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Frasers Property Australia has lodged a stage two development application for the first towers to be built at its $2.2-billion masterplanned development in Sydney’s Macquarie Park.

The developer and investor, a subsidiary of Singaporean property giant Frasers Property Limited, intends to build two towers and a collection of townhouses as the initial phase of its multi-staged project that it will roll out over 20 years.

Frasers is jointly developing the masterplan with Citta Property and housing provider Mission Housing Australia.

The 17-tower residential precinct, originally announced in mid 2017, had its approval process accelerated in April 2020 after qualifying as a State Significant Development.

The government had previously said it was fast-tracking assessment of stage one of the project to help lift the economy out of the Covid-triggered downturn.

Earlier this year, as part of the NSW budget announcement, the state government committed $20 million towards rezoning 12 strategic, major precincts in Sydney, including Macquarie Park.

The redevelopment, on the corner of Epping and Herring roads, is billed as the biggest social and affordable housing renewal project in Australia with 35 per cent of the residential units in the masterplan offered as subsidised housing.

The 8.2ha site has been split into 14 zoned building lots; three building lots on the north-western edge of the site, four along the north-eastern edge, three through the site’s centre and four fronting Epping Road.

The masterplan will be delivered at no extra cost to the state government.

According to recently submitted plans designed by Cox Architecture, Frasers intends to kick off its masterplan at the site’s eastern end adjacent to Shrimptons Creek.

It has unveiled plans for a 17-storey tower containing 216 social and affordable units, and a taller 24-storey tower offering 268 units which will be connected through a unified podium.

The first stage will also involve the delivery of four three-storey townhouses and a central courtyard, designed by Hassell, above three basement levels of car parking.

As well as residential towers, Frasers is planning a number of mixed use builds throughout the later stages of the masterplan.

The development will incorporate a 1.5 megawatt photovoltaic system to reduce electricity peak demands, high efficiency centralised hot water, smart metering technology and minimised use of on-site gas to deliver reduced utility costs to residents.

There will also be a focus on use of recycled materials and waste minimisation through construction.

Mission Australia will also have staffed offices on-site to assist in the delivery of support services and programs to strengthen the local community.

The estate forms part of state’s $22-billion Communities Plus program to increase social housing.

Other major sites include Waterloo, Arncliffe, Telopea and Riverwood.

The program, offers the chance for developers and investors to deliver 40,000 private housing units, 500 affordable housing dwellings and 23,000 new and replacement social housing units.

With Sydney’s housing affordability in a crisis and house prices out of reach for average homebuyers at $1.3 million, the development would be welcome relief.

The average Australian household spent 14 per cent of its income on housing in 2017-18 according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

But those on the lowest 40 per cent of incomes in private accommodation paid on average 32 per cent of their income for their homes, which puts them well into financial housing stress.

NHFIC estimates that 700,000 new social housing units are needed and can be developed over the next 20 years.

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