New plan unveiled for unloved Sydney suburb

The NSW Government has unveiled plans for a major redevelopment of a public housing development in Riverwood, near Punchbowl, which would replace 1000 aging units with nearly 4000 private and social housing.

But it’s likely to face another round of opposition from residents because of the size of the buildings and the proportion of private homes in the rehabilitated settlement.

The 30-acre Riverwood Estate between the M5 and Belmore Road will be one of the state's largest urban regeneration projects.

The 30-acre Riverwood Estate between the M5 and Belmore Road will be one of the state’s largest urban regeneration projects.

Located south of the M5 on Belmore Road, north of Riverwood Train Station, the 30-acre Riverwood Estate has been earmarked for redevelopment since 2016. The government initially proposed 6,000 new homes, but the number was reduced to 3,900 following an earlier consultation.

A new master plan, due to be released on Friday, calls for three- to 12-story buildings and a mix of about 30 percent public housing and 70 percent private housing. However, the planning documents state that the 30 percent is a maximum and the final amount will be determined after “involvement of industry during the tendering process”.

Riverwood Community Center chairman Karl Saleh, also Canterbury-Bankstown councillor, said the property needs revamping but the mix of public and private housing should be closer to 50-50. The municipality would also be more likely to support buildings with six to eight stories, not 12, he said.

“[There is] a long list of people in need of social housing and we need to address that urgently,” he said. “If we want to bring more people into the area, both private and social housing, we need to build adequate infrastructure. We need this development, but we need it to be the right development.”

An artist's rendering of the redeveloped Riverwood Estate published by the Department of Planning and Environment.

An artist’s rendering of the redeveloped Riverwood Estate published by the Department of Planning and Environment.

The government has fought several battles over public housing, most notably when it sold properties in Millers Point. In this case, the NSW Land and Housing Corporation is making a promise to all current council housing residents in Riverwood that they will be able to return if a suitable home becomes available, unlike those in Millers Point who have not been able to.

The work will be phased in over 15 to 20 years and is expected to create approximately 11,000 jobs and $2 billion in local investment. The completed district would also have 11 acres of new or upgraded open space.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/they-re-asking-for-change-new-plan-unveiled-for-unloved-sydney-suburb-20220811-p5b90c.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw New plan unveiled for unloved Sydney suburb

Joel McCord

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