About the urban renewal plans
In October 2015, the NSW Government released its urban renewal plans for the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor.
It targeted communities around 11 station precincts from Sydenham to Bankstown for some 36,000 new homes and a population influx of more than 80,000 people, under urban renewal plans released by the NSW Government.
In June 2017, it released revised plans, which still support some 35,000 homes along the corridor.
These plans, if approved, will result in some of the most dramatic levels of over-development, heritage destruction and unwarranted character change seen in Sydney’s history.
In conjunction with the introduction of the Metro train line, the corridor is being groomed for an orgy of private speculative development which will result in the demolition of about 3,800 houses, many of which have significant heritage and local character value.
Submissions are against the plans
Some 1,440 submissions were received in response to the 2015 plans, the vast majority of which were from local residents and were overwhelmingly against the plans. The government's official consultation report found that only 90 submissions out of these 1,400 were in favour - representing just six per cent of all submissions. In some suburbs, such as Dulwich Hill, the rate was closer to just two per cent.
Dramatic levels of character change
The level of character change proposed in the corridor are unprecedented, including the rezoning of streets of single-storey homes to allow unit blocks ranging from four to 25 storeys.
This website has been produced to bring to life and explain the impacts of the corridor-wide plan, given this issue has not been subject to public debate and attention to date.
Lack of infrastructure
Proposed development is currently not supported by sufficient planning for new jobs, affordable housing, infrastructure or open space. Indeed, the plan seeks to develop significant existing parcels of open space while at the same time proposing only incremental or minor additional open space acquisitions in other areas.
For instance, in its submission to the corridor strategy, the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) has raised concerns it will not be able to meet demand from the increased proposed population – even with a special development levy.
Alarmingly, DEC says in its submission that “the increased population proposed in the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Strategy will place significant pressures on the Department to meet its legislative obligations under the Education Act 1990, particularly if there is no developer contribution to State infrastructure or…increases in budget allocations.”
Heritage and character
Separately, a significant number of heritage items – including State heritage items – are now under threat because they have been placed in redevelopment areas. Housing in the corridor dates back to the 1890s, when the line to Belmore was first constructed.
The corridor is also the spiritual home of the iconic War Services Home Commission scheme, which provided homes to soldiers returning home from World War I.
These plans are being incorrectly justified on the basis that the Bankstown line is being replaced by a rapid-transit Metro line from 2024, with allegedly increased transport capacity. See more at our Madness of the Metro page.
The wisdom of spending billions of dollars cannabilising an existing rail line is questioned, when this money could be used to create new transport capacity elsewhere.
Evidence would suggest the Bankstown line, and surrounding communities, are being used to provide the raw materials for a significant privatisation agenda, which involves developers taking over transport and land assets. This will be the detriment of the existing communities and with a significant prospect of a far worse urban outcome in the future.