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SSC Newspaper : April 2013
Strathfield Scene 9 news www.ourstrathfield.com.au “It’s all good to say we need to house more people, but we need more infrastructure first.” — Paul Feely, Strathfield resident The proposal is currently in the hands of the Planning Assessment Commission and Strathfield Council has registered objections. John Elvy, three times mayor of Strathfield in the 1980s and 90s and a senior figure in the property industry, is bullish about the municipality’s ability to attract quality housing and investment. Mr Elvy, who has been in the property business for 40 years, said: “As a long-term resident of Strathfield I see the LEP as a great attribute to the long-term commercial and residential viability of the place. “The opportunities that are on the table for the Strathfield Square precinct will only add tremendous value to the business centre and community. “There are great opportunities around the southern part of Strathfield and also Parramatta Road and Homebush area for quality homes to be built, and these are the areas that are sorely needed in Strathfield and Sydney. “I think the LEP goes a long way in addressing these issues.” Strathfield’s median house price has lifted significantly in the past five years, he said, and a lot of people perceive it has being unaffordable. But there are areas that could produce some very good quality and affordable housing. Mr Elvy believes investors would be attracted to the town centre plan for high quality residential, retail and some commercial. The price of potential development sites is soaring with many selling well above reserve. A four-bedroom house in Homebush was auctioned recently for $2.46 million, $810,000 above reser ve. Principal Licensee at Raine and Horne Strathfield Horrie Porcellato said this was “unique and beyond expectation”. Competition for the property was fierce. The 1,000 square metre property sits next to a two-storey walk-up and is in a medium- density residential zone which, according to Mr Porcellato, makes it ideal for developers. He also said the elderly couple who owned the property were shocked by the result. “Everyone was ecstatic. The whole family couldn’t believe it,” he said. Steve Devine of Director of Devine Real Estate also believes the property market will remain strong. He said that while more high-rises in Strathfield could result in a short-term decrease in apartment prices, it would benefit investors in the long run and would not affect house prices. “Demand will outstrip supply,” he said. “This will eventually happen to the Parramatta Road corridor, but there are a number of sites yet to be developed.” According to Australian Property Monitors, the price of Strathfield’s median house rose from $1,305,000 million to $1,330,000 million and apartments rose from $476,000 to $488,000 from 2011 to 2012. House and apartment prices in Strathfield are also expected to rise by 5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. Neighbouring suburbs present a similar picture. Tell us what you think about the development of Strathfield at www.ourstrathfield.com.au. heritage and multi-culture Residents of the controversial Homebush rezoning area between the railway line and Parramatta Road are angry their concerns have been overlooked. Suge Sritharan is not happy with the change in density. She said her family had already had to move once because of the privacy issues units bring to the area and they’re being pushed out again. “We use to live down the street on 17 Loftus Crescent, but they put up a unit behind us and there was no privacy. They could see into our backyard,” she said. “We’re planning to move out of Homebush to the Westmead area because there are more houses there. “ I think the whole street is going to end up being apartments.” Dylan Methven believes residents have been neglected to make way for developers. “ Only developers benefit from this,” he said. “As a resident I think the area is already populated enough. We already have to fight for parking spots and the rubbish is out of control. Whenever we walk around here I pick up rubbish, which overflows from poorly maintained apartments. It’s become a nightmarish place.” rebecca niDeS agrees and said the roads are already too congested and can’t handle more people. “ You can only imagine it getting worse with more residences here,” she said. “We live on Loftus Crescent and it takes us half an hour to get around the block because people use it as an escape from Parramatta Road. Paul Feely, who lives further down the road, said it’s not just the roads that can’t handle more people, there are not enough amenities to cater for a population increase. “ I understand there needs to be progress, but why don’t they build on the other side of the railway track?” he said. “ It’s all good to say we need to house more people, but we need more infrastructure first. Schools and parks haven’t catered to that – A irey Park is chock-a-block full of kids already. ” But there are some who see the benefits of high-rise. araSu raSaSunDran believes it’s an ideal place to live and wants to share the prime location with others. “The area is close to the market and station. We have the amenities and a lot of people would like to live here. When they build more apartments it would also bring more facilities to the area,” he said. A resident of Smallwood Avenue who did not wish to be identified agrees. “ Perhaps it’s time for high-rise. The more people we bring in this area the more amenities we will get. We could bring supermarkets and more shops here. I know not everyone is happy about it but there’s positives and negatives for it. ” • Move up or move out, page10. Why don’t they listen? ask residents sugesritharandylanmethVenreBeccanidesPaulFeely “It connects two major employment hubs and connects to the west where a lot of Sydney’s population lives,” he said. “From the property industry point of view we are ver y positive that the Parramatta Road corridor has been identified for major growth. “It is quite clear the State Government through the Planning Department and the Strathfield LEP are supporting more growth and density in the area. We have a number of members who own land and want to develop there, as long as the WestConnex is developed in an appropriate way.” Mr Johnson also said the corridor has the potential to become a major hub in itself and he could see 100,000 new apartments and 100,000 new jobs being created in the area. He said this would also minimise traffic and bolster the public transport system. “Public transport only works effectively if there’s enough density,” he said. “If we can get mixed-use development, jobs, housing and shopping in the area, we can minimise the amount of movement to and from work. The corridor is the ideal place to do it.” Mr Johnson believes a new $320 million proposal to build a massive complex of 18 buildings – include two of 21 storeys – on Parramtta Road in Homebush is a promising sign for the area. The Columbia Lane Precinct Plan has been recommended by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure NSW and is now in the hands of the Planning Assessment Commission. The mixed-use development includes 650 residential apartments, basement car parking for 806 cars and promises to create 400-500 ongoing jobs. But Strathfield Council objects on the basis that “the heights are unsuitable in an out-of- centre location”. It would however “support buildings up to 12 storeys in height”. However, as with the LEP, Strathfield Council will not have the final say. For more on the Strathfield LEP, see www.strathfieldlep.com .au . • encourages a mix of commercial and residential developments in the Parramatta road corridor to make it a suitable place for residents to live, work and shop. this could mean more high-rise developments along Parramatta road and a food hub centred around Sydney Markets. • Promotes transport development in Strathfield town centre, boosting the public transport infrastructure so more people can move in and out of Strathfield. • increases height restrictions around the Strathfield town centre and Parramatta road to build more homes. • Protects vital habitats including cox’s creek reserve and Mason Park Wetlands. this could help the effort to save the endangered green and golden bell frog. • Promotes consolidation of Strathfield heritage-listed properties. What the leP means continued From Pg 1