2. During consideration of Draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2010 at its meeting of 23 March 2009 Council resolved: that Council invite the owner(s) of land within the industrial precinct at River Road West, Parramatta to discuss a separate process by which the rezoning of land to allow a mix of uses including residential, be considered.
September 2010, Council received a planning proposal from the owners of
(a) That the planning proposal for the rezoning of land at 2-12 River Road West, Parramatta for mixed use purposes and public reserve be supported in principle to facilitate an initial gateway assessment by the Department of Planning.
(b) That the proponents provide additional information in relation to existing and post development flood modelling prior to finalisation of the proposal.
(c) That subject to initial consideration of the gateway proposal by the Department of Planning and consultation with relevant public authorities, that a further report be put to Council to advise of the outcomes of the additional flooding information and further consideration of height and floor space ratio controls for the site.
(d) That Council proceed with negotiations
for a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) in relation to a planning proposal at
(e) That delegated authority be given to the CEO of Council to negotiate the VPA on behalf of Council and report back on the negotiations in regards to the VPA.
(f) That the proponents prepare for
Councils consideration draft Development Control Plan (DCP)
(g) Further, that as a separate matter, Council considers undertaking a strategic investigation of the long term planning direction of the area in the vicinity of this planning proposal, potentially including the suburbs of Camellia, Rosehill and Harris Park.
4. In February 2011, the Department of Planning (now Department of Planning & Infrastructure) issued a Gateway Determination which supported the rezoning of land from industrial to mixed use, but which required additional information in relation to heritage, flooding, acid sulfate soil and land contamination, building heights, floor space ratio and foreshore building lines to enable determination of suitable height and densities across the site.
site lies adjacent to the confluence of
6. Councils Engineering consultants previously recommended that additional information be provided by the proponent to address the sites flood issues including existing and post-development flood modelling of the 20 year, 100 year and PMF events.
has since engaged consultants to undertake flood modelling to include the
impacts of climate change and sea level rise in the Lower Parramatta River Catchment
8 This study is expected to be completed in late November and will provide new information detailing the extent of flood affectation over the site and surrounding catchment and will then be available for the proponents to utilise in developing their post development flood modelling. This modelling will inform the most suitable locations of building footprints and extent of site coverage.
site lies within the Area of National Significance and the Harris Park
Precinct adopted by the former Sydney Regional Environmental Plan 28
Parramatta, now forming part of Parramatta Development Control Plan 2011.
Furthermore, identified historic view corridors to and from Elizabeth Farm
and other historically significant locations such as the
10. Council recently engaged Godden Mackay Logan (GML) to prepare a Heritage Study (provided under separate cover) to review the Area of National Significance, the historic view corridors and building height controls for land within parts of Harris Park, Rosehill and Camellia, including a case study of the Planning Proposal at 2-12 River Road West.
key recommendations of the GML Heritage Study as it relates to 2-12 River Road
West, Parramatta are that building heights should generally not exceed the
current height limit of RL14 (approximately 3 storeys), with some capacity to
permit one additional storey (to maximum RL 17). This additional storey may be
supported where future development of the site provides for small building
footprints, generous separation between buildings, landscaped area that
provides visual permeability to the river and public access between
12. The key justification for the restricted height control is that development generally greater than RL 14 will affect the outlook from Elizabeth Farm and the historic setting of the Area of National Significance. Development on the site at or below RL 14 will be below the existing tree canopy allowing the landscaped setting to dominate the built form across the Area of National Significance.
GML study states that the visual impacts that could arise from the planning
14. While the subject planning proposal has attempted to retain view lines between historic sites at point to point locations, the GML study states that by simply retaining these point to point view lines this would fail to protect the heritage values of the Area as a whole as it would not adequately recognise the importance of the river valley setting.
15. Furthermore, the GML study states that the most important view from Elizabeth Farm is not towards any single property or marker tree but a wider panorama northward across the landscape linking its historical visual connections with the Parramatta River and the hills and ridgeline beyond.
the GML study recognises that existing vegetation filters and in some cases
obstructs the views identified in the current and former planning instruments,
the screening effect of this vegetation must be discounted when assessing development
impact on views and determining appropriate scale of development. The study
highlights that the
17. It is noted that the GML Study makes reference to the rezoning of land at 2 Morton Street stating that while the land does not form part of the Area of National Significance, the height and scale will have a severe impact upon the setting of the Area, but that this should not be used as a precedence to support the planning proposal for 2-12 River Road West.
proponents have provided additional information (see Attachment 2) including a photomontage indicating that the proposed
proponents have also provided a photograph from
20. The proponents have advised that redevelopment of the site would be economically unviable if the maximum building height was limited to RL 14 as detailed below and in Attachment 3:
site is directly on
2) The dedication of over 4,000 sq m of foreshore land, to open up the river frontage and provide significant public benefit, would, in normal circumstances, be reasonably compensated for by way of additional height.
3) The Voluntary Planning Agreement, which would lead to major contribution to public amenities, would see an additional project cost of several million dollars.
21. No additional economic feasibility analysis has been undertaken by Council
22. As previously reported to Council in December 2010, the proponents were seeking building heights of 8 to 14 storeys (approximately RL 34 to RL 52). These heights are substantially higher than the current height limit of RL 14 (approximately 3 storeys) in Parramatta Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2011 being the height suggested by the GML Heritage Study to be retained to preserve the significance of the Area of National Heritage Significance including its context and historic view corridors.
the subject planning proposal relates solely to
pressures could similarly arise for redevelopment of the James Ruse Drive
Corridor, former James Hardie site at 181 James Ruse Drive, and former Wyeth
Pharmaceutical site in Gregory Place as these buildings/land uses have (or are
approaching) the end of their economic life and are also subject to the
pressures of urban renewal. Accordingly, any planning controls for
consideration of the future redevelopment of the River Road West Precinct,
Council is requested to provide policy direction regarding its preferred
1. Ensure that development and development controls within the Area of National Significance protects the historic significance of the area, including its context and historic view corridors. This option would include retention of low building heights (generally to a maximum height of RL 14 and 3 storeys).
2. Consider development and development controls that may compromise the heritage significance of the Area of National Significance but that will achieve other public benefit outcomes. This option could allow for maximum building heights exceeding RL 14.
26. As detailed above the site is located within the Area of National Significance identified under former SREP 28 and carried into DCP 2011. The Godden MacKay Logan Report identifies that the area is worthy of preservation and historically significant for the following reasons:
- The traditional country of the Barramattagal people.
- Early contact and exchange between Aboriginal and early European settlers occurred here.
- The first land grant was made here.
- The first successful farm and experiments in agriculture were conducted on the land.
- Elizabeth Farm house (c1793) is Australia's oldest surviving building.
- Experiment Farm and Hambledon Cottage, both pre-1850 remain.
- There is early archaeological evidence of early wharves, stores, a military barracks, stables and barns.
- Remnant colonial plantings survive.
- Evolving pattern of subdivision and urban development.
- The Maronite Church, Our Lady of Lebanon, a contrasting 20th century landmark and evidence of Australia's post-war migration.
27. In order to preserve the heritage values of the Area of National Significance the GML study recommends that heights remain low scale (generally RL 14 with potential for up to RL 17).
28. However, by enabling development at heights exceeding RL 14, this may realise a number of significant benefits including:
of public access along the foreshore continuously from Parramatta CBD to
of a monetary contribution toward pedestrian bridge over
of monetary contribution toward traffic signalisation of
of pedestrian access over the site from
- Improvement of the riverbank and riparian corridor including restoration of eroded bank via, removal of noxious weeds and native vegetation restoration;
- Removal of contaminated fill from the site;
- Reduction in building footprints which may reduce the impacts of flooding on surrounding developments (via increased overland flow).
future redevelopment of the site with heights exceeding RL 14 would need to
meet strict performance based guidelines controlling the built form outcome,
urban form, public domain, relationship to
VOLUNTARY PLANNING AGREEMENT
30 In conjunction with the planning proposal, Council would be seeking to continue its negotiation with the proponents to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA). The public benefit value of the VPA would be influenced by the density of development achieved on the site as part of the planning proposal.
31. To date negotiations have generally included dedication of the river foreshore land; provision of public infrastructure including shared path, seating, lighting etc along the foreshore; restoration of the riverbank and riparian corridor including erosion control and native vegetation restoration; provision of a through site link from River Road West to Parramatta River; monetary contributions toward pedestrian bridge over River; and contribution toward signalisation of River Road West and James Ruse Drive.
32. The final VPA would be reported to Council for endorsement (along with final Planning Proposal and Development Control Plan) prior to public exhibition.
33. To enable the further consideration of the Planning Proposal, Council is requested to provide guidance on its preferred option for the future redevelopment of the 2-12 River Road West having regard to the recommendations of the GML Heritage Study to retain maximum building height of RL 14 with potential to allow up to RL 17 (3 4 storeys), and the Planning Proposal request of building heights up to approximately RL 34 to RL52 (8-14 storeys).
Project Officer Land Use