Planning proposal for Rockdale's Interchange Precinct could provide 246 units

A draft Planning Proposal for Rockdale's Interchange Precinct which could allow for up to 246 units to be built next to the railway station will be considered by the Bayside Local Planning Panel tomorrow night.

The Interchange Precinct incorporates Rockdale's railway station, bus interchange, the Tramway Arcade and privately-owned land bounded by the Princes Highway to the east, Geeves Avenue to the north and west and the Tramway Arcade to the south.

The draft Planning Proposal applies to the privately-owned land within the Interchange Precinct and proposes a five-metre increase in maximum building height allowed under the Rockdale LEP from 22m to 27m and additional heights for sites with an area of at least 1500sqm to allow for a maximum building height of 39-metres.

It also calls for a Heritage Impact Statement to be done for buildings at 471-477 Princes Highway and 6-14 Geeves Avenue, Rockdale before the Planning Proposal is referred to the Department of Planning for Gateway Determination.

In addition to 246 apartments, the future development could also provide approximately 4,015sqm of retail floorspace and 337sqm of commercial floorspace.

It has been a long-standing aim of the council to secure a comprehensive mixed-used redevelopment of the land and it is considered the proposed amendments will bring future redevelopment of the precinct.

The draft Planning Proposal is a result of the Rockdale Town Centre Masterplan adopted by the council in 2012 setting out its future aspirations for the area.

The Master Plan identified key precincts that have redevelopment potential and are in need of revitalisation. It identified the Transport Interchange Precinct as a particularly important precinct.

"The redevelopment of the Interchange Precinct is critical in order to establish a positive image for the centre and provide more convenient pedestrian movement between the station and the highway" the Planning Proposal states.

The Planning Proposal aims to "provide flexibility and incentive for redevelopment of the precinct by increasing the maximum height control and removing the maximum floor space ratio control for the land."

It will enable redevelopment which includes a six-storey podium along Princes Highway and a three-storey podium along Geeves Avenue, and create landmark buildings to the north and south ends of the precinct which will present a positive image for Rockdale Centre to passing motorists and rail transport users, the council's report said.

The existing laneway through the site from the Rockdale Station bus interchange to Princes Highway would be widened to 12-metres to open up to the air and improve pedestrian access. The new buildings would be set back to provide widened footpaths around the perimeter of the site.

If supported by Bayside Local Planning Panel, the council will refer the draft Planning Proposal for the Rockdale Interchange Precinct to the Department of Planning for Gateway Determination.

The Local Planning Panel will consider the draft Planning Proposal at its meeting at Botany Town Hall, corner of Edward Street and Botany Road, Botany, tomorrow night at 6pm.