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SSC Newspaper : February 2012
Strathfield Scene 7 www.ourstrathfield.com.au council news “The state now recognises the objective to preserve industrial land to cut down travel to and from work” – David Hazeldine, Strathfield Council By Peter Lynch Higher-density residential development along Parra- matta Road, increased building heights at the Town Centre, a food hub next to Sydney Markets and new business parks to attract jobs are among the highlights of Strathfield’s plans for the next dec- ade, which went on show this month. The town square is to be re- classified to allow for events like weekend markets, while a mixed business and residential area is proposed in Homebush, north of the railway station. The environment and heritage are singled out, with a full list of protect- ed areas. Bushland, including Cox’s Creek Reserve and Mason Park Wet- lands are to be rezoned to help pro- tect endangered species such as the green and gold bell frog. The Local Environmental Plan, or LEP, is a blueprint for the area’s development up to 2022. But it will have a significant impact on residents and their amenities beyond that. The plan is on display until 23 March, after which residents’ sub- missions will be considered, a new draft drawn up if needed and the final plan forwarded to the planning minister to be gazetted into law. Mix of old and new Essentially the plain is a conserva- tive one and sees much of the area’s character unchanged. Strathfield will remain a mainly residential sub- urb containing many of Sydney’s finest heritage homes and parks. “ The draft LEP predominantly preserves the existing zoning, con- trols and land uses outside of the centres and promotes sustainable growth to ensure new development does not create adverse impacts on the local community,” Strathfield Council says in the plan. But there are significant areas where council planners have pro- duced new ideas in an effort to attract developers to meet the objectives of 8300 new homes and 1500 new jobs by 2031 set by state government as part of the Metropolitan Strategy. Higher density housing and mixed commercial and residential build- ings are being encouraged near pub- see food hubs and high-rise Where you can see the plan On line at www. strathfieldlep.com.au. The site features a plain-English guide, fact sheets, and an interactive mapping tool to enter your address and see what the plan has in store for your home and neighbourhood. The plan and detailed maps can be viewed at customer service in Homebush Road, or at the libraries in Rochester Street, Homebush or High Street, Strathfield. Information sessions will be held on Saturday, 11 February, at the Strathfield Town Centre between 10am and 1pm; on Friday, 24 February at the High Street Community Library at the same time; and at Strathfield Library on Monday, 5 March between 4pm and 7pm. There is an information line on 9748 9995 and there are Korean- and Chinese- language version of leaflets available on request at strathfieldlep@strathfield. nsw.gov.au. The public exhibition period ends on 23 March. lic transport to encourage commut- ers to leave their cars at home. And industrial parks will tempt high technology and light indus- tries to capitalise on Strathfield’s location close to the CBD. Government planners passed the draft LEP just before Christmas. It is the first new LEP in more than 50 years, although there have been other plans and amendments in between. The demography of Sydney has changed dramatically in that time and the government has exerted huge pressure on councils to increase home building and free up land. Planning is one thing. Making it happen by attracting developers and funding is another. So Strath- field’s LEP contains incentives such as including height and floor space ratios, designed to encourage devel- opers to invest while maintaining the amenity of the municipality. incentives to develop David Hazeldine, the strategic planning manager, who led Strath- field Council’s team behind the draft LEP, told the Scene: “ There are numerical objectives: 1500 new jobs by 2031 and 8300 new homes – w e have already got a great deal of that capacity in the zoning.” The team, he said, only had to find an additional 1830 dwellings to meet the 2031 target because of previous rezoning work. But Parramatta Road, for in- stance, already has a lot of “unbuilt capacity”, Hazeldine said. So new zoning allows for land uses to revitalise older parts of the road, including light industrial de- velopments at Telopea Avenue be- side the Campus Homebush Busi- ness Park, and higher densities of residential apartment blocks, par- ticularly at road intersections. The idea is to lure developers with better returns on their investment. “ We create the opportunity for these housing and units to be con- structed,” Hazeldine said. “ We are making it more attractive for devel- opment by fine-tuning the controls.” In Parramatta Road’s case, that means a maximum height of be- tween five and 13 stories or up to 42m. Those who agree to develop complete parcels of land will receive a greater height or floor space ratio. The Town Centre, where it is hoped a new bus interchange will be the trigger for a redevelopment of buildings like Strathfield Plaza, which has a height restriction of up to 54m – meaning owners Memo- corp could add to their building. The draft LEP is designed to work in tandem with the Town Centre master plan, now awaiting funding for detailed design work. On job creation, Hazeldine said: “Strathfield has the largest amount of industrial-zoned land in the in- ner west. The philosophy is to keep the industrial land preserved ... the state now recognises the objective to preserve industrial land to cut down travel to and from work.” “ We looked at modernising the controls – this will make it easier for people to develop appropriately in those zones.” Hazeldine says there has already been considerable interest from de- velopers with their eyes on Strath- field. “They are just waiting to find out what the final plan is.” a strategy for growth have your say Attend the information sessions to hear what council experts have to say, and question them about your concerns. There will be submissions forms at each session. Post submissions to Strathfield Council, PO Box 120, Strathfield NSW 2135, or electronically via email at email@example.com or at www.strathfieldlep.com.au. The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 23 March. A public hearing will be held after 23 March over the proposal to change the use of the Town Square. mixed-use high-rise high-tech industries heritage protected focus on transport neW communities conservation zones