PARRAMATTA Road could be transformed into a 'mixed-use liveability corridor' with 100,000 new apartments and 100,000 new jobs over the next 25 years, according to a concept put forward this month by property development industry group, Urban Taskforce.
Urban Taskforce said that while Parramatta Road is viewed by most Sydneysiders "as an eyesore with a hotchpotch of car yards, run-down buildings and decaying infrastructure," there are many opportunities to "create an exciting new vision."
The Taskforce's CEO, Chris Johnson, said the group has coordinated proposals by a number of its members with large sites to demonstrate the potential of the Parramatta Road corridor and its contribution to solving Sydney's housing shortage.
However, Mr Johnson said proposals are met with a number of barriers, including the complexities of dealing with nine different councils with varying planning controls and the lack of a unified coordinating body.
"Many of our members however find that it is difficult dealing with nine different councils all with different planning rules. We need state leadership via a strong urban renewal authority that can co-ordinate the nine councils and also work with the private sector site owners to achieve renewal," Mr Johnson said.
According to the Taskforce, many of its members have developments that are ready to proceed if "planning approval for feasible solutions can be achieved." It also states that development of the corridor with medium and high density development "would leave the surrounding low density suburban areas untouched."
"With the extent of developments proposed comes the potential for levies that can contribute back to an infrastructure fund," Mr Johnson said.
"An important part of the Urban Taskforce concept is to have genuine mixed use zoning with as many jobs as apartments. These may well be jobs related to the creative and new technology industries."
To advance the concept, the Taskforce called for an urban renewal authority to develop an overarching plan, amalgamate sites and have approval authority.
A 20-page magazine outlining the Taskforce's concept, titled Urban Ideas, contains a number of ideas from architects and urban designers including a green corridor along Parramatta Road, a mixed-use development including an educational hub at the Flemington Markets site and a transport-oriented urban village around the Summer Hill Flour Mill.
More information is available from the Urban Taskforce website at <http://www.urbantaskforce.com.au/>.