DETAILED plans for Parramatta’s new Western Sydney Stadium have sparked fears that Old Government House’s world heritage listing is under threat.
The 30,000-seat stadium will be significantly taller than Pirtek Stadium and obstruct views from the convict-built house, a State Government report into the environmental impact of the stadium said.
“The concept proposal would increase the overall height and footprint of the stadium, and locate it closer to O’Connell St,” the report said. “As a result, there would be potential impacts to key viewpoints as a result of the increased prominence of the stadium in the landscape. In particular, views identified for their high importance and heritage values.”
National Trust of Australia Parramatta branch president Brian Powyer said the concept for the stadium could significantly diminish the house’s heritage value.
The proposal will seek approval to create large masterplan lots, deliver extensive open space and landscaping works and on-site infrastructure such as new roads. No buildings have been proposed in the first development application (DA).
“Once a formal DA is lodged, the documents will be exhibited and the community will have an opportunity to comment on the proposal,” an UrbanGrowth NSW spokesman said.
“All highly significant and exceptional heritage buildings will be retained.”
North Parramatta Residents Action Group demanded that no land be sold or sod turned until next year’s council elections.
“How can the future of this most precious site be under the autonomous control of a state government appointed administrator who is absurdly making decisions on a development application that is being fast tracked by a state government department whose only mandate is to reach maximum residential density on public land,” president Suzette Meade said.
NPRAG have been alerted to the fact that the State Government’s Development Arm UGNSW last week lodged the first Development Application with City of Parramatta council for the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct: an ill-conceived proposal that will turn public land containing Australia’s oldest and most intact heritage buildings into a high density residential suburb of 3000+ units.
This precinct was placed under a total Greenban by the CFMEU and Jack Mundey in August 2015 after the community concerns went ignored by the State Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee.
“Dr Lee is ignoring constituents who have been working tirelessly to save our indigenous and colonial heritage from being desecrated, while he is gleefully handing it over to Mr Baird to sell for private residential development. Said Ms Meade President of NPRAG
State Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee continues to ignore the community who have been fighting against this inappropriate development for almost 2 years. All we hear is Mr Lee promoting Mike Baird’s mandate to sell every remaining piece of public land in Parramatta for residential or commercial development.
Before our local government was unceremoniously sacked and replaced by a State Government-appointed representative Ms Chadwick, the former Lord Mayor Paul Garrard of Parramatta City Council wrote to Planning Minister Rob Stokes demanding this totally inappropriate development be at least paused until the National Heritage Listing was finalised. Requesting further transparent consultation with the wider community and other interested stakeholders was carried out. This fell on deaf ears.
How can the future of this most precious site be under the autonomous control of a State Government appointed administrator who is absurdly making decisions on a development application that is being fast tracked by a State Government department who’s only mandate is to reach maximum residential density on public land.
This sort of undemocratic decision making process is something we would expect in North Korea but not here in Australia. It is a disgrace – a slap in the face to the Darug custodians of the land, the tens of thousands of women and girls from 1818 to 1974 whose lives were changed forever after being incarcerated within this precinct.
If the Greater Sydney Commission’s Lucy Turnbull is fair dinkum about making Parramatta Australia’s next great city then she will step in and stop this State Government proposal to vandalise Australia’s most significant precinct by dumping a new high density suburb here. Residents of Parramatta are calling on Lucy Turnbull to champion the peoples’ plan for the best and biggest arts and cultural precinct for NSW to be created in this world heritage worthy oasis on Parramatta River.
The residents of Parramatta demand that NO development application pertaining to the Cumberland Hospital site be accepted by City of Parramatta council. No land sold and not a sod turned until we have democratically-elected representatives returned to represent the community in the Local Government Elections in September 2017 – demanded Ms Meade.
Contact – Suzette Meade (0412 990 880) firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTH PARRMATTA RESIDENTS ACTION GROUP www.nprag.org
“So many stories, so many layers of Australian history have their origins in North Parramatta. As Sydney gets bigger it is incumbent on the government (that) it gets better as well and part of that is respecting our heritage,” he said.
“There is an incredible depth of heritage here, including some world-heritage listed structures across the vicinity.”
Heritage advocates have fought passionately against the redevelopment, saying it will destroy the historic site.
North Parramatta Resident Action Group president Suzette Meade said Mr Stokes had ignored requests from the group and Parramatta Chamber of Commerce to meet to discuss alternative visions for the precinct.
“We firmly believe our business model for a cultural and arts precinct in the Fleet St heritage precinct will bring more social and economic long term benefit to a growing western Sydney. The proposed high density unit development to what is one of the most significant indigeonous and colanial precincts in Australia is a travesty,” Ms Meade said.
But Mr Stokes said the something needed to be done now.
“The point is, no change was never an option. If we didn’t intervene these buildings
The Department of Planning and Environment seeks views on the proposal, which includes five levels of box and terrace seating with facilities, 500 parking spots and 20,000 square metres set aside for future entertainment and community use.
Venues NSW seeks approval to start the first stage of redevelopment, including demolition of the existing stadium and nearby Parramatta Swimming Centre. It sparked new calls for genuine community consultation on the future use of Crown Land and public facilities.
“We were utterly astounded to read the consultation report for the proposed stadium,” North Parramatta Residents Action Group president Suzette Meade said.
“This project must be paused and the plans put on the table so an independent planner can demonstrate how the existing war memorial pool and a new stadium can co-exist. The government owes our community that basic respect.”
Views the plans at City of Parramatta Council or Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre by August 19. Details: majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au.
At a community rally on Sunday, federal Parramatta MP Julie Owens announced a prioritised commitment to getting the building and surrounding heritage buildings on the 32 hectare site onto the National Heritage Register if Labor wins the election on July 2.
NB – North Parramatta Residents Action Group (NPRAG) do not support ANY residential development currently being proposed by UGNSW in the entire 32ha Cumberland Hospital Precinct (Fleet Street Heritage Precinct)
While the soaking forced the cancellation of a march, more than 100 people kept dry at Parramatta War Memorial Pool to voice their opposition to the state government’s plans to relocate the pool for the stadium redevelopment and build units close to the historic Fleet Street heritage precinct
NPRAG believe property developers are fast monopolising the city by building sky-high apartment blocks, instead of preserving Parramatta’s trademark sites.
“By developing this new board game, we hope to centre on Parramatta’s rich heritage and give current merchants the chance to immortalise their business in a unique and historic way,” Mr Hillman said.
“The game will be entertaining and educational for residents and visitors and is a great marketing tool for tourism and small businesses in our area.”
Game up for grabs
When: Sunday at the Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres, after the screening of To New Shores — A Tale of Convict, at 2pm. Buy Tickets to Movie Here
Cost: Raffle tickets are $5; all money raised will go towards funding the development of the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct . To purchase tickets please contact us infonprag@gmailcom
Plans to reopen Parramatta Jail have been scrapped.
Corrective services minister David Elliott considered reopening the jail to address record numbers of inmates and prison overcrowding but announced last week that it will remain closed.
He told Parramatta MP Geoff Lee that reopening the jail would “not value of money for taxpayers.”
“It’s an excellent decision for the community,” an “elated” Dr Lee told the Sun.
“The development and refurbishment of the heritage precinct would have been slowed down otherwise. The new community that will living near there don’t want to be living next to a jail.”
Dr Lee campaigned for the jail to stay closed. “We’re growing the city into a cosmopolitan and world class city,” he said. “We can’t have a jail in the middle of a transforming city.”
Deerubbin Aboriginal Land Council has claimed ownership of the site.
“It was be fantastic if it could be transformed into an arts and cultural precinct,” Dr Lee said. “But it’s up to Deerubbin Aboriginal Land Council as to what they want to do with the site. As a government, we can’t tell them what to do.”
North Parramatta Residents Action Group described the decision as economic vandalism. “The government’s surrender to developer lobby groups by deciding not to reopen Parramatta Jail for low security inmates is disappointing proof of who is really running the government,” president Suzette Meade said.
“It also would have used an asset that will now remain unused for a long time.”