of the development area and the FSR restrictions, the finalisation of the CBD Planning Proposal will finally give some certainty to investors.

The amended Parramatta Local Environmental Plan commences on 14 October 2022 but is expected to guide the economic development of the CBD for the foreseeable future.

“It is great to see the NSW Government, led by Planning Minister Roberts, tackling housing supply and this is a positive step,” Forrest concluded.

Alison Warters

Alison Warters

Alison Warters is a property journalist for Urban, based in Sydney. Alison is especially interested in the evolution of the New Build/Development space, when it comes to design innovation and sustainability.

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Western Sydney City of Parramatta Planning Proposal

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