Jonathan Chancellor | 17 December 2012

Homebush Bay bridge proposal nears, but developers seek 1,300 more dwellings

Homebush Bay bridge proposal nears, but developers seek 1,300 more dwellings

The proposed 300-metre long bridge over Homebush Bay, linking the Sydney suburbs of Rhodes and Wentworth Point, near Sydney Olympic Park, has moved closer to realisation, although the developers are now seeking 1,300 further dwellings on top of the original 7,000-dwelling proposal.

The proposed two-lane bridge would be used by pedestrians, cyclists, public buses, with no access proposed for private vehicles.

The bridge, which would link Gauthorpe Street at Rhodes with Footbridge Boulevard at Wentworth Point, has been up for public consideration since late 2010.

The bridge is set to become a focal point of Homebush Bay, peaking at 9.2 metres, and is designed to save Wentworth Point residents the current 12-kilometre round trip to Rhodes to access shops, office employment and the railway station.

The project is proposed by Fairmead Business Proprietary Ltd, a consortium formed by Wentworth Point landowners including Billbergia Group, Sekisui House Australia, City Freeholds and Homebush Bay Holdings, directed by the Nasser brothers.

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Infrastructure last week invited public feedback on the now accompanying proposal for additional housing at Wentworth Point.

The department is seeking feedback on a proposal to increases the densities and heights within the development controls officially known as the Homebush Bay West Development Control Plan (DCP).

The changes seek four towers of 25 storeys to be built, with eight surrounding towers of between 16 and 20 storeys.

The current height limits on the site are limited to eight to nine storeys.

The additional floor space is proposed to fund the bridge between Wentworth Point on the west side of Homebush Bay and the Rhodes peninsula on the east, which would be completed by 2016.

A total of 68 submissions were received during the public exhibition period for the bridge's environmental assessment, with 55 submissions identified as supporting the proposal.

Consideration for future light rail was sought from Parramatta City Council, which has been developing a light rail concept for Western Sydney including a potential corridor from Parramatta to Concord via Wentworth Point/Rhodes.

 The proponents noted the bridge had suitablity for possible future conversion to light rail.

The bridge agreement will requires the develop syndicate to contribute funds for the anticipated cost of maintaining the bridge after its likely December 2016 completion.

The amount is to reflect the anticipated operating costs of the bridge for 40 years from the date of completion of the bridge.

The bridge proposal is the latest in the vast rejuvnation that dates back to 1993, when Sydney was selected as the host city for the 2000 Olympics.

It triggered comprehensive remediation strategies for Homebush Bay, the suburb, and the neighbouring suburb of Newington.

Renewal of Homebush Bay has continued in the post-Olympic period marked most recently by the adoption of a 2030 Vision Master Plan for Sydney Olympic Park, continued redevelopment of Newington, continued remediation and redevelopment of Rhodes Peninsula and the urban renewal of Wentworth Point.

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