In December the NSW Planning Department released a proposal, Changes to Create Low and Mid Rise Housing to increase housing density in well located areas in Sydney, to help with the housing crisis. The Department has also released proposals to create high-rise housing around certain train and metro stops, but none in the eastern part of the city.

The NSW Productivity Commission considers heritage to be a constraint to increasing housing density in areas close to the CBD and well-serviced by public transport, retail and other amenities.

The proposals will apply to  Heritage Conservation Areas and Heritage Items, potentially allowing 6-8 storey development. The reforms are tied to current land zoning, and south Paddington is more at risk due to its R1 General Residential zoning, whereas north Paddington is mainly zoned R2 Low-Density Residential where Low Rise development will apply, except for small R3 pockets and a sizeable area south of Trumper Park.

The Paddington Society submitted objections to the Mid Rise proposals. We are concerned that they will lead to demolition of heritage buildings, and to ad hoc ‘mid rise’ development which could destroy the integrity of our consistent Victorian suburb, and reduce sun and privacy. There may also be diverging built form between north and south Paddington.

Both City of Sydney and Woollahra Councils also have concerns, since these proposals will over-ride the planning controls (LEPs, DCPs) they have developed.

The short timeframe to comment on the proposals is over, but if you have concerns you could let us know, and you could contact Alex Greenwich or Allegra Spender as your government representatives. The Paddington Society will continue to advocate for better reforms.