Greens Councillor Murray Matson says that the winning entry in his K2K competition has gained Randwick Council breathing room to fight off a “blitz of ad hoc twenty-story-plus high rises” pushed for the Kingsford and Kensington town centres.
The State Government has been pressing Councillors to revise their planning instruments after they successfully argued that a string of excessive high rises should each be refused because relevant planning controls hadn’t been revised since the 1990’s.
With the proposals refused the Government made it clear to Randwick that it now expects that a review would be done of the controls.
Councillor Matson responded to the reality of this expectation by setting up the $300,000 prize offered by Council for the best redesign concept for the two Centres.
He states that he is satisfied that the entry by JMD, Hill Thalis + Bennett and Trimble has now won because it bests meshes with Councillors’ opposition to excessive high rises in the two centres. He said,
“Nobody wants the ad hoc twenty story plus building proposals that Council has been fighting off. The JMD, Hill Thalis + Bennett and Trimble concept does not specifically propose 20 story development nor the use of Kokoda Park for an artificial wetland as one of the other entries did.”
Councillor Matson stressed that the winning entry was just a design and the Council was not obliged to use any part of it in the draft planning instrument it was promising the Government it would exhibit for public comment. He said,
“On the contrary JMD suggest a specific range of 4-5 and 5-7 story footprints along with a small number of sites simply suggested in their words as suitable for ‘taller building’. It’s now up to the Councillors to decide if our coming draft local environmental plan (LEP) will be put on exhibition with any of these ideas incorporated. I personally am opposed to excessive high raise in the two centres.”
The winning entry proposes a number of exciting ideas for the town centres including:
- Widening the footpath on Anzac Parade to create the ‘People’s Boulevard’
- Six new urban centres and a civic space along Anzac Parade
- New parklands within walking distance from Anzac Parade
- Hundreds of large and small trees dotted along the corridor
- An open watercourse, revealing the hidden stream under Kensington
- Creating Racecourse Park, next to Royal Randwick