“The last piece of the Blackwattle Bay puzzle”: NSW Government to add 300 new homes

“The last piece of the Blackwattle Bay puzzle”: NSW Government to add 300 new homes
Image: Blackwattle Bay. Image: Infrastructure NSW

In what will be “the last piece of the Blackwattle Bay puzzle”, the NSW Government is proposing to alter planning controls at the Sydney Fish Market to add 300 new homes to the area.

If approved, the proposal will see the new residential properties replace some commercial development that had been planned for the site, which currently sees an equal split between residential and commercial. The new proposal would alter the land-use controls to allow 70 percent residential and 30 percent commercial.

Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said the NSW Government is focused on delivering housing and building communities.

“Blackwattle Bay will provide much-needed housing supply, while unlocking the economic and social potential of the area and creating thousands of jobs,” he said.

“Once complete, the precinct will be connected to a range of local public transport options, public open space and the iconic new Sydney Fish Market which is expected to welcome over 6 million visitors per year.”

The announcement comes as an effort to tackle the housing crisis, but some are questioning whether local infrastructure would be able to support the injection of 300 new units.

More housing won’t fix the housing crisis 

Member for Balmain Kobi Shetty said the construction of the new homes would have a “negligible impact” on the current housing crisis.

“While supply plays a part, the government needs to ensure that people can actually afford to live in some of these new homes,” she told City Hub. “This plan will do nothing to help those who are currently struggling to pay their rent or buy a home.”

Speaking about the impact on locals, she said, “Local residents are rightly concerned about the potential impact of another 300 residential units on local amenity, including traffic congestion and parking, with over 6 million visitors per year expected to visit the new Sydney Fish Market nearby.”

“We need to ensure that any increased density for residential is met with a significant investment in public infrastructure including world class public transport, as well as proper funding for local schools and hospitals,” she continued.

The injection of 300 new homes would see a significant increase in the demand for parks, she said, reiterating calls for Wentworth Park to cease its use as a greyhound racetrack and be returned to the community.

City Hub has previously reported on locals’ opposition to development plans in Blackwattle Bay and the Sydney Fish Market.

A previous government plan to build 1150 residential apartments and high-rise towers of 45 storeys garnered significant backlash, with community members saying the height would overshadow the bay and would neither complement nor enhance the area.

In an opinion piece by Dr Hannah Middleton, she said the plans would “create an alienating concrete jungle” and that the high-rise developments would “destroy any chance to rejuvenate the Blackwattle Bay Precinct and create spaces that sit well with our quality of life.”

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