Housing and education projects accelerated through planning assessment


A major redevelopment of a historic public school by Sydney Harbour Bridge will have its planning assessment fast-tracked as part of the New South Wales government’s sixth tranche of accelerated projects.

The latest fast-track announcement includes 11 projects across the housing, student accommodation, education and hotel sectors, together worth $527 million.

The upgrade to Fort Street Public School in Millers Point will include the refurbishment of the heritage school buildings, the Bureau of Meteorology Building and Messenger’s Cottage. It will also include a number of new buildings, increasing the school’s capacity from 220 to up to 550 students.

Architect FJMT describes the proposal as “a true campus of connected places.”

“The buildings sit within a careful considered landscape providing a series of interconnected courtyards and interstitial spaces, external spaces of the campus are as important as the internal spaces, forming a network of experiences for the students,” state the architects.

Fort Street Public School was established in 1849, making it one of the oldest government schools in Australia. FJMT’s redevelopment of the campus will cost an estimated $53.9 million.

Weehur Redfern Student Housing by Allen Jack and Cottier Architects.

Also getting fast-tracked is a $62.3 million 18-storey student accommodation development designed by Allen Jack and Cottier Architects, which will provide 488 student accommodation rooms for the University of Sydney. “Weehur Redfern Student Housing is designed to be a high quality managed student residence which provides for the expressed need for affordable housing for students, both domestic and international, within the vicinity of the urban campuses of central Sydney,” notes Allen Jack and Cottier in a design statement. “The proposal aims to revitalise and enhance the urban and social context of the site to the benefit of both the students and the wider Redfern community acknowledging at all times the importance of Redfern to the indigenous community.”

Monte Scientia building by Hayball.

Monte Scientia building by Hayball.

Over at Monte Saint Angelo School, the $49 million Monte Scientia Project will have its assessment fast-tracked. The scheme includes a new four-storey sports and science building designed by Hayball and a landscaped open space designed by Spackman Mossop Michaels.

The building’s design references the historic character of the college, founded in 1875, and in particular the Chapel Building and Mercy Hall. “The typical composition of existing built form on Monte campus has two clear components: a strong base, typically built from masonry with thick proportions and grounded volumes [and] a sculptural skyline element which sits on top of the base,” write the Hayball architects in planning documents.

“The proposed Scientia building adapts these heritage concepts in a modern composition of base and raised volume.”

Then there’s a planning proposal for 55 Aird Street, Parramatta for a hotel, which would deliver approximately 155 hotel rooms. Aleksandar Design Group has preared designs for the proposed 33-storey hotel tower.

Rounding out the 11 fast-tracked projects are a number of rezoning proposals that will pave the way for more housing, a reimagining of Oran Park Town Centre in Camden, and the duplication
of the Port Kembla lateral pipeline, at a cost of $51 million.

“If approved, these 11 projects will mean that we’ve fast-tracked determinations of more than 100 projects since the accelerated program began in April,” said planning minister Rob Stokes.

Decisions will be made on tranche six projects by 9 October.



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