Bayside West precincts plans 'finalised' - but wait goes on for rezoning details

The state government is reconsidering plans for an extensive new high-rise development precinct on the western side of Arncliffe train station.

The area extending to Arncliffe Park, which was identified in 2016 draft plans for "high-density, mixed use development (priority for rezoning)",  will be subjected to further investigation in response to strong community opposition.

Planning Minister Anthony Roberts released a 40-page document, titled Bayside West 2036 Plan, covering the “finalised strategic land use and infrastructure planning to guide the future transformation of Arncliffe, Banksia and Cooks Cove”.

However, crucial rezoning details for Arncliffe and Banksia are still awaited and big question marks hang over the western side of Arncliffe station and Cooks Cove.

The Department of Planning and Environment document comes four years after Arncliffe and Banksia were declared priority precincts (since renamed planned precincts) and two years after draft plans for the two areas, as well as Cooks Cove, were released for public comment.

The new report said tall buildings would be concentrated on the Princes Highway corridor, around the town centres.

“The tallest buildings in the precinct are planned on larger sites in single ownership, which have the potential to provide new areas of public open space, achieve improved design outcomes and may deliver other government objectives such as provision of social and affordable housing,” the report said.

The report said the area west of Arncliffe station would be investigated further “to consider opportunities for greater master planning and high quality urban design outcomes”.

“The planning framework for this area will be finalised before or at the same time as Bayside Council adopts its comprehensive LEP (local environmental plan) in 2020.”

The report said the proposed development of Cooks Cove was “not part of the department’s precinct planning”.

While included in the draft precincts plan, Cooks Cove’s future would be subject to further planning investigations and approvals.

“Any rezoning of Cooks Cove will be subject to assessment by Bayside Council and determined by the Greater Sydney Commission,” the report said.

Mr Roberts said the rezoning of Banksia and Arncliffe would be “released shortly” and was “expected to provide thousands of new homes by 2036 through the Princes Highway corridor revitalisation and numerous jobs with the expansion of the town centres”.

To speed up the process, the state government would give Bayside Council $2.5 million to help update its LEP.

“We have listened to the community and by working alongside the local council, we are delivering what the community wants and what the area needs,” he said.

"The renewal of Banksia and Arncliffe will deliver well-planned town centres with an expansion of retail areas around the railway stations providing an easy way for residents to do their shopping as they commute to work. 

“This will add vibrancy and life to the area and allow more opportunity for people to live in the town centre with easy transport connections.”

Mr Roberts confirmed a new, 7000 square metre park would be created opposite Scots Club at Arncliffe on RMS land next to a M5 East motorway ramp.

As also previously announced, the government will give $10 million to “revamp” Arncliffe Town centre and upgrade Arncliffe Park and Gardiner Park, Banksia.

“Banksia and Arncliffe will soon see improvements to walkways and cycleways to ensure residents will have easy access to public transport, local cafes and restaurants, as well as open space and new parkland,” Mr Roberts said.

“A Green Plan will guide planning and design of open space and tree canopy in Arncliffe and Banksia”.

Mr Roberts said nearby Cooks Cove would see improvements to pedestrian and cycling connections, which would enable residents to enjoy better access to the riverfront and key recreation areas such as the Landing Lights wetland area.