ASX-listed developer Mirvac has withdrawn from the redevelopment of the Showground station precinct in Sydney’s north west citing changes to the planning controls that were in updated plans released by the NSW government in December.
An increase to the minimum lot size requirements would see no more than 5,000 new dwellings being built in the precinct, a move which was advocated for by the Hills Shire Council over its concerns for overdevelopment.
The NSW Department of Planning under Minister Anthony Roberts had favoured planning controls which would allow developers to build smaller, more affordable apartments in the re-zoned 270 hectares around the new Showground station metro.
"Mirvac entered into options for land in the Showground precinct of the Hills Shire – unfortunately the final planning controls were different from the original plans, and as such Mirvac were unable to proceed with the proposed development," Toby Long, Mirvac's general manager of residential development said.
Related reading: Mulpha Group Wait on Norwest Town Centre Determination
Mirvac and other property developers had taken out options in the Showgrounds precinct ahead of final rezoning plans.
Following Mirvac’s decision to withdraw, a spokesman for the planning minister said: "We look forward to council delivering on their commitment to plan for 5000 new dwellings as well as open space on the Showgrounds site."
The final rezoning in December was seen as a compromise with the council as they had pushed back, wanting requirements for larger apartments.
The Urban Taskforce said that the announcement that Mirvac is pulling out of the proposed housing development is a response to the anti-development approach taken by the council.
“The Hills Shire Council seem to only want large houses and apartments rather than smaller, more affordable homes,” Urban Taskforce chief executive Chris Johnson said.
“The continual push by the local council, supported by local Members of Parliament, to have reduced development and huge home sizes for the wealthy is sending a signal to the development industry that they are not wanted.
“Council’s approach seems quite selfish considering the state government is spending billions of dollars in building a new metro rail line to connect The Hills district with the Sydney CBD.”
The Showground station is one of eight new stations being built along the rapid transit link connecting Rouse Hill and Chatswood, as part of stage one of the $20 billion Sydney Metro project.
According to the Department of Planning and Environment, “The redevelopment will transform the area around Showground Station into a vibrant urban centre, deliver nearly two hectares of parks and open space, and provide community facilities, recreation areas and a mix of housing choice for people at all life stages.”