Land of opportunity

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Vacant land in Batt Street

Ever wondered what is going on with those large blocks of land around Penrith that sit there, empty and unused?

To move away from Penrith’s rural, slow-moving past toward a prosperous future, Penrith Council and private owners plan to take advantage of the millions of dollars worth of land that are currently unoccupied and undeveloped.

While we now know the future of the vacant land surrounding The Coffee Club in Tench Avenue, our focus has turned to several remaining sites in Penrith that could provide huge economic opportunities to the area.

So what is happening with these key sites in our local area that are still sitting vacant?

The huge central site bordered by Station Street, Jamison Road and Woodriff Street is vacant, but is currently subject to a planning proposal.

The 'Parkview' site
The ‘Parkview’ site

Deputy Mayor Ross Fowler said the privately owned land, known as the Parkview Site, is very close to finally providing brand new apartment living.

“There’s an existing planning consent that’s being modified to suit the proposed changed development, which will predominately be apartments,” he said.

Penrith Council said the land is already zoned as R4 High Density Residential, and the current planning proposal is to increase the permitted maximum building height.

As part of the proposal, the proponents submitted a draft masterplan of their vision for the site, which includes up to 1,500 residential apartments.

The abandoned golf driving range on the corner of Jamison Road and Blaikie Road is also privately owned, and although it’s zoned RU4 Primary Production Small Lots, Penrith Council has no knowledge of any plans for the site.

Cr Fowler said there is a great deal of undeveloped land along Blaikie Road, but there is little opportunity for development along it.

“A lot of Blaikie Road is flood prone,” he said.

“The Coffee Club sits above the one in 100 year flood level, but as you come further back toward Mulgoa Road it drops back. Development there will be fairly restricted.”

The large block of land on Mulgoa Road just south of the Great Western Highway intersection, known as the Carpenters Site is zoned RE1 Public Recreation and SP3 Tourist.

Land on Mulgoa Road
Land on Mulgoa Road

The land is owned by Penrith Council, and is identified as an ‘Opportunity Site’ as part of their Community, Culture and Civic Precinct.

As outlined in Council’s Invitation to Partner, opportunities at this site include a conference venue, space for cultural activities, hotels or visitor accommodation, restaurants, bar and cafes, a gallery and museum or even a lagoon or urban beach.

Council is currently taking planning proposals for the area from investors.

In the highly sought after industrial area along Mulgoa Road, there is one large L-shaped block that bends around the back of a 7-Eleven service station, with more street frontage on Batt Street.

Penrith Council has confirmed that the privately owned prime industrial site is on its way to being used for local business, with consent issued in May last year for the construction of two separate industrial buildings and car parking.

The site will only be able to be accessed via Batt Street though, and will feature a turning circle on the site.

“They can develop that land, but they can’t have access to it off Mulgoa Road, but there is access allowed to Batt Street,” Cr Fowler said.

A large empty block along the Great Western Highway at Kingswood has had its future decided, after Penrith Council approved an eight storey apartment building with 50 units.

The privately-owned site is opposite Kingswood Station, and adjacent to several businesses, and as it is zoned B4 Mixed Use has the potential to integrate residential, business, retail and office spaces.

Penrith Council is also assessing a planning proposal for the Sinclair Hyundai site at High Street and Union Road for mixed use development.

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