14k homes and 50k jobs mooted for Parramatta CBD

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THE New South Wales government will overhaul planning controls for Parramatta’s CBD, hoping to create 50,000 new jobs and two million sqm of new commercial space in the process.

The proposal, which will be put on public exhibition for community feedback, includes expanding and protecting the commercial core of the CBD, a range of building heights across the CBD that allow for maximum heights where possible, and new floor space ratio controls that provide incentives for development that provide community benefits.

Development controls will consider impacts on public open spaces and heritage conservation areas, heights allowed under flight paths, and protection from overshadowing for key public open spaces between 12pm and 2pm, including Parramatta Square, the Parramatta River foreshore, Lancer Barracks and Jubilee Park.

About 14,000 new homes will also be created.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the NSW government had worked closely with City of Parramatta Council to progress the plan as part of the state’s COVID recovery plan.

“From increased building heights for a dynamic city skyline, to almost two million sqm of new commercial floorspace, new cultural spaces and fantastic public spaces, this proposal will shape the Parramatta CBD for generations to come.”

Sydney organisations looking to cut costs and decentralise their workforces as a result of the pandemic are likely to find new homes in the Parramatta, North Sydney and Macquarie Park, according to JLL.

“In this current environment, it is logical for businesses to sublease or relinquish their CBD space and shift their workers into the ‘back of office’ precincts where rents for A grade buildings in Parramatta are approximately 50% less than A grade CBD stock,” JLL’s Ben Lalic said.

Parramatta’s office market has been one of the nation’s strongest in recent years, and is considered to have the foundations for major public and private sector users such as the New South Wales government and Westpac and NAB and being offered at a fraction of CBD rents, and boasting amenity for staff and being accessible by major public transport.

According to the Property Council of Australia, almost a quarter of the new supply for non-CBD markets over 2020 will be delivered in Parramatta.

Walker Corporation is progressing with its $3.2 billion Parramatta Square development, where the first stage opened earlier this year. Meanwhile, the Sydney Central City Planning Panel has just approved Australian Unity Office Fund’s development application increase the size of its 8,000 sqm building planned for 2-10 Valentine Ave to 28,000 sqm.

Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee said the proposal includes strict rules to protect important public areas such as Parramatta Square from overshadowing.

“Parramatta Square has brought new life and thousands of students and workers into the CBD, reinvigorating the nightlife and providing a place for people to relax during the day and we want to ensure it remains light and sunny,” he said.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor, Bob Dwyer thanked the NSW Government for progressing the plan.

“Council initiated this proposal to help us realise our shared vision for the Parramatta CBD –an economic leader with a thriving commercial centre that attracts world-class businesses and offers incredible lifestyle opportunities for residents.”

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