A draft 20-year plan, prepared by planning, design, and placemaking practice Roberts Day for the New South Wales (NSW) Government, would see several thousand more people living in the eastern half of the Rhodes Peninsula in western Sydney, housed in medium-density buildings with walking access to transit options.
According to the Department of Planning and the Environment, 733 people currently live in 274 private dwellings in the Rhodes East area. The number of dwellings would increase 13 times to approximately 3,600 under the master plan, which will house 8,255 people.
Up to 200 of these dwellings would be affordable housing for “essential workers,” such as teachers or police officers.
The planners say they are keen to see the neighborhood develop around a diversity of lot sizes and building typologies. They draw a comparison between Rhodes East, which comprises mainly detached houses and former industrial land, and the inner suburb of Potts Point, which has a similar density and mix of lot sizes.
“Diversity in development and form will be the key driver in realizing a point of difference at Rhodes East,” the draft plan reads.
Height limits will vary across the precinct, from six to nine stories along the Concord Road Corridor to up to 38 stories along the Rhodes East Gateway, as well as two- to three-story terrace-style dwellings across the precinct.
The planners also argue that a major challenge will be ensuring that access to the transit network becomes more accessible as the local population grows.
“A key focus has been to create an urban structure that maximizes opportunities for walking, cycling, and public transport patronage,” the draft plan says.
A new “land bridge” over Concord Road would create a major pedestrian thoroughfare, while a new pedestrian/rail bridge linking Rhodes East and Rhodes West would “increase connectivity within the peninsula, whilst providing safe pedestrian access over major transport routes.”
A new ferry wharf connected to the Sydney ferry network is also present in the plan, with the NSW government committing itself to delivering the wharf within three to five years. The planners also argue that maximum parking provisions should be imposed, with no car parks permitted in new developments within 400 meters of Rhodes railway station.
NSW planning minister Anthony Roberts said, “The government’s priority is to address housing supply, but we also want to create lively communities that have good access to transport connections, activities, shops, and cafés, as well as jobs and schools.”
The draft masterplan is on exhibition until November 10, 2017. The Department of Planning and Environment is accepting public submissions on the plan.
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