The NSW state government has hit the accelerator on two of Australia’s biggest urban renewal projects that are set to redefine substantially boost population density and redefine the skyline of Sydney.
The Baird government on Monday confirmed it will dump height restrictions for the massive Aspire Tower planned for the Parramatta CBD that is expected to reach a sky piercing 306 metres at 90 storeys tall.
The scrapping of the height ceiling effectively pits the state government against the objections of aviation operators and regulators that control air traffic over and around the city — including Air Services Australia, Sydney Airport, Bankstown Airport and the federal Civil Aviation Safety Authority — which have been decidedly cool on the massive residential structure because of potential encroachment on take-off and landing corridors.
Sydney airport has a strong interest in keeping all of its corridor options as open as possible because of the eventual competition the new Badgery’s Creek airport will eventually pose to what has been to date a licence to print monopoly money.
However Parramatta City Council, the NSW government and eager developers have been fighting against the height restrictions arguing that urban development and renewal that will bring thousands of jobs and tens of billions in investment cannot be held hostage to the demands of the aviation industry.
The state government has invested heavily in creating a building boom in Sydney’s west — strategic ground when it comes to winning elections — in a bid to entice businesses to move there and reverse the trend of the City of Sydney being the dominant location for white collar and service industry jobs.
New South Wales Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, is pushing the benefits of the new Aspire Tower development’s giddy heights for they’re worth.
“It will herald the creation of a modern architectural skyline, defining Parramatta’s role as Western Sydney’s capital,” Mr Stokes said.
Meanwhile, with Sydney property prices also soaring skyward, the state government is speeding up the redevelopment of former industrial and swamp land just a few kilometres away from Sydney airport at the $8 billion Green Square development.
UrbanGrowth NSW, which describes itself as the state government’s “city transformation arm” said on Monday that it will bring forward the sale of a “1.35 hectare ‘superlot’ of land in the Green Square Town Centre to accelerate the development of Green Square Town Centre”.
It is understood that the tender process to sell land to developers is already underway as the controversial body attempts to bring the new building works more quickly online so that the massive 278 hectare site starts to resemble a functioning metropolitan area rather than a giant half-finished construction zone.
“We are bringing forward the sale of the Stage 4 superlot to bring the precinct to life and establish a “sense of place” for Green Square by enabling the early completion of the heart of the Town Centre some five to ten years ahead of schedule,” UrbanGrowth NSW chief executive, David Pitchford, said.
According to UrbanGrowth, the superlot wasn’t slated development by the body and Mirvac for up to 8 years.
Meanwhile, the uncertainty surrounding another one of UrbanGrowth NSW’ marquee projects — the redevelopment of Parramatta Road — continues to be in limbo after an apparent move by the Baird government to redraw the WestConnex freeway project.
Massive urban redevelopment and infill was planned for parts of Parramatta Road closer to the CBD under the now updated WestConnex plan, a move that triggered a strong backlash from communities along the proposed route.
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