New South Wales

Public input invited for proposed University of Sydney expansion

THE public is being invited to comment on revised plans for an expansion of the University of Sydney, including a new Business School building and student accommodation for up to 200 people.

The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure last week announced it is publicly exhibiting a revised proposal for the Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment until 1 June 2012.

An environmental assessment for the $267 million development was publicly exhibited by the Department in the middle of last year and attracted approximately 70 submissions, with most objecting to the proposal.

The University of Sydney has now submitted a response to submissions and preferred project report (PPR) to the Department.

The Department said that in response to significant public interest and changes to the proposed development, it is undertaking additional public consultation to enable the community to comment on the PPR.

To address community concerns about the design and height of proposed buildings, amenity and traffic impacts on neighbouring Darlington Public School and the loss of significant trees, a number of the changes have been made to the proposal.

The changes include:

  • A revised design and reduction in height for the proposed Business School building, ranging in height from four to six storeys with a uniform height along Abercrombie Street;
  • A revised design for the five-storey student accommodation building, including an increase in the number of student beds from 100 to 200 beds;
  • Retention of Mandelbaum House, which is outside the precinct boundary;
  • Retention of key elements of the Joinery Shop Building and key trees, including a prominent Sydney Blue Gum, in response to the City of Sydney Council's concerns about tree removal;
  • Increased setbacks to Darlington Public School and Darlington Lane to reduce overshadowing and amenity impacts on the school; and
  • A 103-space reduction in car parking to reduce traffic impacts by providing only 82 new car spaces over two basement levels.

The PPR does not propose to alter the number of students and staff who would utilise the new buildings.

The Department said that submissions received during the exhibition period will be made available on the Department's website and considered as part of its assessment of the project.

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