A plan to boost employment and affordable housing opportunities in “Aboriginal Redfern” has won the approval of the City of Sydney Council.
The revitalisation of the Botany Road Precinct would add floorspace for up to 14,500 jobs and contribute to the goal of adding 10,000 affordable housing dwellings in the local area by 2036 with building heights of up to 17 storeys.
According to council documents the plan was “an opportunity to meet the future projected demand for employment growth in the Redfern-Waterloo area and transform it into a vibrant commercial precinct with an upgraded and green public domain”.
It could also boost affordable housing close to jobs, services and public transport, but the planning controls are primarily focused on commercial uses for the precinct.
The planning controls incentivise commercial development and affordable housing through increased floor space ratios and building heights of up to 17 storeys on Rosehill and Gibbons streets near Redfern Station, 12 storeys opposite Waterloo Metro Station, eight storeys on Botany Road and Cope Street, and six storeys on Wyndham Street.
Community consultation indicated a desire to acknowledge and celebrate the history of Aboriginal Redfern as the “birthplace of civil rights and self-determination movements”, which has been enshrined in the precinct plan.
The Development Control Plan includes a new Connecting with Country stipulation that reflects the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ connection to the area.
According to an Oxford BIS analysis, much of the 4400 job growth in the area over the next 15 years would be in the health, education, professional scientific and technical, and retail sectors, particularly in the Eveleigh node of the Camperdown-Ultimo Health and Education Precinct and the Innovation Corridor.
The precinct comprises Redfern Station in the north to McEvoy Street in the south and was identified for review in 2019.
The proposal will now be sent to the NSW government for a gateway determination to be made in September, and will subsequently go on exhibition in October.