City of Sydney council has called on the state government to scrap its controversial masterplan for the Waterloo housing estate precinct south of Sydney's CBD.
Last week, Lord Mayor Clover Moore expressed her dismay at recently renewed plans for 6,800 new homes to be built in an area to the east of a new metro station at Waterloo.
The government's masterplan has attracted widespread criticism from council, residents and public housing advocates.
The development, part of the government’s "communities plus" program, in which private housing is built on public land to fund the upgrade or replacement of public housing.
As part of those plans, the NSW government wants to demolish the existing housing estate's apartments at the site, including the Matavai and Turanga blocks.
“Waterloo should not be a planning experiment – it’s home to thousands of people who are devastated by what this Government is trying to do to their community,” Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore said.
“The City has extensive experience in urban development and we know that what the Government is planning is an urban disaster – that’s why our staff have worked on a feasible alternative.”
The council has now countered the controversial masterplan, unveiling a lower-density proposal for 5,300 homes at the 19-hectare site, which is owned by the state government.
The council’s plan would also see a significant reduction in the height of new towers compared to the government’s concept, which outlaid seven 40-storey and twelve 32-storey buildings within a 20 hectare precinct.
Council plans will also retain the two 30-storey Matavai and Turanga towers, with new buildings recommended to be between seven to nine storeys, with 12 to 13 storeys around a major park, and four storey buildings interspersed throughout.
It includes 45 per cent for social housing and affordable housing, a significant increase on the government's proposal for 35 per cent.
A significantly larger park would be the centrepiece of the precinct, occupying 2.2 hectares.
Moore said the city's plan for lower buildings, wider streets and one large park would allow more natural light and ventilation in units and be more in-line with accepted urban design principles.
“It’s almost impossible trying to find anywhere on earth where a Government has proactively planned to build a residential neighbourhood as dense as this Government is planning for Waterloo,” Moore said.
“The NSW Government has a choice – use this once in a generational opportunity to create the kind of place where people will want to live and spend time in, or build a future ghetto of tall towers and overshadowed and unsafe public areas.”
Councillors will debate the rival plan at an extraordinary council meeting on Monday night.
If approved, the proposal will be discussed at a town hall meeting at Alexandria Wednesday 6 March.