Approval pending for precinct plan

Visionary: UrbanGrowth NSW insists heritage buildings will be preserved and retained under the Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program.
Visionary: UrbanGrowth NSW insists heritage buildings will be preserved and retained under the Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program.

The debate about how North Parramatta’s historic past can be best preserved in the future is back on the agenda.

A two day public forum will be held this week to discuss future uses of the Fleet Street heritage precinct as part of UrbanGrowth NSW’s Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program. The project proposes 2700 new homes.

UrbanGrowth NSW is finalising the first of its plans to submit to City of Parramatta Council.

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. 

Mrs Meade accused Parramatta MP Geoff Lee of ignoring community concerns.

“All we hear is Dr Lee promoting Mike Baird’s mandate to sell every remaining piece of public land in Parramatta for residential or commercial development,” she said. 

Dr Lee urged the group to stop playing politics and let the state government get on with preserving the precinct.

“This small group continues to misrepresent the interests of the broader community,” he said.

“There has been extensive community consultation on the North Parramatta Heritage Precinct. After decades of neglect, work has now started to conserve some of the most dilapidated heritage buildings.”