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Rozelle’s waterfront in Sydney’s inner west will be transformed with new homes – 30 per cent of which will be affordable and key worker housing – under the next phase of plans to redevelop the industrial western harbour.
The NSW government is pressing ahead with its ambition to overhaul the “Bays West” precinct along Rozelle Bay and White Bay, in the most significant reshaping of a harbour-front site in Sydney since Barangaroo.
The government faces challenges combining residential and commercial development with the working harbour at Rozelle Bay – the next stage of the Bays West project.Credit:Dean Sewell
Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Minister Rob Stokes said on Wednesday the government was starting work on a masterplan to determine future development within the Rozelle Bay “sub-precinct” – which represents the second stage of the Bays West project.
Plans say the wider Bays West precinct will be a “connected and vibrant precinct that is an innovative and sustainable place for living, working and recreation”. However, the government faces significant challenges in balancing these uses with the western harbour’s working port.
Earlier this year, the government released plans to rezone the first stage of Bays West – the land around the historic White Bay power station – to allow for the construction of up to 250 apartments, as well as offices, cultural venues and public spaces. A Metro train station to service the Bays West precinct is due to open at the site in 2030.
Stokes said nearly one-third of homes eventually built at Rozelle Bay would be affordable and key worker housing for teachers, nurses, emergency services personnel and low-income families.
The final number of dwellings would be decided during the planning process.
“We are committing up front to delivering a landmark 30 per cent affordable housing on the site, which sits just two kilometres from the central business district, Sydney University and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
“Key workers from carers to cleaners to cafe workers are the backbone of our city, and they should not have to leave home at 4am to get to work in the central business district,” Stokes said.
Stokes said the plans for Rozelle Bay would include a public foreshore walkway, ensure the continuation of the working port, and preserve views towards the White Bay power station.
The NSW government’s draft masterplan for the White Bay power station sub-precinct, within the Bays West precinct.Credit:NSW government
Developer contributions from the project will go towards the government’s long-term ambition to restore Glebe Island Bridge.
Balmain Greens MP Jamie Parker said Rozelle Bay was earmarked for taller buildings, and: “This will be a real test of how the government fits residential and commercial development with working harbour activities.
“Thirty per cent affordable and key worker housing is a start, but the key issue here is this is publicly owned waterfront land, and rather than it being a real estate deal, it needs to be an area that benefits the people of NSW.”
Parker said this meant the government should prioritise delivering public spaces and public housing on the site.
Placemaking NSW chief executive Anita Mitchell, who will lead the master planning process with Transport for NSW, said the provision of affordable and key worker housing was necessary to make the city more accessible.
“I am looking forward to working with Transport for NSW to engage with the community and existing tenants, ensuring we align the benefits of the investments going into commercial precinct at Bays West stage one with the new Rozelle Bay development, in an area much loved by locals,” Mitchell said.
Building heights in the White Bay power station precinct will range from four to 20 storeys. The initial plans, which included provision for buildings up to 22 storeys, triggered concerns among residents the development would encroach on the power station, worsen traffic, and not provide enough affordable housing.
The proportion of affordable housing in the precinct “has not yet been defined”, according to government documents.
Barangaroo comprises 2.3 per cent affordable housing at the southern end of the precinct.
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