Item 10.1 - Attachment 4

Detailed Report Deferred Areas June 2008




23 June 2008





In November 2006, Council adopted a revised Residential Development Strategy (RDS) to respond to future population growth and housing demand in Parramatta local government area (LGA). The purpose of the RDS is to set the direction for the future location, density and character of housing within Parramatta.


To manage new residential development, the RDS proposes a ‘concentrated growth’ model. This would allow more intense housing development to occur in areas or ‘centres’ which can best support such growth. Typically, these areas are close to public transport, shops and community facilities.


In adopting the RDS, Council deferred some of the ‘centres’ for consideration at a later date. Merrylands, Carlingford and East Rydalmere were amongst those areas deferred in the RDS. There were a variety of reasons for the decision to defer areas but generally it was better to examine these areas in the longer term when the affects of other influences could be better assessed.


In translating the RDS into the draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan (LEP), Council in May 2007 adopted the draft Parramatta LEP 2008 which proposed to downzone some areas within the study areas of Merrylands, Carlingford and East Rydalmere that are currently zoned Residential 2(b). This was to preserve the land from ad-hoc development in the short term until decisions on its future development capacity were made. (Note: The existing areas zoned Residential 2(c) within these areas were proposed to be retained in the equivalent R4 High Density Residential Zone under the draft LEP).


In October 2007, the Department of Planning (DoP) advised Council that there were a number of outstanding issues that prevented the DoP from authorising a Section 65 Certificate enabling the draft Parramatta LEP to be formally exhibited. One of the issues raised by the DoP was that deferred areas where down-zoning was proposed would not be supported. At its meeting of the 29 October 2007, Council resolved in part:


‘That Council note the advice of the Minister for Planning on 24 October that:-


1.      The Department of Planning will not accept the down-zoning of deferred areas and therefore Council proceed immediately to prepare detailed analysis of these areas leading to zoning and built form controls in the draft Parramatta LEP 2008.’


As a consequence, an assessment of the deferred areas of Merrylands, Carlingford and East Rydalmere was undertaken.






This report focuses on the deferred areas in the RDS of Merrylands, Carlingford and East Rydalmere. Maps of each study area are identified within Attachment 2.


The Merrylands Study Area is focused on the eastern side of Merrylands Railway Station.  The railway line forms the boundary between Parramatta City Council and Holroyd City Council. A small group of shops are located on the eastern side of the railway station. The area surrounding these shops comprises mostly detached dwellings. The Merrylands Town Centre is located on the western side, within the Holroyd LGA.


There are small pockets of medium and higher density housing spread throughout the study area. The study area is relatively flat and there is a large park (Granville Park) further east of the station closer to Woodville Road. The primary roads in the study area are Merrylands Road, Railway Terrace, Mombri Street and Loftus Streets. Merrylands Road provides access directly to Merrylands Railway Station and Woodville Road to the east. Railway Terrace provides access to the south towards Guildford. Mombri and Loftus Streets provide access across the railway line into the Merrylands Town Centre. Two heritage items are located in the study area at Nos. 56 and 59 Merrylands Road, being single storey dwellings.


The Carlingford Study Area is located around Carlingford Railway Station. The study area is located on a ridge line defined by Pennant Hills Road, which also forms the boundary between Parramatta City Council and Baulkham Hills Shire Council.  Carlingford Railway Station is the last stop on the Carlingford Railway Line.  Access to the railway station is on the northern side of Pennant Hills Road. Several bus services exist between the railway station and Parramatta Railway Station connecting Carlingford to other centres such as North Rocks, Epping, Pennant Hills, Ryde, West Ryde and Meadowbank.


There is a small group of shops to the south of Carlingford Railway Station along Pennant Hills Road, located in Parramatta LGA, as well as the Carlingford Village shops at the eastern end of the study area at the intersection of Marsden Rd and Pennant Hills Road. The study area comprises a mix of housing, including residential flat buildings, town houses and detached houses. Spread throughout the area is a series of bushland corridors. 


There are a number of heritage items in and adjacent to the study area including bushland at Evans Road, Carlingford Memorial Park, Eric Mobbs Memorial, K13 Memorial, Galaringi Reserve, Mobbs Hill Reserve, bushland, fencing and bridge on Honiton Avenue, water tanks on Marsden Road, and dwellings at Nos. 101 and 105 Adderton Road.


The East Rydalmere Study Area is located on Victoria Road at the intersection of Park Road. Victoria Road is a heavily trafficked arterial road linking Parramatta to Sydney. The study area accommodates a variety of building types and land uses, including low scale detached housing and is adjacent to substantial industrial areas. Subiaco Creek, a regional open space corridor, lies to the north of the study area, with Parramatta River to the south and the study area includes a Bowling Club and local parks. There is a small grouping of shops framed by Park Road and Victoria Road which provide day to day retail services. There is also a hotel, baby health care facility, church and school within the precinct. Heritage items are located at Nos. 2 Myrtle Street (Catholic Church), and two dwellings at No. 24 Wattle Street and No. 72 Park Road.




A workshop was held with Councillors on 7 April 2008 in relation to the deferred areas of Merrylands, Carlingford and East Rydalmere. The information presented at the workshop outlined the context and setting for each area, environmental analysis, proposed urban design principles and draft land use controls to underpin the LEP. The principal findings of the analysis are discussed below.




§ With access to public transport, retail and commercial services, open space and a relatively unconstrained urban structure, Merrylands offers opportunities for increased residential densities.


§ This area has direct pedestrian access to the railway station and vehicular and pedestrian access to the Merrylands Town Centre. Given the principles of transit-oriented development, the lots directly adjacent to the station may be given comparatively more generous height and floor space controls.


§ In the short term, it is desirable to preserve the low scale residential character of single dwellings in the southern part of the precinct, which contribute to the mix of housing and the amenity of the neighbourhood. In the longer term, increased densities may be considered, as the first stage of redevelopment is completed, and assuming that there is sufficient demand for further housing.


§ Planning controls prepared by Holroyd Council in respect of land in that LGA directly adjacent to the railway line allows for mixed used development between 6 – 8 storeys in height. This also accommodates some demand for housing development in the locality.




§ Carlingford has topographical and natural constraints, poor pedestrian and vehicular connectivity and is characterised by a mix of housing including established residential flat buildings and low scale detached housing. Considering these constraints Carlingford study area is less likely suitable to sustain significant housing growth.


§ Planning controls prepared by Baulkham Hills Shire Council in respect of land on the northern side of Pennant Hills Road allow for significant increases in residential densities and will also accommodate demand for housing in the area.




East Rydalmere


§ Considering the existing mix of uses in East Rydalmere, as well as its established low scale character, it is anticipated that this study area could sustain contained redevelopment for increased residential densities focused around the existing ‘centre’ and close to parks and schools.


§ New mixed-use development should be focused around the current commercial and community uses and toward the intersection of Park Road and Pine Street.


§ Part of the study area has an established low density character with single dwellings that are highly consistent in terms of scale, materials and setbacks from the street. Retention of this housing in the eastern sections of Pine and Wattle Street is desirable in providing for housing mix and retaining the character of this housing and the amenity it provides to the neighbourhood.




Merrylands Precinct


1. Preferred Planning Controls - Option 1


The provision of high density residential development near existing public transport infrastructure is consistent with transport oriented development promoted by the NSW State Government and Council’s RDS. Land along Mombri Street, Loftus Street, Railway Terrace, Merrylands Road and Smythe Street is in the immediate vicinity of Merrylands Railway Station and is recommended for higher density residential development. This area also is within walking distance to a large retail centre on the opposite side of the railway station which provides major retailing and considerable services to support the needs and demands of the existing and future community.


The recommended draft planning controls for Merrylands provide for increased densities concentrated along the northern portion of the precinct, whilst allowing reduced densities within the southern portion as outlined in Attachment 2.


It is proposed to concentrate higher density mixed use development toward the railway line, with building heights and densities gradually falling from west to east (towards Woodville Road). An active street frontage to Railway Terrace is recommended, creating opportunities for surveillance of the railway line and improved pedestrian access between the northern portion of Railway Terrace and Merrylands Railway Station.


Concentrating the tallest buildings (5 – 6 storeys or 17 – 21 metres proposed on the Parramatta LGA side) closest to the railway station has also been the strategic approach of Holroyd City Council, which allows for development between 6 – 8 storeys in this vicinity. The area bound by Mombri Street, Loftus Street, and Merrylands Road is proposed to allow higher density residential development, providing a gradual change in scale from Railway Terrace to Woodville Road. The area bound by Boomerang, Bennalong, Randle and William Streets, and the parcels between the existing school and Bennalong Park on William Street are also proposed to be zoned to allow higher density residential development, providing streetscape continuity along Boomerang and William Streets.


Land south of Sutherland Lane and the southern part of the precinct is proposed to be zoned low density residential, allowing it to be revisited in the future as to its longer term development capacity.


2. Alternative Zoning based on Department of Planning Advice – Option 2


At the Councillor workshop it was suggested that another zoning option could be considered for Merrylands, reflecting the advice of the Department of Planning (DoP) in its letter to Council of 19 December 2007, viz:


The Department’s assessment of the zoning within the RDS included consideration of Council’s argument that down zoning was needed to retain capacity for future higher density development. In most cases adequate low density 2(a) land was identified in reserve, without the need to downzone existing medium density 2(b) or high density 2(c) land. In the case of Merrylands however, there does not appear to be adequate 2(a) land in reserve. Therefore the Department agreed that the two street blocks closest to the station (Mombri & Lotus Streets & Merrylands Road) could be down zoned to allow for future higher density development.


Under this scenario of the Department of Planning, all existing zonings of Residential 2(b) and Residential 2(c) in the Merrylands RDS precinct would be retained, with the exception of the Mombri Street, Loftus Street and Merrylands Road blocks referred to. The zoning, height and FSR outcomes under this scenario are mapped in Attachment 3. Building height and density controls would remain consistent with those allowed under the existing LEP 2001, other than for the Mombri, Loftus & Merrylands Road blocks which would be downzoned to R2 low density residential.


Councillors may wish to consider this option, but the recommended planning controls discussed in Option 1 above are preferred because they make better provision for consolidated increase in residential density in the short term as well as preserving land for longer term growth.


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


3. Response to issues raised at Councillor Workshop


Concern was raised by some Councillors at the workshop about the width of Smythe Street in relation to the proposed higher density residential development. This matter has been discussed with Council’s Transport & Traffic Service Manager and Design staff who have advised that the current Smythe Street road pavement width of 9.65 metres is sufficient to enable 2 metres for vehicle car parking on either side, whilst allowing 2.8 metres per vehicle travelling lane in each direction. These widths are consistent with the RTA’s minimum width of 2.7 metres and are comparable to sections of Parramatta Road which allows vehicles to travel at 60 km/hour. By contrast, 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.


Options are available to improve vehicle circulation within Smythe Street including restricting parking to one side of the roadway only, altering vehicle movements to ‘one way’, or widening of the carriageway.


Should Council wish to widen the Smythe Street carriageway in the future, this could be achieved within the existing road reservation, without the need to acquire private property. The costs associated with undertaking 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.


While an increase in traffic volumes may be expected as a result of higher residential densities within the locality, the proposal accords with the principles of Council’s RDS to provide higher density housing close to centres and public transport, which provides opportunities for reduced car movements in the longer term. Traffic speeds in any case will be slow.


Another matter raised at the Councillor Workshop was concern about the proximity of higher density development in the vicinity of existing heritage items at Nos. 56 and 59 Merrylands Road, Merrylands and the potential impact this will have on the integrity of these heritage items. Proposed zonings in proximity of these items have been reviewed so that the current zoning regime is maintained immediately adjoining these sites.


Carlingford Precinct


In response to a number of constraints relating to Carlingford as previously discussed, particularly topography and poor vehicular and pedestrian connectivity, it is recommended to concentrate increased densities along Pennant Hills Road, Adderton Road and Charles Street as detailed at Attachment 2.


The draft planning controls propose greater height and density along Pennant Hills Road in the shopping precincts of Carlingford Village Shopping Centre at the eastern end of the precinct and for the shops closer to Carlingford Railway Station to encourage an upgrade of existing retail shops with shop top housing and support their ongoing viability with increased residential population within their catchment. It would also add to the diversity of dwelling types in the locality.


West of the railway line it is proposed to allow a mix of four storey (14 metres) residential flat buildings and two storey (11 metres) townhouse style housing. This part of the precinct also has good proximity to the Telopea RDS precinct and has already shown potential for redevelopment with recent medium density redevelopment.


The remainder of the precinct is more suited to low density residential development. The effect of this is some proposed down zonings of residential land at the perimeter of the RDS area consistent with proposed zonings outside the RDS area, where rezoning is proposed from 2(b) Residential to R2 Low Density Residential.  This is considered appropriate and justifiable to the DoP largely because of the environmental constraints and limited walkability of these areas for residents, as well as in the context of the broader RDS proposals in this locality.


Existing heritage items within the precinct are proposed to retain existing zoning equivalents.


As mentioned previously, planning controls prepared by Baulkham Hills Shire Council in respect of land on the northern side of Pennant Hills Road allow for significant increases in residential densities and will also accommodate demand for housing in the area.


East Rydalmere Precinct


The recommended planning controls for East Rydalmere seek to accentuate development along Park Road both north and south of Victoria Road within the precinct as detailed at Attachment 2. It is proposed to retain the existing medium density residential zone along Victoria Road as R3 Medium Density Residential, reflecting the existing zoning and recent multi-unit residential redevelopment in this location.


Proposed zonings north of Victoria Road seek to allow for a level of mixed use activity (3 storeys or 12 metres) to be concentrated around the intersection of Park Road and Pine Street, building on existing activities including the church, school, hotel and shops, and allowing future redevelopment to be focussed away from Victoria Road. Increased residential densities are generally proposed between the industrial area west of Myrtle Street and the eastern side of Park Road allowing for a mix of two storey (11 metres) R3 medium density and 3 storey (11 metres) R4 high density residential zones.


Proposed zonings on the southern side of Victoria Road will also allow for a mix of two storey (11 metres) R3 Medium Density Residential and R4 three storey (11 metres) R4 High Density Residential zones. The existing commercial zoning on the south eastern corner of Victoria Road and Park Road will be extended to incorporate two additional properties on Park Road as previously resolved by Council and will allow a maximum of 3 storeys (12 metres).


The southern part of the precinct is considered appropriate for up zoning given its isolation from low density residential areas, its proximity to open space, Rydalmere Primary School and public transport services including the Rydalmere Ferry Wharf and bus services along Victoria Road. The street width in Elonera Street and Burbang Crescent allows for constrained traffic movement if cars are parked in the street and may require an extension of existing parking restrictions that apply on one side of Elonera Street.


Height and densities proposed over the precinct as a whole are proposed to be relatively low scale allowing for two and three storey developments throughout. These heights and densities would also provide consistency where existing development has already taken place within the 2(b) Residential Zone, particularly along Victoria Road. Furthermore, the heights and densities proposed allows for a suitable relationship to be created between the existing low density areas and proposed areas to be up zoned.


An existing heritage item and adjoining land at No. 72 Park Road is proposed within the R3 Medium Density Residential zone. Height and densities proposed on and adjacent to this site will provide for relatively low scale development at 2 storeys (11 metres). The current Residential 2a zone applying to this site and surrounds permits a maximum height of 2 storeys (9 metres). Heritage planning controls require the heritage significance of the heritage item to be considered as part of any development on or adjacent to the site. The heritage item at No. 24 Wattle Street is proposed to remain within a low density residential zone, while the heritage item at No. 2 Myrtle Street, the Catholic Church, will maintain zoning, height and density controls equivalent to Parramatta LEP 2001.




Staff from Council’s Strategic Asset Management, Community Capacity Building, Place Management, Traffic and Transport Services and Urban Design teams were consulted in the preparation of draft planning controls.


Community consultation of these deferred areas will occur with the exhibition of the draft Parramatta LEP 2008 as a whole.




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. 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.