NSW Govt Completes Rezoning for $3bn Housing Estate

The New South Wales government has rezoned a big chunk of Sydney’s inner south, paving the way for its $3-billion plan to redevelop a 1970s housing estate.

The rezoning of the initial phase of the 19ha Waterloo South estate will allow for construction of up to 847 social housing units, part of an eventual 3000 private and social homes.

An additional 227 homes will be built for affordable housing, and 10 per cent of dwellings will be dedicated First Nations housing.

The first phase of the redevelopment won gateway approval for rezoning last week. That followed a nearly two-year-long consultation period, including an eight-week public exhibition earlier this year.

Minister for planning and homes Anthony Roberts said the finalisation of the planning proposal was a positive step for the long-awaited redevelopment.

“The planning control changes mean we can begin the next stage of the project and support the delivery of new social and affordable housing, as well as private homes and new public space,” Roberts said in a statement.

▲ The redevelopment proposal will be in three stages and built over the next 30 years.

“This is about breathing new life into an old social housing estate to support the needs of the growing number of people who call—or want to call—Waterloo home.”

The government’s plans have not been without controversy.

The redevelopment affects about 2000 tenants who will have to be relocated. The NSW Land and Housing Corporation, which owns the property, says it is working on a resident relocations strategy with the Department of Communities and Justice.

The corporation argues that at around 40 to 70 years old, the current facilities are nearing the end of their lifespan and are increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain.

It says residents will get at least six months’ notice to relocate, and that is unlikely to happen before early 2024.

The redevelopment proposal will be in three stages—Waterloo South, Waterloo Central and Waterloo North—and built over the next 30 years.

▲ Architects will be asked to submit building designs into a competition and shortlist of developers and community housing providers be finalised in weeks.

Waterloo South covers about 65 per cent of the project and will include four towers of between 27 and 33 storeys, plus some medium-rise of six to 13 storeys and some low-rise between two and five storeys.

Plans for the first stage were overhauled in February of last year to create fewer high rise towers, and more social and affordable housing.

Architects will be asked to submit building designs into a competition.

The plan includes changes to streets, walkways and cycleways to improve traffic flow, as well as an additional 2.5ha of public open space.

The NSW government’s announcement of the Waterloo redevelopment precinct in 2015 included the delivery of a new Waterloo metro station—due to open in 2024—and includes a big mixed-use development above the station.

ASX-listed property group Mirvac and construction group John Holland have been given the green light to begin building the $900-million new homes, shops and integrated community facilities.

The corporation opened an expressions-of-interest campaign looking for a developer and community housing providers to deliver the Waterloo South phase, which ended in August. An evaluation process is now under way.

Corporation chief executive Simon Newport said he expected a shortlist to be finalised in coming weeks.

“We’re excited to keep this project moving—a renewal partner will deliver new buildings and infrastructure and collaborate with government to support residents through change, to create a vibrant and mixed inner-city community,” Newport said.

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