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IPC consents to $80 million revamp of Westmead education campus

Posted: 14.02.2022

The state’s Independent Planning Commission has signed-off on plans for a multimillion-dollar ‘vertical’ primary school in Sydney’s west.

The Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (the Applicant) sought development consent for a major redevelopment of its 12-hectare Westmead Catholic Community Education Campus on Darcy Road, Westmead.

Under the $80-million plans, a new six-storey ‘vertical’ primary school building, new early learning centre with 200 spaces and 400-seat church would be constructed, while other existing buildings would be modified. The primary school has also sought a staged increase in total student numbers to 1680 (+ 1260) by 2033.

An assessment undertaken by the Department of Planning & Environment on behalf of the NSW Government found in December last year that the proposal could be accommodated subject to its recommended conditions of consent.

The state significant development application came to the Commission for determination because City of Parramatta Council objected to the proposal due to a lack of pedestrian access and connectivity.

Commissioners Peter Duncan AM (Panel Chair) and Juliet Grant were appointed to consider the SSD application and make a final decision. The Commissioners met with the Applicant, Department, Council and Transport for NSW and inspected the site and surrounding area as part of their decision-making process.

They also accepted written public submissions on the proposal which raised concerns primarily relating to drop-off / pick-up infrastructure and pedestrian safety.

After careful consideration of all the evidence, the Commission has today (Monday 14 February 2022) determined to grant development consent to the SSD application, subject to conditions. 

In reaching its decision, the Commission found:

The Commission concluded it is reasonable to require through-site pedestrian access in the future as part of the staged delivery of the Master Plan.

“While the Commission is of the view that additional connectivity through the Westmead precinct would be beneficial for the local community, it also acknowledges the Applicant’s significant responsibility to ensure student safety,” its Statement of Reasons for Decisions reads.

“The Commission finds the Applicant’s objection to allowing public access through the Site is justified at the current time.”

The Commission has also imposed conditions to provide open space access for the local community groups and improved transport and traffic outcomes.

The Commission’s Statement of Reasons for Decision is available here: https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/projects/2021/12/westmead-catholic-community-education-campus-ssd-10383

 
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