Item 10.1 - Attachment 1

Detailed Report Deferred Areas November 2008


Attachment 1







Council previously considered draft planning controls for Merrylands, known as Option 1 (Attachment 2) and Option 2 (Attachment 3) at its meeting of 23 June 2008. These were considered in conjunction with draft controls for Carlingford and East Rydalmere.


Option 1 seeks to focus increased residential density in the northern portion of the precinct, whilst retaining the southern portion as a low density residential area, underpinning the area’s potential to accommodate further residential development in the longer term.  


Option 2 seeks to retain existing densities, with the exception of land bounded by Mombri Street, Loftus Street and Merrylands Road that would be down zoned to low density residential. This option was prepared in response to discussions at a Councillor workshop regarding the advice provided by the Department of Planning in relation to down zoning of the land described above. The Department’s justification behind this possible down zoning was to retain capacity for future higher density development in the longer term. The Department’s advice was in the context of the remainder of the existing Residential 2(b) and Residential 2(c) zonings in the precinct being retained. Additional detail on both Option 1 and Option 2 is provided in the previous detailed report at Attachment 4.


The decision of Council at the 23 June 2008 meeting was the subject of a rescission motion at the Council meeting of the 28 July 2008. At this meeting three petitions and one individual submission were tabled and one resident addressed the public forum on behalf of residents of Smythe Street. Council resolved:-


(a)       That Council adopt the draft planning controls for the RDS Centres of Carlingford and East Rydalmere, as shown at Attachment 2 of Manager Land Use & Transport Planning Report, and that these be incorporated into the draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2008 prior to its exhibition.

(b)       That the draft planning controls for Merrylands be deferred and council officers undertake further analysis of the petitions tabled tonight, particularly in relation to the width of Smythe Street and in this regard, an audit of Smythe Street width be undertaken.

(c)        That an analysis be undertaken of new areas per zone in each of the scenarios.

(d)       Further, that the petition from residents of Albion Street also be considered in conjunction with this matter.




Three (3) petitions and one (1) submission were made to Council in respect of the draft planning controls that were initially presented to Council on 23 June 2008. A signatory of one of the petitions also addressed Council at it meeting of 28 July 2008 during the public forum. Details of each petition/submission are summarised in Table 1.


Table 1: Summary of petitions and submissions received





Petition from residents of Railway Terrace, Mombri Street and Merrylands Road, Merrylands.


Petition of 20 signatories (represents 19 properties) in support of Option 1, which allows for mixed use development up to six storeys in height between Railway Terrace, Mombri Street and Merrylands Road.

This petition supports Option 1 in its current form and does not seek any amendments.



Petition & Public Forum Address from residents of Smythe Street, Merrylands


Petition of 30 signatories (represents 9 properties) in support of Option 2, to have the area remain at its present densities. A representative of this petition also addressed Council at its meeting of 28 July 2008 and raised the following issues:

·   Lack of public consultation;

·   Current  parking congestion in Smythe Street;

·   Narrow width of Smythe Street; and

·   Amenity impacts of higher density developments.

The issues raised during the public forum address were responded to at the Council meeting of 28 July 2008. The public forum address and subsequent reply accompanies this report at Attachment 5. Further consideration of these matters is also provided below.


It should be noted that Option 2 proposes that land in Smythe Street be zoned for a lower residential density than the current zoning.


Petition from residents of Albion Street, Merrylands


Petition of 33 signatories (representing 32 properties) of which 10 signatories stated an address outside of Albion Street). This petition seeking that Albion Street, Merrylands be up zoned to R4 as part of Option 1.

Further consideration of this matter is provided below.

Submission from resident of Merrylands Road, Merrylands


Submission in support of Option 1 for higher density development.

This submission supports Option 1 in its current form and does not seek any amendments.





Concern was raised by some Councillors and residents about the width of Smythe Street in relation to possible higher density residential development. In this respect, Council resolved that an audit of the width of Smythe Street be undertaken for further consideration.


A detailed plan of Smythe Street accompanies this report at Attachment 6. The plan provides widths of the roadway, location of trees, and services. Council’s Civil Design staff have also undertaken a number of on-site measurements and advised that the road has a total length of 311 metres, and of this, 238 metres (76.5%) of the length has a road width of 9.6 and 9.8 metres (measured from kerb face to kerb face). 4.6 metres of the road length (1.5%) has a width of between 9.4 and 9.6 metres, and 68.5 metres of the road length (22%) has a width of less than 9.4 metres (typically 8.5 metres), occurring at a pinch point designed in the road way, and at the eastern end approaching Loftus Street, which limits vehicles to left in/left out movements only.  In addition, the eastern end approaching Loftus Road has “no stopping” signs on the southern side of the street for approximately 40 metres.


Council’s Transport & Traffic Service Manager and Civil Design staff have previously advised that a minimum road width of 9.4 metres is sufficient to enable 2 metres for vehicle car parking on either side, whilst allowing 2.7 metres per vehicle travelling lane in each direction. This is achieved over 78% of Smythe Street. Of the remaining 22% of the road length, the narrower widths have been designed to slow traffic and to restrict vehicle movements at the Loftus Street intersection. This restricts parking, but also allows a travelling lane in each direction.


Smythe Street is a slow vehicle movement area, is of a reasonably short distance, and is not a major road within the local road network. The existing road configuration is designed to allow sufficient vehicle movements but to control the speed of vehicles travelling along the road at certain intervals. Additionally, the close proximity to public transport provides opportunities for reduced car movements in the longer term.


Given the characteristics of the road and its function, it is recommended that the current configuration of Smythe Street be maintained.


However, there are various ways Council could improve traffic flow in Smythe Street should it be deemed a priority in the future:


(1)       Council could widen the Smythe Street carriageway. This could be achieved within the existing road reservation, without the need to acquire private property.


The costs associated with road widening would include realignment of kerb and guttering, extension of road pavement, removal and replacement of existing trees, potential realignment of the footpath/s and potential relocation of services. Initial investigations of existing services reveal that the northern side of the road reserve contains Telstra lines and gas pipes, while the southern side contains Telstra lines, water pipes, underground and overhead power lines and Optus cables.


Without a detailed working design/scope of works of any such road widening it is difficult to accurately determine the costs associated with undertaking the project. However an approximate cost of civil works associated with widening the road by approximately 0.5 metre along one side, including kerb and gutter realignment and extension of the roadway, has been estimated at approximately $100,000. This does not include the relocation of services, tree removal and replacement, or any other contingencies. While the cost associated with relocating services is generally determined on a case by case basis, it is reasonable to expect a significant increase to the total cost, taking into account what is likely to be involved.



(2)       Council’s Traffic and Transport Services Manager has advised that traffic calming devices including line marking and speed humps could be provided to contain vehicle speeds and to help guide motorists. Such works are estimated to cost approximately $10,000.


(3)       Monitoring of traffic conditions over the longer term could also allow Council to consider other alternatives, including restricting parking to one side of the roadway only or altering vehicle movements to ‘one way’.  


Funding options to undertake road works would need to be explored including through the use of Section 94A funds. However, this would require the amendment of the S94A plan to identify the road improvements to be undertaken in the schedule of works.




A number of residents of Albion Street petitioned Council seeking that Albion Street be zoned R4 for higher density development, and that this be included in Option 1.


Albion Street and adjoining streets to the south are suitably located to accommodate increased residential or mixed use development given their proximity to Merrylands train station and Merrylands town centre, regular shaped allotments, generous street widths and relatively flat topography.


Under Option 1, land south of Sutherland Lane is proposed to be zoned low density residential, allowing it to be revisited in the future for higher density residential development. Option 1 is preferred because it makes better provision for consolidated increase in residential density in the short term as well as preserving land for longer term growth.


Rezoning greater volumes of the RDS study area, including Albion Street, for increased residential densities is not favoured for the following reasons:



·   Recent redevelopment uptake has predominantly occurred along Railway Terrace, Mombri Street and William Street. Option 1 seeks to encourage a consolidation of medium and high density development and mixed use development in this northern portion of the precinct as the first stage of redevelopment.


·   Holroyd Council has provided opportunities for substantial redevelopment on the opposite side of the train line which will cater for a large proportion of housing demand in the short to medium term.


·   Providing a mix of residential zoning and densities, allows for a mix of dwelling types to be provided within the community.


·   Previous discussions with Councillors demonstrate that many local residents believed that the area had local heritage significance but were reluctant to have formal heritage listing. This and the contents of the petition received would suggest that a more measured, long term approach needs to be adopted for the planning controls for this area.


It is recommended that the area south of Sutherland Lane be retained as low density residential in the short term to allow increased densities to be revisited in the future. Rather than select streets in isolation for increased residential development such as Albion Street, the southern part of the precinct should be revisited and investigated as a whole to achieve and integrated planning outcome at a later stage.




As required by Council’s resolution of 28 July 2008, an analysis of the quantum of land areas zoned for high, medium and low density residential, mixed use and commercial under each option is provided in Table 2. Land areas provided relate to the area generally within the RDS precinct bounded by Randle Street to the north, Bertha Street to the south, Woodville Road to the east and Railway Terrace to the west.


As detailed in the table below, Option 1 would result in 56% of the land area being zoned for low density residential (R2), 14.1% for medium density residential (R3), 25.5% for high density residential (R4) and 2.7% for mixed use development (B4). The remaining 1.7% would constitute Neighbourhood Centre or Enterprise Corridor zones.


In comparison, Option 2 would provide less land area zoned for low density residential (49%) and high density residential (14.1%), but substantially increases the land area zoned for medium density housing (35.1%). No mixed use zoning would be provided under Option 2, and the area zoned Neighbourhood Centre and Enterprise Corridor would remain consistent with Option 1.


The gross floor area figures provided in Table 2 take into consideration proposed floor space ratio. Option 1 would generate a greater amount of residential and commercial gross floor space while retaining a larger area of low density land to be retained for future long term growth.


Table 2: Land area and potential gross floor area (GFA) for Option 1 and Option 2




(Land area m²)*

OPTION 1 (Gross GFA)**


(% Land area)

OPTION 2 (Land area m²)*

OPTION 2 (Gross GFA)**


(% Land area)

R2 Low Density Residential







R3 Medium Density Residential







R4 High Density Residential







B1 Neighbourhood Centre








B4 Mixed Use







B6 Enterprise Corridor








491,685 m²

338,634 m²


491,685 m²

292,513 m²



* These figures are approximate only.


* These gross floor areas are indicative only and represent land area x floor space ratio for each option. No allowance is made for existing GFA nor possible impediments to redevelopment including recent redevelopment, strata subdivision, heritage etc.




The community will have the opportunity to provide comment to Council on the draft planning controls during the exhibition of the Draft LEP. This exhibition is likely to be conducted over a 2 month period to enable all stakeholders opportunities for comment. Council will consider all submissions before any final decision is made.




The recommended planning controls, being Option 1, will focus increased residential density in the northern portion of the precinct, whilst retaining the southern portion as a low density residential area, underpinning the area’s potential to accommodate further residential development in the longer term.


Option 2 would result in the fragmentation of high and medium density areas over the Merrylands RDS precinct limit the long term growth potential of Merrylands and may also result in a more inconsistent built form throughout the precinct.




This report details the preferred zoning, height and density options for Council to consider. Once the draft planning controls have been adopted by Council they will be included as part of draft Parramatta LEP 2008.


The draft LEP must undergo a review by the Department of Planning to confirm its consistency with the State Government’s standardised LEP format and State policies. This review is underway and when completed, the draft LEP will be reported back to Council (with advice about the outcome of the review) so that Council can formally lodge the draft plan with the Department of Planning and request approval (under Section 65 of the Act) to publicly exhibit the draft plan. Subject to this process, it is anticipated the draft LEP could be placed on public exhibition in early to mid 2009.


Draft DCP controls will also be formulated, to provide more detailed planning guidance on built form outcomes, desired streetscape, building setbacks, future character, desired future pedestrian connections etc and will be reported for Council’s consideration. These controls will form part of the draft Parramatta Development Control Plan 2008 to guide future development in each precinct, and will be reported to Council.