Apartments without parking sparks debate as Planning Minister includes Strathfield for proposed trials

Sydney Daily Telegraph's cartoon depiction of the planning proposal

Apartment buildings close to Strathfield Station and other transport hubs could be built without any parking under the state government’s proposed changes to apartment design guidelines.

Minister for Planning Pru Goward claims allowing no car spaces in new apartment buildings within 400 metres of a transport hub could make housing more affordable.

“A car space can add up to $50,000 to the cost of a new apartment, so providing more flexibility around car parking requirements could lead to savings of up to the same amount for homebuyers,” she said.

These measures will affect 22 councils across New South Wales including Strathfield, Burwood, Ashfield, Canada Bay and Auburn.

They come alongside Strathfield’s current Local Environment Plan which has been geared to house more people in taller apartments, changing the zoning of specific areas such as Underwood Road by Homebush station from medium to high density.

But critics warn that residents of apartments without car spaces could flood public car spaces.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph attacked the plans, running a cartoon of Ms Goward and Sydney Mayor Clover Moore under the heading: “Attack of the car eating women”.

Stephen Albin from the Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW said that the public transport system needs to be improved before apartments without car spaces should be built.

“Currently, apartments without parking are delivered in a niche market segment in Sydney as the public transport system doesn’t adequately meet people’s transport needs,” he said.

Damien Bitzios, Company Director from Bitzios Consulting who has recently completed a transport and mobility study into the Parramatta Road Corridor, agrees that any deduction in car space to apartment ratios which would reduce congestion in Strathfield will need to be part of a “suite of solutions,” including improved public transport.

Other proposed changes in the Ms Goward’s updates to the policy and apartment design guidelines include requiring that every new apartment has a balcony and access to a shared open space, a minimum size for studio apartments and greater noise protections.


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