13 November 2023

NSW Government to rezone Church Street North area of Parramatta for high-density housing

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Church Street North

Looking south from the planned Fennel Street light rail station along Church Street North towards Parramatta CBD. Photo: Google Maps.

The Church Street North area of Parramatta just north of the Parramatta River and south of Pennant Hills Road will be rezoned by the NSW Government so it can be developed for high-density housing.

The rezoning has been done with the support of the Parramatta Council and will result in hundreds of new homes being built along the north-south light rail corridor along Church Street North, which is scheduled to commence operation in 2024.

Two light rail stations are planned for the area – Fennell Street and Prince Alfred Square – and the line is initially planned to run between Westmead and Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD, and the University of Western Sydney at Camelia. A future Stage 2 will extend the line to Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park.

The Church Street North area currently has a blend of low-rise residential, retail and professional, and light industrial premises, as well as several historic homes that are nearly 200 years old. The area to be rezoned is bounded roughly by the Parramatta River on the southern boundary, O’Connell Street in the west, Isabella Street and Pennant Hills Road on the north side and Sorrell Street on the eastern edge, with Church Street North running through the middle.

It’s unclear whether building heights will match those of the Parramatta CBD, which now has several residential towers. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment said that the project would “build on the extensive work already completed by the City of Parramatta Council through its Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal” and that the department “will consider important community and stakeholder feedback…before the rezoning is finalised over the coming months”.

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NSW Premier Chris Minns said the current housing crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing NSW and the nation.

“The construction of homes in Sydney has not kept up with population growth, and that is squeezing buyers, renters and owners,” the Premier said. “More and more you will see the Government link the construction of transport infrastructure with the construction of more homes.

“We need to take full advantage of the investments our state’s taxpayers make into new public transport infrastructure. Suburbs like Parramatta already have the infrastructure and amenities to support more homes. That’s why we’re putting our focus into Church Street North to secure more housing.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully added, “This precinct is an extremely well-positioned area and is well-equipped to accommodate more families and individuals who want to live closer to work, transport, schools, and the Parramatta CBD.

“We’re focused on increasing housing and affordability in great locations. This announcement ensures there will soon be hundreds of new homes available right on the doorstep of the Parramatta CBD.”

Member for Parramatta Donna Davis said North Parramatta and Church Street North have buildings that date back to the earliest days of Sydney’s first settlement.

“This state-led rezoning is the next chapter in the precinct’s evolution, which will provide the planning framework for generations to come. I’m delighted to see that our heritage and amenity will be addressed in plans for our future while respecting our past.”

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