Heritage the heart of new community at Parramatta North
Parramatta North - one of the State’s most historically-significant areas – will be transformed into a thriving new community heart in Sydney’s ‘second CBD’ under a masterplan being developed by UrbanGrowth NSW.
The Parramatta North project is one of five major urban renewal projects to be led by UrbanGrowth NSW, announced by Planning and Infrastructure Minister, Brad Hazzard, today.
“In the past week Parramatta was named the most liveable centre in Sydney* with the greatest potential for urban renewal,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Parramatta North will be the icing on the cake, probably giving Parramatta an unbeatable lead as the most liveable place in Sydney.
“UrbanGrowth NSW will co-ordinate across agencies, ensuring that planning is done for all the services a growing community needs – such as health, education and transport – which is a vital part of liveable centres.”
State Member for Parramatta, Dr Geoff Lee MP, said: “The project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver an exemplar of heritage-driven tourism through the adaptive re-use of our historic assets and build a new community for all to enjoy.
“This project will provide improved social, cultural and recreational infrastructure as well as significant economic benefit for Parramatta and Western Sydney.”
The Chief Executive of UrbanGrowth NSW, David Pitchford, said the masterplan would guide appropriate residential and commercial activation on the 146-hectare riverside site.
“It will enable the restoration and revitalisation of the unique places of social, cultural and historic significance,” he said.
“Western Sydney is already home to 1 in 11 Australians and its population of 2 million is forecast to grow to 2.9 million by 2036. We need the right plan in place to cater for the future, while respecting the past.”
Located on the banks of the Parramatta River between the Parramatta CBD and Westmead Health Precinct, Parramatta North is close to major roads, public transport, community amenities and recreation facilities.
Project Leader, Tasha Burrell, said Parramatta North presented many opportunities but also many complexities.
“As a place of early colonial settlement and farming, the area is of great heritage significance. Many buildings, structures and landscapes have statutory heritage listings at world, state and local level, and the site has important social significance for many people.”
Ms Burrell said the framework process had brought forward a large number of issues, including the relocation of existing health and medical services; ensuring an appropriate relationship to the future planning of neighbouring Westmead and also the proposed light rail.
“There are also sensitive environmental interests such as a flying fox colony along the riverbed.
“These all require intensive discussion and review to make sure we get an achievable, financially viable result,” Ms Burrell said.
Since October 2013, UrbanGrowth NSW has been working with a team of specialist consultants including leading architects Allan Jack Cottier to get input from the 12 NSW Government agencies and 13 Ministers with responsibilities or interests in the project area, as well as Parramatta Council, heritage, community and business groups.
“If it was easy, it would have been done already,” Dr Lee said.
“I think UrbanGrowth NSW has done an amazing job in identifying all the issues. The Government has made some important decisions to enable this to happen.”
*Building Up, Urban Development Institute of Australia.