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In 2016, after announcing their first shocking high-density proposal for Waterloo Estate, the NSW Government promised to go back to the drawing board and work with our communities on plans for Waterloo.

In August 2018, they released three more proposals – all tripling the density of the already dense development. A ‘preferred masterplan’ was released in January 2019.

In response, the City of Sydney has developed an alternate proposal for the Waterloo Housing Estate. We are standing with our communities to demand that the NSW Government supports a design for Waterloo that puts people at its centre.

The City of Sydney’s alternate proposal

The City’s team of expert planners have developed an alternative proposal to show all state politicians that the redevelopment of Waterloo can be done better.

Our approach would ensure residents have access to a community centre and many public spaces, including a 2.2 hectare park within walking distance, drenched in sunshine all year round.

The park would be surrounded by shops and cafés, the metro station and wide local streets.

We would reduce the density, with a total of up to 5300 homes, and retain and refurbish the Matavai and Turanga towers. All new buildings would range from 4-13 storeys, with most between four and nine storeys in height.

Importantly, we would deliver 50 per cent social housing, 20 per cent affordable housing, and 30 per cent private housing, with dedicated affordable housing for the Aboriginal community. We would also work with the community to provide community facilities and gardens.

This proposal has the support of eminent architects: Professor Richard Johnson AO MBE, Sydney Design Advisory Panel member; Professor Peter Mould, former NSW Government Architect; and Professor Kerry Clare, Director Clare Design, Australian Institute of Architecture Gold Medallist.

The NSW Government’s proposal

What the Government is planning in Waterloo is unprecedented for Australia – it’s Hong Kong density!

They want to increase the number of homes by a staggering 388 per cent, from 2,012 to 6,800 in approximately 17 tall towers, up to 40 storeys in height. Next door, the Metro Quarter development will add another 700 apartments in three towers up to 29 storeys in height.

Both developments will have negative impacts on the community, residents and the surrounding area, by adding more than 4,300 extra vehicles to the area and reducing sunlight to parks and public spaces, where grass will struggle to grow.

Despite being on public land, only 28 of the additional 4,788 homes on the Estate are dedicated social housing and only 340 will be affordable housing. In the Metro Quarter, only 70 are social housing and 35 affordable.

The Government’s proposal includes two parks that will be overshadowed by the tall towers in midwinter and be impacted by strong winds as a result of the buildings around them.

Tell the NSW Government and Opposition to abandon the government’s proposal and to return planning control of the site to the City of Sydney.

This would allow us to consult with residents to ensure that any redevelopment of the area serves the needs of the community.