Social infrastructure and open space assessment, and Affordable Housing Strategy

Client:Roberts Day
Location:Rhodes East

Rhodes East is one of a number of precincts within the Sydney metropolitan area designated for housing densification around transport hubs.

Elton Consulting was engaged to prepare a social infrastructure and open space assessment, and an Affordable Housing Strategy to support rezoning for high density, medium scale development.

The study considered the facilities and services that will be needed to support an additional 3,700 dwellings and around 8,500 new residents within the area. It examines the existing policy and planning context, as well as characteristics of the existing population and those of Rhodes West which has seen rapid growth and change over the past 10 years. It also examined existing human services, community and recreational facilities, and open space, and their capacity to absorb demand likely to be generated by future residents.

The analysis suggests a range of social infrastructure should be provided to meet the future population needs, including an expanded multi-purpose community centre, a new primary school, privately operated childcare centres, convenience retail and specialty commercial venues where people can meet, eat, drink and relax, and local medical centres.

There were important challenges in providing open space, including fragmented land ownership, large areas of good quality open space within close proximity and high costs of acquiring new open space. The Structure Plan counters these by creating new walkways and connections, linking local areas with the harbour and parks, embellishing existing open space and creating a high quality public domain.

Elton Consulting also provided advice on the appropriate way to include affordable housing within the Structure Plan, including the proportion of affordable housing that should be included. Elton Consulting worked with the study team to identify the need for affordable housing, proposed mechanisms for its delivery and to review the feasibility of using a mandatory affordable housing contribution. Recommendations included establishing a mandatory affordable housing contribution of five percent and streamlined administrative arrangements to manage the portfolio.