The Urban Taskforce says the draft master plan by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) will need more flexibility to respond to the proposed Metro West rail station in the precinct.

According to Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson, SOPA’s original master plan from last year shifted the Olympic Park’s sporting focus to support a well-rounded, bustling urban precinct. However, the NSW Government subsequently announced a new Metro West rail that would have a station at Olympic Park. This is expected to lead to more robust development for the precinct, and Urban Taskforce does not believe the original plan accommodates this.

Many submissions were also made to the plan by stakeholders and leaseholders of land in the Olympic precinct. Several of these submissions included their own, modified designs to the SOPA plan with much greater variety and greater height (some of which were up to 95 storeys).

Johnson observed that this was another reason for calling for more flexibility to the plan, as the diversified range of proposals from the private sector needed to be blended with the government’s own plan. Johnson says that by setting a flexible framework that stimulates private sector responses and adds innovation and market reality to the centre, the government can achieve a truly dynamic town centre.

Urban Taskforce has developed an ‘Urban Ideas’ publication that demonstrates what a private-public blended master plan would look like. The publication outlines ten principles that need to be taken into account when amending the master plan, and also highlights some of the more innovative proposals from the private sector.

The Urban Ideas publication is available to view online, as are the SOPA Master Plan and stakeholder submissions.

Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group that represents Australia’s most prominent property developers and equity financiers.