New South Wales’ housing and building construction sector has been shaken up by the announcement that the state government would be radically overhauling sites along Parramatta Road. The road, one of the longest in the world, was once a hub for commercial activity and social life. But in the intervening years, many locations along the road have been abandoned.

UrbanGrowth NSW has made it their mission to drive the development of property projects all across NSW. Emboldened by new state funds, the body has put together plans for more than fifty thousand apartments to be constructed on Parramatta Road. As the road cuts through many major Sydney suburbs, residents across the city are railing against greater development and increased pressure on existing infrastructure.

Even though the plans are designed to sync-up with the yet-to-be-built WestConnex motorway, many local voices (from both parties) are voicing their opposition to the proposed development. Gulian Vaccari, the Liberal mayor of Strathfield, has stated that he does not understand how the suburb is expected to accommodate for such grand plans. “I don’t see where we are going to put those units the minister wants us to build,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

In further comments, the mayor outlined the reasons for his claim: “I don’t know that the WestConnex is going to solve all our problems. If we are layering another level of density on top of that is the road going to be big enough?”

Despite these overt warnings from sympathetic political voices, the state Liberal Party is not keen on abandoning their plans. Speaking on behalf of state Minister Pru Goward, a spokesman affirmed the Liberal Party’s hard-headed stance.”The NSW government has been upfront with the community in its commitment to the urban renewal of the Parramatta Road corridor, and collaboration is ongoing with councils and communities,” he told the SMH.

For local investors and residents, the forced expansion of the suburb is but one example of state planning gone awry. Strathfield, with its extraordinarily large immigrant population base, is already at capacity in terms of development and unit availability. If the state government pushes ahead with its proposed overhaul of Parramatta Road, it must heed the call of those who best understand their local areas.


 

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