High- rise school scrapped in exchange for even more units
PLANS to shoehorn a new school underneath a massive high-rise apartment block have been scrapped following a community outcry.
Instead, a new primary school in Sydney’s inner west will get its own site and take 1000 students instead of the original 600.
The Sunday Telegraph can also reveal that, in exchange for the larger school at Rhodes East, the state government will allow developer and majority landholder Billbergia to build another 600 units in Rhodes West.
When the precinct is finished, it will house a population greater than Bathurst.
While community members claim Rhodes East “will put Hong Kong to shame” and “destroy the area”, the Department of Planning is delighted.
“We are delivering what the community wants with more open space, including a 7800sq m new foreshore park, a promenade along the Parramatta River and greater walkability,” DoP deputy secretary of plan- ning and design Brett Whitworth said.
Drummoyne Liberal MP John Sidoti said that unlike Rhodes West, Rhodes East will get infrastructure before apartments: “There are a lot of people complaining about overdevelopment, but what people will get here will be quite different”.
The government is also con- sidering an offer of $360 million from Billbergia to fund an upgraded Rhodes train station, new school and open space.
Known as a Voluntary Planning Agreement, it is the biggest offered in NSW, according to Billbergia’s Rick Graf, who also promised extra jobs in the area.
The precinct plan will be on exhibition until February 2019.