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14 October 2013 Posted by 

Tower proposal approved despite rules

A PRELIMINARY concept proposal for a 24-floor tower in the Parramatta CBD has been supported by council in an area where residential units are prohibited.

The owner had sought rezoning of 7 Charles Street, on the eastern periphery of the CBD’s commercial core, from B3 (Commercial Core) to B4 (Mixed Use) to allow construction of a 114-unit building. A council report said it would set an undesirable precedent and erode the commercial viability of the city as a business and employment centre.

It might, also, compromise council’s ability to decline further requests for residential development in the CBD core which would likely result in an imbalance of land uses. Approximately 35.8 hectares, or 25 per cent of the CBD, is allocated exclusively for business uses.

“The removal of land supply and conversion to residential land uses will permanently prevent the creation of employment floor space on this [1000-square-metre] site located within the commercial core,” the report said “Parramatta’s ability to provide land exclusively for business purposes is critical to ensure it continues to develop into a true business district supported by residential, on the periphery.”

Once developed for residential purposes and strata titled council’s ability to provide employment floor space would be compromised, the report said. This would restrict Parramatta performing its role as the premier regional city in the metropolitan area, the primary business services centre for Western Sydney and a significant business location for metropolitan Sydney.

The current residential population in the CBD and immediate surrounds was approximately 10,000; in the 2007-2013 period council approved 31 residential projects, representing approximately 4850 apartments.

The report recommended the proposal be held in abeyance until the completion of the planning review of the city centre currently underway. Councillors resolved to support the preliminary concept proposal following a debate at a recent council meeting and the applicant would be invited to proceed with a detailed planning proposal for the site.

Nicole Baines

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