Billbergia unveils updated plans for final stage of Wentworth Point

23 November 2023

Leading developer Billbergia has unveiled updated plans for its highly anticipated Bennelong Cove project, the final stage of the award-winning 11-hectare master-planned community at Wentworth Point in Sydney’s inner-west.

After years of strategic planning, a two-stage international design competition and on-going community consultation, an updated scheme by high-profile architects FJC Studio has been submitted for public exhibition by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Comprising two residential towers of 40 storeys, the proposed development will deliver around 900 apartments critically needed as greater Sydney continues to face an on-going shortage in new housing supply.

The proposal also incorporates a waterfront promenade with amphitheatre, restaurants, cafes and a registered club and pub to activate the foreshore promenade with a major new park in the heart of the town centre. It’s accompanied by $70 million in new community and social infrastructure, under a Voluntary Planning Agreement submitted to City of Parramatta Council.

Subject to Council approval, Billbergia has committed to new community infrastructure including a $36 million multi-purpose indoor sports and recreation centre, with outdoor courts, a 16,000 square metre park and foreshore promenade with picnic areas, play spaces and exercise areas, and a Council-owned 90-place child care centre.

Billbergia has also committed to a second privately operated 90-place childcare centre and continued funding to operate the widely popular free Baylink shuttle bus service that connects residents to Rhodes station. Boasting more than 14,000 weekly passenger trips, the bus service has recently been upgraded to fully electric vehicles would operate under the agreement until the anticipated delivery of the Parramatta Light Rail in 2031.

The new proposed scheme is based on feedback from both Council and the community.

“We’ve collaborated with the architects and an independent design excellence jury to address feedback on the earlier scheme. As a result, residential buildings are set back further from the water and have been reduced in height consistent with the nearby Sekisui Sanctuary development,” said Saul Moran, Development Director of Planning and Design at Billbergia.

“Billbergia has been involved in the Wentworth Point community for more than 15 years. In that time we’ve seen the transformation of the suburb from an underutilised former industrial site in 2008, to the thriving residential community it is today. Bennelong Cove is the critical final stage that will see the entire waterfront promenade activated and provide enhanced community infrastructure alongside the delivery of critically-needed new housing supply,” he said.

According to Moran, Billbergia has placed strong emphasis on place-making and resident amenity in addition to delivering the necessary infrastructure for the growing suburb.

Billbergia supports a wide range of community events including regular outdoor markets, pop-up entertainment events with food trucks, after school sports events, fun pet-owner events and an annual all-inclusive Bennelong Bridge community run.

“Community feedback has shown us that more social and sporting infrastructure is also high on residents’ wish lists, revealing the value they place on waterfront access. We see the delivery of an activated foreshore promenade with greater open space and new leisure facilities as critical to this,” said Mr. Moran.

Wentworth Point boasts an idyllic peninsula location, surrounded by water and parklands and is accessible via Hill Road and Bennelong Parkway. Additional access is provided by the privately funded active transport Bennelong Bridge to Rhodes Station, and other transport options including a ferry wharf, and the future Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2, committed to by the Minns Labor Government.

The fast-growing community has been supported by significant public and private sector investment in community infrastructure resulting in the delivery of a primary school with a high school currently under construction, as well as a Community Centre and Library facility. In addition to new transport infrastructure, a medical centre and a super neighbourhood shopping centre have also been delivered for the Wentworth Point community,

Wentworth Point was first rezoned for residential use in 2004 and declared a Priority Precinct in 2014. During this time it has rapidly grown to an estimated population of 14,500 people.

A PWC analysis estimates that local homeowners are benefiting to the tune of $1.23 billion in financial value attributed to the delivery of infrastructure, that has either been delivered or planned for Wentworth Point in the 15 years between 2015-31.

McCrindle’s 2023 Liveability Index also ranked Wentworth Point – Sydney Olympic Park as Sydney’s 3rd most liveable suburb. Based on the most recent Census data, the comprehensive study investigated and assessed the liveability of 359 suburbs in Sydney, developing and applying a metrics to measure four key pillars – community, employability, amenity, and affordability.

It revealed that Wentworth Point is significantly more affordable than other locations that rank high on the liveability scale given their amenity and connectivity to public transport – such as Bondi Junction-Waverley.

Residents have a high level of connectivity to employment, education, and amenities through Wentworth Point’s active transport options and public transport infrastructure including bus, ferry and heavy rail at Rhodes connected by free shuttle buses.

Testimony to the success of transport-oriented residential development, despite Wentworth Point – Sydney Olympic Park residents having an average of 1.2 motor vehicles per dwelling, the vast majority of these residents don’t commute by car, but travel to work each day on active and public transport.

The Liveability Index rated Wentworth Point’s community and employability among the highest of all suburbs.

“Wentworth Point is a nationally-awarded showcase in urban regeneration and transport-oriented development. Our growing community is diverse and engaged, living in an affordable lifestyle precinct with easy access to retail, dining, education, health, sporting, and public transport,” Mr. Moran said.

Exhibition of the planning amendments to enable the Bennelong Cove development are on exhibition by NSW Department of Planning & Environment (DPE) from 21 November 2023.

A separate exhibition of the planning agreement for $70 million in community infrastructure is expected to be placed on Public Exhibition by City of Parramatta in early 2024.