12/14/2017 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/13/2017 20:08
After 12 months in limbo, a $300M transformation of the Kingsford and Kensington town centres is looking uncertain, after the NSW Department of Planning this week made substantial changes to Randwick Council's award-winning K2K Planning Strategy.
The K2K plan was developed in 2016 by the Council to take back control of the town centres after five unsolicited planning proposals were received from developers to build tower buildings up to 25 storeys (85m high) along Anzac Parade.
Randwick Council conducted an international design competition and developed its own planning proposal known as K2K for modest increases in heights and densities to create about 1,500 new homes, more than 1,000 new jobs and 54,000sqm of new commercial space.
In addition, the Council proposed that developers would pay higher levies to fund a $300M public benefits package including new public plazas, open space, public art, car parks, a community centre and support for startup businesses.
However a letter received from the Department of Planning & Environment this week - 12 months after the original proposal was lodged - has substantially changed the plan.
The Department wants a 40% increase in density and have denied Council the ability to apply a Community Infrastructure Contributions plan to levy additional funds from developers.
Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey said she was disappointed with the decision.
'In 2016, under the instruction of the Department, we conducted an extensive community consultation and design process to develop a bold vision for the future of Kensington and Kingsford town centres.
'This was our way of getting back control of this area from developers who were eyeing it off for substantial density increases.
'Now we've waited 12 months only to be told that the NSW Government wants taller buildings and more homes. And they're also denying us the chance to deliver substantial public improvements.
'The people of Kensington and Kingsford deserve better. It's only fair that developers profiting from increased height provide contributions to public benefits,' Mayor Shurey said.
'This decision from the Department questions the whole viability of the plan.'
The modified plan from the Department of Planning will be considered by Randwick Council at a Council meeting in early 2018 to consider whether to proceed to community consultation.
The K2K Urban Design Competition run by Randwick City Council received a Planning Institute Australia Award for Excellence in 2017, a Greater Sydney Planning Award in 2016 and an Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Award in 2017.
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