Item 8.8 - Attachment 5
Detailed Report - Assessment of planning proposal prepared by Don Fox Planning Consultants
Attachment 1 to Report to Council in relation to
RZ/6/2010 being the Planning Proposal for
REPORT BY Don Fox Planning Pty Ltd
1. THE SITE
The subject site is known as
· Lot C DP388870
· Lot B DP334882
· Lot 1 DP663258
· Lot 2 Sec R DP1249
· Lot 3 Sec R DP1249
· Lot 4 Sec R DP1249
· Lot 5 Sec R DP1249
· Lot 6 Sec R DP1249
· Lot 1 DP836932
· Lot 1 DP190771
· Lot 1 DP201664
The site has an area of approximately 1.8 hectares and a frontage of about
270 metres to
The site is within a small light industrial precinct of Harris Park
which is bounded by
The site is currently used for light industrial purposes with large
paved areas used for car parking. Other
uses in the immediate vicinity of the site include Riverside Corporate Centre
to the east, a small, strata titled industrial unit development on the opposite
A location plan showing the context of the site in relation to adjoining land is at Figure 1 below. Figure 2 is an aerial photograph of the subject site.
Figure 1 Location Plan
Figure 2 Aerial Photograph of subject site.
Most of the site is flood affected and this could have significant impacts on the capacity of the site to be more intensively developed.
vegetation on the site is limited to scattered trees within the existing at
grade car park on
2. THE PROPOSAL
The proponents have requested rezoning of the site to B4 Mixed Use and RE1 zone.
On that part of the site to be zoned B4 mixed use the proponents have requested:
· A floor space ratio of 2.95:1 based on the total site area of approximately 1.8 ha;
· Built form that provides separation between buildings to maintain historic view corridors;
· Building heights ranging between 8 storeys to 14 storeys.
The proponent’s proposal provides for a mixed
use development within 3 buildings on
The proponent’s proposal provides for a 15
metre setback from the top of the bank along the
· Proposed Building 1 is a 14 storey building with the upper floor level reduced in size to provide articulation. The ground floor level of Building 1 is proposed to comprise a child care centre and medical centre with Level 1 comprising serviced apartments. Level 2 and above will comprise a residential flat development.
· Buildings 2 and 3 are mixed use apartment towers and with the ground floor level and Level 1 forming a podium. The ground floor level of the podium is proposed to comprise a mixture of retail and commercial development including a hotel and restaurant facilities and Level 1 comprising serviced apartments. Level 2 and the floors above will comprise a residential flat development. The tower in Building 2 is proposed to be a 10 level building and Building 3 is an 8 level building, including the podium level.
· Car parking would be provided in a 2 level basement car park beneath Buildings 1, 2 and 3.
· Building 4 is proposed to be located on 10-12 River Road West. The footprint of this building is roughly triangular in shape, however no details of the proposed floor space usage within this building have been provided. The Building 4 proposal provided by the proponent indicates a 14 storey building on 10-12 River Road West with the uppermost level being reduced in size to provide articulation.
The proponent’s proposal provides separation between the mixed use tower buildings with the separation between Buildings 2 and 3 being 25 metres, between Buildings 1 and 2 being 26 metres and between Buildings 4 and 1 being 35 metres.
On-site car parking is proposed to be provided within a two level basement car park below Buildings 1, 2 and 3. No details regarding any basement car parking provision under Building 4 has been provided.
The proponent has supported this planning
proposal with an Urban Design Analysis prepared by
The proponent’s proposal provides for access to the river foreshore through the site and provides for building separation which is intended to retain critical historic view corridors from and to Elizabeth Farm. This is discussed in greater detail in Section 4.2 of this report.
As noted above, the proponent’s concept
proposal provides for an indicative floor space ratio of 2.95:1 (based on the
total site area) and building heights of between 8 and 14 storeys. By way of
comparison, the Morton Street Precinct which is directly north of the subject
site, across the
The proponent’s proposal also provides for
activation of the river frontage by the provision of a hotel, restaurant
facilities, medical centre and child care centre along the northern side of the
buildings. The proponent’s concept plan also includes the potential for a
restaurant to be provided within
The concept proposal for the site provides for maintenance of only four existing trees on the site and retention of mangroves along the river frontage.
3. PLANNING CONTROLS
3.1 Existing Planning Controls
The land is currently zoned Light Industrial under the provisions of
Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 28 –
The aims relating to Part 4 Precinct 2 – Harris Park Precinct are as follows:
(a) to conserve the significance of heritage items, their settings, historic subdivisions, conservation areas, identified views and sites of national significance, and to facilitate the preservation of those areas and sites and their presentation as an important cultural tourist attraction,
(b) to maintain the role, and improve the amenity of, Harris Park Precinct as an important residential area close to the Parramatta City Centre, providing a range of different housing types and supporting land uses,
(c) to protect and enhance the unique visual qualities of the Parramatta River by ensuring that development along the foreshore is of a scale and character in keeping with its foreshore location, and to maximise public access to, and use of, foreshore land,
(d) to maintain existing commercial and industrial areas and encourage low to medium-rise buildings that are compatible with surrounding residential land uses,
(e) to achieve environmental management best practice that protects and promotes the natural assets of the Harris Park Precinct,
(f) to improve the environmental performance of development in a way that minimises energy and resource use and noise, odour, dust, water, soil, air quality and contamination impact,
(g) to protect and enhance local and regional biodiversity, maximising the extent and integrity of aquatic and natural land areas, in particular, the Parramatta River and Clay Cliff Creek corridors.
The subject land is located within an Area of National Significance and the Harris Park River Area which are designated as Special Areas under SREP 28. These areas are identified in Figure 3 below. The provisions of SREP 28 as they apply to these Special Areas have been carried across to the Draft Parramatta DCP 2010.
3: Extract from SREP 28 showing location
of Area of National Significance,
In relation to development within the Area of National Significance under SREP 28, prior to granting development consent Council must be satisfied that:
· the scale, form, siting, materials and use of new development will not adversely affect the heritage significance of the Area of National Significance,
· the existing allotment and development pattern, and the natural landform of the Area of National Significance will be maintained,
· the original course of Clay Cliff Creek (as shown on the Harris Park Precinct Design Control Map) will be re-established or, if that is not reasonably practicable, permanent evidence of its original course will be provided by way of signs or other interpretative aids, and
· that development does not impact upon or adversely affect the existing views into and out of the sites of Elizabeth Farm House, Experiment Farm Cottage and Hambledon Cottage, the Female Orphan School (University of Western Sydney Rydalmere Campus), the Parramatta River corridor and the Pennant Hills open space ridge line.
Similarly, in relation to development within the Special Area known as Harris Park River Area the following assessment criteria is required to be considered prior to development being undertaken:
· whether all reasonable opportunities to re-establish foreshore public land are taken up, whether the development retains and enhances open space links along the Parramatta River foreshore,
· whether the development retains and enhances open space links between Elizabeth Farm House, Experiment Farm Cottage, Hambledon Cottage and the Parramatta River foreshore, and facilitates or enhances the views and public access between the historic places in the Harris Park Precinct,
· whether buildings adjacent to the River address the River with high quality facades and entrances,
· whether the scale of buildings along the River will not dominate the topographical features of the River landscape,
· whether the proposal maintains and re-establishes building setbacks along the River, and
· whether the development improves foreshore landscaping and makes apparent the settings of the important historic places and views along the river, such as the Queens Wharf.
It is critical that any mixed use redevelopment of the subject site demonstrates how it will respond to these objectives. It will be important that and specific DCP controls for the site be formulated and adopted by Council for appropriate consideration by the proponents at DA the stage.
The public exhibition of Draft Parramatta LEP 2010 and Draft DCP 2010 finished on Friday 7 May 2010. All submissions received during the exhibition period in relation to the Draft LEP were considered by Council on 5 October 2010 and resulted in some further proposed amendments to the draft LEP. Some of these proposed amendments were exhibited by Council for public comment from 20 October 2010 to 19 November 2010.
At its meeting of 18 October 2010 Council resolved to make further amendments to the draft LEP in relation to Places of Public Worship, Sex Service Premises and Restricted Premises. These amendments were on public exhibition from 3 November 2010 to 1 December 2010.
Draft Parramatta LEP 2010 proposes to zone the subject site IN1 General Industrial. This zone has been adopted for the subject site as the Draft Parramatta LEP 2010 in general adopts a ‘like for like’ zoning.
The objectives of the IN1 zone are as follows:
· To provide a wide range of industrial and warehouse land uses.
· To encourage employment opportunities.
· To minimise any adverse effect of industry on other land uses.
· To facilitate a range of non-industrial land uses that serve the needs of workers and visitors to land within this zone.
Development of the subject site for mixed use purposes would not be permitted under the IN1 zoning.
Other provisions of the Draft LEP which are relevant to this site include:
· Maximum height of buildings to be no greater than RL14.
· The site is subject to a foreshore building line and therefore the provisions of Clause 6.4 need to be taken into consideration. The Environmental Protection map and Foreshore Building Line map identify the subject site as being affected by a 30m foreshore building setback at the eastern end of the site and a 15m foreshore building setback along the river frontage of 2-10 and part of No. 12 River Road West.
· The site is flood affected and therefore the provisions of Clause 6.5 need to be taken into consideration.
· There are acid sulphate soils (ASS) on the site and therefore the provisions of Clause 6.6 need to be taken into consideration. The ASS map identifies the site as being affected by Class 4 ASS.
· The site is affected by a heritage item being the wetlands along the river frontage.
· The site is not identified on the Floor Space Ratio (FSR) map as having a maximum FSR control for development.
4. THE ISSUES
Council’s Flood Maps indicate the site for the mixed use planning proposal has potential flooding and floodplain issues in that:
(a) There are floodplain cross-sections located along the overall site’s frontage to the river. The western (ie. upstream) and eastern (downstream) respective flood levels are:
· PMF flood levels = RL9.3 and 9.4 metres AHD
· 100 year flood levels = RL5.02 and 5.01 metres AHD
· 20 year flood levels = RL4.38 and 4.36 metres AHD
(b) There are floodplain cross-sections also
The Council’s Flood Map also shows that:
· Some parts of the site are inundated in the 20 year event (with the largest area located at the eastern corner of the site); and
· Approximately the eastern half of the site together with a small south-western portion of the site is within the 100 year floodplain.
Furthermore, the whole site is very significantly impacted in the PMF(Probable Maximum Flood) event.
The proponents for the mixed use rezoning proposal commissioned HKMA Engineers to prepare a Flood Impact Report (3 May 2010). Supplementary advice which addressed concerns raised by Council in respect to the mixed use planning proposal and the potential flooding of the site was provided on 4 November 2010. These documents have been reviewed by Bewsher Consulting Engineers on behalf of Council in a report dated 22 November 2010. The Bewsher Consulting report identifies a range of flooding issues for this site which they consider the proponents need to address at the rezoning stage in order to achieve certainty that the site can be developed in accordance with its proposed B4 Mixed Use zoning as requested in the planning proposal.
Specifically the Bewsher Consulting Engineers report recommends that the planning proposal submission provide a more detailed flood impact assessment which includes additional documentation as follows:
· “existing” and “post-development” conditions flood modelling of the 20 year, 100 year and PMF events associated with both Parramatta River and Clay Cliff Creek. Furthermore the modelling to explicitly show no adverse impacts in the 20 year and 100 year events and no significant changes in the PMF flood regime;
· examines more closely the risk issues associated with the planning proposal with a particular focus on inundation of the basement in floods which are bigger than 100 year plus 0.5 metres together with details of how those risks will be addressed;
· provides a detailed Flood Response Plan for the site (and it is noted that this should reflect the results of formal discussions with the SES).”
Council’s Engineers concur with the findings and recommendations of the Bewsher Consulting Engineers report on flooding and floodplain issues for the mixed use planning proposal at the site. These flooding and floodplain issues need to be more fully investigated by the proponents prior to Council providing any final endorsement of the B4 – Mixed Use rezoning planning proposal for the site.
Section 117(2) Direction 4.3 Flood Prone Land states as follows:
(1) The objectives of this Direction are:
(a) to ensure that development of flood prone land is consistent with the NSW Government’s Flood Prone Land Policy and the principles of the Floodplain Development Manual 2005, and
(b) to ensure that the provisions of an LEP on flood prone land is commensurate with flood hazard and includes consideration of the potential flood impacts both on and off the subject land.
Where this Direction applies
(2) This Direction applies to all relevant planning authorities that are responsible for flood prone land within their LGA.
When this Direction applies
(3) This Direction applies when a relevant planning authority prepares a planning proposal that creates, removes or alters a zone or a provision that affects flood prone land.
What a relevant planning authority must do if this Direction applies
planning proposal must include provisions that give effect to and are
consistent with the
(6) A planning proposal must not contain provisions that apply to the flood planning areas which:
(a) permit development in floodway areas,
(b) permit development that will result in significant flood impacts to other properties,
(c) permit a significant increase in the development of that land,
(d) are likely to result in a substantially increased requirement for government spending on flood mitigation measures, infrastructure or services, or
(e) permit development to be carried out without development consent except for the purposes of agriculture (not including dams, drainage canals, levees, buildings or structures in floodways or high hazard areas), roads or exempt development.
(7) A planning proposal must not impose flood related development controls above the residential flood planning level for residential development on land, unless a relevant planning authority provides adequate justification for those controls to the satisfaction of the Director General (or an officer of the Department nominated by the Director General).
(8) For the purposes of a planning proposal, a relevant planning authority must not determine a flood planning level that is inconsistent with the Floodplain Development Manual 2005 (including the guideline on development controls on low flood risk areas) unless a relevant planning authority provides adequate justification for the proposed departure from that Manual to the satisfaction of the Director General (or an officer of the Department nominated by the Director General)…….”.
Subsequent to the receipt of the comments of Bewsher Consulting, the proponents consulting engineer, HKMA provided additional advice to address some of the specific flooding issues raised by Bewsher Consulting.
The advice from HKMA dated 26 November 2010 indicates that:
· The proposed redevelopment of the subject site would increase the flood storage capacity of the site by 1086m3.
· Obstructions to the passage of floodwaters will be reduced
· The setback to Parramatta River will be significantly increased and appropriately graded. This will provide improved passage of flows along the River in large storm events.
· The option of providing a floodway slab at natural ground level to form the roof of the basement and the have the podium level constructed on columns entirely above the 100 year flood level could be explored.
The HKMA advice concludes by suggesting that the rezoning of the site should not be restricted by flooding of the area and that issues regarding development on flood prone land can be addressed at the DA stage.
Comment: It does not appear that the proponent’s supplementary advice addresses the fundamental issues raised in the Bewsher Consulting assessment in that inundation of the basement in floods which are bigger than 100 year plus 0.5 metres has not been satisfactorily addressed; the suggestion that the proponent consult with SES in formulating a Flood Response Plan has not occurred. It does not appear that the flood modelling has been undertaken.
Whilst consultation with SES could be undertaken as part of the exhibition of the planning proposal should it proceed, the potential for inundation of the basement areas and how this is to be addressed is still unresolved. Furthermore, the proponent’s solution to addressing the flooding aspects of the site raises significant implications in terms of the urban design of the mixed use development with high rise apartment towers at the site.
In the circumstances, it is considered that Council should not fully endorse the planning proposal involving the rezoning of the site to B4 – Mixed Use, unless and until the proponents have satisfactorily addressed the flooding and floodplain issues identified in the Bewsher Consulting report dated 22 November 2010 and they have demonstrated that the planning proposal will be consistent with the above stated Section 117(2) Direction 4.3 Flood Prone Land.
A Heritage Report has been prepared by Archnex Designs dated 3 May 2010 in respect to the mixed use planning proposal.
The Heritage Report notes that the
site is located within the Harris Park Area of National Significance which was
identified in the Regional Planning Strategy associated with Sydney Regional
Environmental Plan 28 –
The Harris Park Area of National Significance and the historic view corridors identified in the Regional Planning Strategy for Sydney REP 28 have been included in the Draft Parramatta DCP 2010. The historic view corridors are indicated on the extract from SREP 28 at Figure 3.
The Heritage Report on the mixed use planning proposal prepared by Archnex Designs dated 3 May 2010 notes that:
· there is minimal archaeological potential in the land.
· The area of the riverbank to the north of the site is identified as a significant wetland.
The report recommends that should development of the subject site extending above RL14.00 be intended, some degree of permeability of the built form should be considered to allow what views of the hills to the north that may be had from Elizabeth Farm House remain available. This may take the form of substantial breaks (say 12 – 18 metres in width) in the volume of the building to allow views to the north. These breaks should be oriented such that view sectors from a station point in the reserve (as indicated on the Maximum Building Height diagram, above) to the north of Elizabeth Farm House are obtained.”
Council’s Heritage Advisor has reviewed the Heritage Report on the mixed use planning proposal prepared by Archnex Designs and considers that the proposal should not be supported due to adverse impact on Elizabeth Farm and its cartilage…as… the proposal would allow for new development that would be visible above the crowns of trees, when viewed from the Elizabeth Farm grounds (which) would present a major detrimental impact on its heritage values, and on a critical level.
Council’s heritage adviser also commented on the potential for the development to impact on nearby significant trees and wetlands, impacts on archaeological deposits and impacts on Hambeldon Cottage.
Comment: It is critical that any mixed use redevelopment of the subject site take into account the heritage significance of the surrounding area. Not only are the heritage views to and from Elizabeth Farm important, there are also heritage items on and immediately adjacent to the site in the form of wetlands along the river frontage. Further, the site is located within an Area of National Significance and the Harris Park River Area as noted in SREP 28 and Draft Parramatta DCP 2010.
The heritage constraints which relate to the subject site are matters that can be dealt with as part of a site specific DCP and as part of any development application (DA) for a mixed use development should this planning proposal proceed.
Furthermore, should this planning proposal proceed to gateway and receive a gateway determination, the Heritage Branch and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as an agency of DECCW will be consulted.
4.3 Height of Buildings
As described above, the
proponent’s proposal provides for three building envelopes (ie – Buildings 1, 2
and 3) on
Based on the proponent’s proposal, the indicative building envelopes for the mixed use development of the site would comprise:
· Building 1 would be located approximately in the centre of the site. This building would comprise 14 storeys overall with a maximum height of 46 metres (RL51.76). The uppermost level would be setback from the principal building bulk of the apartment tower.
· Building 2 is proposed to be positioned west of Building 1 and would be separated from Building 1 by a distance of 26 metres. The concept proposal for Building 2 indicates this building would comprise 10 storeys to a height of 34 metres (RL39.68). Again, the topmost level of this building would be setback from the principal portion of the apartment tower building.
· Building 3 would be located at the western end of the site comprising 2-8 River Road West and the apartment tower component of Building 3 would be separated from the apartment tower component of Building 2 by a distance of 25 metres. The concept proposal for Building 3 provides for a building which is 8 storeys (RL 33.66) in height with the uppermost level setback from the principal part of the building.
· A two storey podium comprising ground floor retail/commercial development with serviced apartments above would be located between Buildings 2 and 3. The maximum RL of the podium level has not been indicated, however it appears that this would be less than the current maximum permissible RL on the subject site of RL14.
· Building 4 would be located on the property known as 10-12 River Road West. This building is proposed to have a maximum height of 14 storeys (RL51.76). The proponent has not provided concept plans for Building 4.
As indicated above, the current maximum permissible building height on the subject site is RL14 under Draft Parramatta LEP 2010. The mixed use planning proposal provides for development significantly greater than this maximum. (Building heights of between RL33.66 and RL51.76 are proposed) The proponent considers that the building heights are an appropriate response to the site having regard to historic view corridors and vistas to and from Elizabeth Farm. The proponent also indicates that:
potential built form outcomes that may be achieved on the site …… provide positive
opportunities within its urban context. It also contemplates the context of the
subject site and how, with careful design solutions, a gateway element,
complementary to that desired within the
In terms of the relationship of
the subject site and the Morton Street Precinct, it is noted that the Morton
Street Precinct provides a significant “buffer” to be zoned RE1 – Public
Recreation, between the river and that part of the site to be developed with
high rise apartment buildings. Further, the
Morton Street Precinct is more regular in shape and with a large site
area. The development proposal for the
Comment: In principle, the rezoning of the subject site to enable a mixed use development does have merit and such a mixed use development is likely to be able to incorporate some building elements with a height of greater than RL14.
However, it is considered that the proponent’s submission does not provide sufficient detail or justification to enable a recommendation to be made to recommend a maximum height of buildings across this site to allow building heights ranging from 8 storeys to 14 storeys. Further, given the location of the site within an Area of National Significance, and based on the recommendation that additional information be provided in relation to flooding, it is considered the existing building height provisions should initially be maintained. Should this planning proposal be endorsed by Council it is recommended that further analysis and consultations with the proponents, consultants, Council and relevant public authorities should be undertaken to determine if maximum height and FSR controls are appropriate.
Should flooding issues be able to be addressed satisfactorily, and the planning proposal proceed to and through the gateway process, it is recommended that any redevelopment of the subject site for mixed use purposes be subject to a design competition to ensure the highest possible standards of architecture and urban design are achieved for the site and the development responds appropriately to its context having regard to its riverfront location and heritage provisions, particularly the heritage view corridors.
4.4 Urban Design
Issues of urban design are related to the height and bulk of the proposed buildings and the context of the site having regard to its river front location, adjacent industrial development and nearby lower density residential development and heritage considerations of this Area of National Significance. Other relevant urban design considerations include the bulk and articulation of the buildings, building separation (in terms of retaining historic view corridors), retail/commercial activation of the river and street frontages and SEPP 65 Design Principles.
The site also has a potential gateway interface with the Morton Street Precinct in relation to its river front location and relationship to the Parramatta CBD.
The proponent has provided an
urban design analysis (see Attachment 2).
That analysis describes how, in the proponent’s opinion, the concept mixed use
development proposal responds to the heritage context and its interface with
The proponent’s assessment:
· Points out the benefits of the site including its northerly aspect and gateway location.
· Suggests that the concept proposal responds to the important view corridors within the vicinity of the site without encroaching on these significant corridors.
· Considers that the suggested floor space ratio of 2.95 may be appropriately modulated across the site.
· Considers that the height and scale of the building will not result in adverse impacts in terms of surrounding land uses, having particular regard for solar access and scale.
Council’s Urban Designer commented on the original planning proposal and noted that the concept proposal as indicated in the original planning proposal had some significant shortcomings in terms of foreshore setback and building height and separation.
Comment: Some of the
Urban Designer’s comments have been addressed in the proponent’s amended
concept proposal for the mixed use development of the site. However, it is considered that the current concept
plan for the mixed use proposal does not provide for sufficient activation
Of particular concern with respect to the subject site is the fact that it currently comprises 10 separate allotments. There is the potential that, should the planning proposal proceed, each of these allotments could be sold with the expectation that the land could be developed for mixed use purposes in accordance with the proposed B4 mixed use zoning and up to the maximum building height limit should such be implemented.
It is crucial that should the
subject site be rezoned to allow mixed use development, any redevelopment be
undertaken in a coordinated manner for the whole site. The proponent’s concept proposal indicates
that the site could be developed in two parcels – one parcel comprising
Rather than specify a minimum site area for any redevelopment of the subject site, it is considered more appropriate that any redevelopment proposal be subject to a design competition if the proponent’s are seeking a variation to the current building height limit of RL14, based on similar criteria as currently applies to any new development within the Parramatta City Centre and including any other relevant criteria specific to this site, such as retention and enhancement of historic view corridors.
Coordinated development of the land can also be reinforced by appropriate DCP controls.
In this regard, and as a separate matter for consideration, it appears that some of the proposed building envelopes for the Morton Street precinct may be of a located and be of a height and bulk that there will potentially result in significant interference to these historic view corridors should development of the Morton Street precinct proceed in the form as indicated in the relevant section of Draft DCP 2010. It is suggested that this issue be the subject of further investigation by Council and, if required, the building envelopes and envelopes be amended accordingly.
A Traffic Impact Assessment report on the mixed use planning proposal at the site has been prepared by Traffic Solutions Pty Ltd dated May 2010. This Traffic Impact Assessment report examines the cumulative traffic implications of the proposed mixed use development including an assessment of the:
· proposed vehicular access location;
· review of pedestrian conditions/facilities;
· estimation of the traffic generation of each component of the total proposal; and
· assessment of the potential impacts of the estimated traffic generation on the existing road network.
The Traffic Impact Assessment report is based on a total site area of 18,300m2 and has assumed a proposed floor space ratio of 4:1 (not 2.95:1 as suggested in the current planning proposal) and also assumes the following estimated commercial floor area and apartment yield:
· Ground floor commercial/retail of approximately 5,000m2
· First floor commercial of approximately 5,000m2
· Approximately 600 residential units.
The Traffic Impact Assessment report on the mixed use planning proposal prepared by Traffic Solutions Pty Ltd concludes that the existing road network will cope with the potential traffic likely to be generated by a mixed use development of the site but recommends that the intersection of James Ruse Drive and River Road West be signalised.
Council’s Service Manager – Traffic and Transport concurs with the findings and recommendations of the traffic report.
Comment: The proponent’s submission demonstrates that any
additional traffic generated as a result of the redevelopment of the subject
site for mixed use purposes can be addressed although such would require the
installation of new traffic signals at the intersection of
4.6 Geotechnical, Contamination and Acid Sulfate Soil Assessments
The proponents for the mixed use planning proposal have submitted a number of reports in respect to the assessment of geotechnical, contamination and acid sulphate soil issues with the site.
The reports conclude that there is evidence that sections of the site are contaminated and whilst the findings and recommendations of the Stage 1 Preliminary Report are prescriptive and substantive, the precautionary principle must be applied in recognition of the limitations of a Stage 1 preliminary assessment.
The findings of the Stage 1 Environmental Site Investigation should not preclude the approval of the rezoning …however any future development application for mixed use, including a residential component would require a Stage 1 Environmental Site Investigation to fully assess the extent of contamination and facilitate the development of comprehensive remediation strategies to ensure the site does not pose any risk to human health or the environment.
Council’s has commented on the report and advised that no objection is raised to the rezoning proposal provided that a Stage 2 Environmental Site Investigation is submitted to Council for any future development application involving commercial/residential mixed use on the subject premises.
With respect to the potential for there to be acid sulfate soils on the site, Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer concludes that an ASS management plan will be required during the development application stage.
Comment: Given the past uses of the subject site, the potential for the land to be contaminated is high. However, the information submitted by the proponents has demonstrated that issues of contamination and remediation can be appropriately managed and addressed at the DA stage. The site is also affected by acid sulfate soils and will require the preparation of an acid sulfate soil management plan at the DA stage. This approach is supported by Council’s Senior Environmental Health Officer. In any event, should this planning proposal proceed, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) will be consulted.
4.7 Loss of
In order to address the potential loss of employment lands as a result of the potential rezoning of the subject site from Light Industrial to B4 Mixed Use zone, the proponents engaged Hill PDA to undertake an economic assessment of the planning proposal. That assessment considered the provision and availability of employment lands elsewhere and also assessed the residential property market and the shortage of affordable rental housing.
The proponent’s economic assessment concluded that given its location and constraints in terms of size and configuration, the subject site is not well suited for redevelopment for industrial purposes, particularly given the availability of other more suitably located industrial land in the Parramatta LGA and nearby areas.
The Hill PDA assessment estimated that even if the subject site was redeveloped for industrial purposes, it would only have the potential to generate around 100 jobs.
The concept plan proposal submitted with the mixed use planning proposal indicates a mix of commercial and retail development on the subject site which may include restaurants and cafes, convenience retail, child care facility, hotel, gymnasium and medical services. The Hill PDA report has estimated a total floor space of 10,500m2 for these uses, with the potential for around 300 full time and part time workers to be employed on-site.
The Hill PDA report also assessed the potential support for retail services to be provided on-site and provided an estimate of the potential impact any redirection of expenditure from existing centres may have. The assessment in terms of retail demand assumes the restaurants and cafes that may be provided as part of any retail offer on the site would have a significant drawing effect. Whilst we do not necessarily agree with some of the methodology and conclusions reached in the Hill PDA economic assessment, it is likely that the provision of such facilities on-site could attract residents and workers from the wider area.
The Hill PDA report does not provide any analysis as to the proportion of expenditure from on-site residents likely to be captured by retail and commercial facilities provided on-site and, therefore, there is no evidence within the Hill PDA report to support the density of residential development proposed as part of this mixed use planning proposal as a means of providing support for on-site retail and commercial development.
relation to the planning proposal were sought from Council’s Economic
Development Team of the City Strategy Unit. That section commented that the
site lends itself to residential development and conceded that light industrial
is perhaps not the best use of the land, nor does it offer the sort of
high-volume employment that the City of
The Economic Development Team also acknowledged that there were benefits to be had if foreshore access was secured and key precincts within the City and periphery were connected.
Comment: For the purposes of addressing Section 117 Direction 1.1 Business and Industrial Zones it is considered that the Hill PDA economic assessment demonstrates that this planning proposal which would result in the loss of industrial land can be justified having regard to the objectives of the Direction. However, more detailed investigation will be required in order to demonstrated the potential impacts of any commercial/retail development on the subject site and in particular impacts on the Parramatta CBD and other nearby centres.
4.8 Other Council Internal Comments
The mixed use planning proposal for the site was referred to a number of other sections within Council for review and comment. These comments are summarised below:
Council’s Manager Environmental Outcomes has provided the following comments on the planning proposal:
· NSW Fisheries, NSW Maritime and Sydney Ferries should be consulted in relation to potential navigation hazards, building over the river and mangroves.
· There is a need for a new seawall and bank restoration at the eastern end of the site where there is current severe and active erosion.
· Baludarri Wetland is directly opposite the proposed development which has International migratory birds and night lighting could be an issue.
Comment: Comments noted. Relevant authorities will be consulted should this proposal proceed to and through the Gateway. Other matters can be dealt with as part of the DCP to be prepared by the proponents for consideration by Council should the planning proposal proceed to and through the gateway and, subsequently at DA stage.
Council’s Property Development Advisor, Strategic Asset Management has provided the following comments on the mixed use planning proposal:
removing the IN1 zone on the riverfront would have strong support however
retaining the IN1 zone to the south of
Comment: A recommendation has been included suggesting a strategic planning investigation of the Harris Park precinct and wider area is undertaken by Council.
Council’s Project Officer – Transport Planning supported the provision of a pedestrian/cycleway along the river frontage and made a number of suggestions regarding detailed design of this pathway.
Comment: The specific design issues can be addressed as part of the VPA and at the DA stage should this planning proposal proceed.
Council’s Catchment Management Officer (Open Space and Natural Resources) has indicated that issues of climate change and sea level rise will need to be addressed.
Comment: DECCW will be consulted during the public exhibition phase should this planning proposal proceed.
The matters raised by Council’s Acting Manager – Environmental Outcomes, Open Space & Recreation Planner, Catchment Management Officer, Open Space & Natural Resources and Project Officer, Land Use & Transport Planning are relevant should this planning proposal proceed. Further, relevant public authorities will be consulted during the public exhibition phase should this planning proposal proceed.
5. ASSESSMENT OF PLANNING PROPOSAL AGAINST DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING GUIDELINES
Recent planning reforms regarding the preparation of LEPs were introduced on 1 July 2009. These reforms, intended to simplify the Plan-Making (LEP) process. Under this process, Council, as the relevant planning authority (RPA) must resolve to support a planning proposal before it can proceed to Gateway determination. Community consultation is undertaken after Council and the Department of Planning (DoP) has considered and subsequently approved to proceed with the rezoning. The DoP will determine the level of community consultation required.
The ‘Planning Proposal’ document prepared by the proponent, together with other supporting documentation, will be submitted to DoP for initial Gateway determination should Council resolve to support mixed use the proposal in principle.
The following issues are required to be addressed as part of any planning proposal:
Objectives or Intended Outcomes
The objective of this planning proposal is to
rezone the subject site to allow for the provision of a public reserve along
the foreshore of the
In order to achieve the above objective, amendment of the current and proposed planning controls relating to the subject site is required.
The subject site is currently zoned for light
industrial development under the provisions of Sydney Regional Environmental
Plan No. 28 –
Council has prepared and exhibited a draft LEP, Draft Parramatta LEP 2010 which proposes an IN1 General Industrial zone on the subject land.
To enable a mixed use development to be undertaken on the site, rezoning to a B4 Mixed Use zone is sought. Any redevelopment options for this site would also incorporate a foreshore public reserve which would be zoned RE1 Public Recreation.
It is intended that the relevant plan to be amended should this planning proposal proceed will be the Draft Parramatta LEP 2010 either upon gazettal or as a subsequent amendment.
The proponent has also sought amendment of the height of buildings map (which accompanies Draft Parramatta LEP 2010) to allow a maximum building height of up to 14 storeys (46 metres) on the subject site.
As discussed above, it is not considered that the proponent’s indicative scheme is sufficiently refined to recommend a maximum height at this stage of the assessment. Since the preparation of the proponent’s initial request for rezoning, there have been a number of machinations with respect to the mixed use development proposal for the site. The most recent indicative concept provides for a development ranging from 8 storeys up to 14 storeys.
The site is subject to a number of constraints including flooding, river front location (which is also considered to present significant redevelopment opportunities), heritage (view corridors) and contamination. All of these constraints could impact significantly on the development potential of the subject site and the configuration and footprint of any buildings that may be developed.
Therefore, it is considered that additional information is required (particularly with respect to flooding issues). Further, given the heritage significance of the location of the subject site (within an Area of National Significance) and on the river and the historic view corridors, it is considered that consultation with relevant authorities and agencies including the Heritage Branch, Historic Houses Trust, DECCW and Office of Water is required before any recommendations regarding changes to the Height of Buildings map can be provided.
The subject site is not proposed to be included on the Floor Space Ratio (FRS) map to Draft Parramatta LEP 2010 in line with the proposed IN1 General Industrial zoning.
Should part of the site be rezoned to allow mixed use development consideration to include a maximum FSR on the subject site (and therefore include the subject site on the FSR map) could be given.
The proponent’s most recent concept proposal
provides for a development with a maximum FSR of 2.95:1. By way of comparison, the development site
known as the
Given the concept nature of the proponent’s mixed use proposal it is not considered that the proposal is sufficiently refined to include any recommendations with respect to a maximum permissible FSR.
In order to address the potential loss of employment lands as a result of the rezoning of the subject site from Light Industrial to B4 Mixed Use zone, the proponents submitted an economic assessment of the planning proposal.
The proponent’s economic assessment concluded that given its location and constraints in terms of size and configuration, the subject site is not well suited for redevelopment for industrial purposes, particularly given the availability of other more suitably located industrial zoned land in the Parramatta LGA and nearby areas.
The assessment estimated that even if the subject site was redeveloped for industrial purposes, it would only have the potential to generate around 100 jobs whereas the concept plan proposal would provide employment for around 300 full time and part time workers.
It is considered that the following public authorities will be consulted during the public exhibition phase of this planning proposal:
· Heritage Branch & Historic Houses Trust of NSW
· Sydney Ferries
· Department of Environment Climate Change and Water (including NPWS and Office of Water)
· NSW Maritime
· NSW Industry and Investment
· Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
· Roads and Traffic Authority
In addition, Council has consulted with
property owners within the precinct bounded by
In terms of being productive industrial land, the subject site is constrained having regard to its size, configuration and location. Unless the zoning of the site is altered to allow an alternative form of development, the existing limited industrial use of the site is likely to continue.
A rezoning of the land to incorporate a B4 Mixed Use
and RE1 Public Recreation zone will allow for the provision of a public reserve
area along the
The site is also flood affected and this constraint could place significant restrictions on the capacity of the land to be developed for mixed use purposes.
Therefore, whilst the rezoning of the subject land for mixed use purposes is, in principle, considered appropriate, until such time as the flooding and floodplain issues raised by Bewsher Consulting in their advice to Council’s Design Engineers are satisfactorily addressed only in principle support can be given to the planning proposal.
The proponent’s mixed use proposal provides for 4 building envelopes on the subject land. The indicative concept proposal provides for separation between buildings in an effort to retain critical historic view corridors to and from Elizabeth Farm.
It is considered that the proponent’s submission does not provide sufficient detail or justification to enable a recommendation to be made to propose a maximum height of buildings across this site to allow building heights ranging from 8 storeys to 14 storeys to be provided. Further, given the location of the site within an Area of National Significance, and based on the recommendation that additional information be provided in relation to flooding, it is considered the existing building height provisions should initially be maintained. Should this planning proposal proceed further analysis would be required to be undertaken to consider maximum height and FSR provisions for the site. Iit is considered that a requirement for any development proposal to be subject to a design competition would be appropriate.
Furthermore, if a maximum height for buildings and FSR was specified, there is the potential that, should the planning proposal proceed, each of the 10 allotments which comprise the subject site could be sold with the expectation that the land could be developed for mixed use purposes in accordance with the proposed B4 mixed use zoning and buildings up to the maximum 14 storey height limit and 2.95: 1 FSR approved by Council.
It is crucial that should the subject site be rezoned to allow mixed use development, any redevelopment be undertaken in an orderly and coordinated manner. However, rather than specify a minimum site area for any redevelopment of the subject site, it is considered more appropriate that a design competition (based on similar criteria as currently applies to any new development within the Parramatta City Centre and including any other relevant criteria specific to this site) would ensure that any future mixed use development of the site occurs in an orderly and coordinated manner. This can also be reinforced by appropriate DCP controls.