The last major alignment decision for stage two of the Sydney Metro line has been made, with an alignment under Waterloo chosen ahead of an alternate option under Sydney University.
Waterloo is the 31st station chosen for the Sydney Metro line, after the state government heard from community and business representatives over the past month to consider options for the line between Central and the existing train line at Sydenham.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said the government would look to develop a value capture around Waterloo station to be reserved for the Metro project and associated infrastructure, under a similar model to that recently proposed for the Parramatta Light Rail project.
“The metro station creates the opportunity to transform Waterloo and make it a better place to live for future and existing residents, many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable people in NSW,” Baird said.
As part of the station’s construction the government’s plan is to replace and renew the “ageing” Waterloo social housing estate, with a mix of private, affordable and social housing.
The government says there will be no loss of social housing from the current figure of 2000 dwellings as a result of the project.
While some residents may need to move into other housing in the local area during redevelopment, the government said many will be able to relocate into new social housing on the estate as the renewal progresses.
“Waterloo Station will help bring new jobs to the area as well as providing a direct public transport link to employment hubs at Barangaroo and Martin Place,” Baird explained.
“Sydney Metro is a game-changer for our city,” transport and infrastructure minister Andrew Constance added. “The station at Waterloo will make this rapidly growing part of Sydney more accessible and take pressure off Redfern and Green Square stations.”
Planning minister Rob Stokes said: “Waterloo metro station will be the catalyst for the delivery of an additional 10,000 homes and thousands of new jobs in the precinct for families who live in the area.”
Social housing minister Brad Hazzard said the community will be consulted about the future of the neighbourhood to help prepare more detailed precinct plans with new parks, homes and community facilities.
“The metro station will transform the Waterloo housing estate for the better, building a dynamic community with better amenity, better homes, better facilities, fantastic transport and more jobs,” Hazzard said.
“I can assure Waterloo tenants that if they want to remain in Waterloo after the redevelopment, they can do so.”
An Environmental Impact Statement for the station development is expected by mid-2016. The government is planning to stage the area’s renewal progress over a 15-20 year period, with the first relocations not expected until midway-through 2017.
Sydney Metro is a 75km rail project.
The first stage of the project, known as Sydney Metro Northwest, is already under construction, with a new metro under construction from Rouse Hill to Epping. The existing line between Epping and Chatswood will be converted to metro standard, to create ‘stage one’ of the project between Rouse Hill and Chatswood.
Announced more recently, the second stage of the project – Sydney Metro City & Southwest – will see the line extended from Chatswood, through North Sydney and under the harbour to the CBD. It will continue under the city at several new stops, to re-join the existing rail line at Sydenham. The line between Sydenham and Redfern would then also be converted to metro standard, to create the full Sydney Metro line, from Rouse Hill to Bankstown.
The final major alignment decision was whether to run the line from Central to Sydenham on a western curve under the University of Sydney, or to run it on an eastern curve under Waterloo.
With Waterloo the chosen alignment, the government said it will look into improving public transport at the University of Sydney, through significant upgrades to Redfern Station and improved pedestrian connectivity through Redfern and Darlington.