Developer throws major curve ball at Penrith Stadium refurbishment plan

The land in question at 164 Station Street, with Penrith Stadium in the background. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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There’s been a dramatic twist in the redevelopment of Penrith Stadium with revelations that Infrastructure NSW failed to discuss the plans with one of its closest future neighbours.

In a stunning 18-page letter responding to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the stadium development, the owners of the currently vacant land at 164 Station Street – which also borders Jamison Road and Woodriff Street – say they were not consulted about the stadium plans.

The letter, which objects to the development and hints at potential legal action, was submitted by Tomasy Planning on behalf of SHMH4 Pty Ltd, a Chinese-backed company that has plans to develop 78,000sqm of land into housing.

“Our client has never, at any stage, been consulted by the applicants or their appointed consultants regarding the subject proposal,” the letter penned by Tomasy Planning Principal, Denis Smith, said.

An artist’s impression of the potential Station Street development from 2019.

“One cannot dispute that they are indeed a key stakeholder in this whole exercise and the failure of the applicant and their appointed consultant team to consult with the main landowner directly opposite the site of redevelopment is despicable.”

The letter states: “Based upon our review of the EIS and supporting documentation it is evident that this development will have adverse impacts upon the development of our client’s site by way of overshadowing, noise impacts, construction management and lighting.”

The development of housing at 164 Station Street has been a long, painstaking process – and a Development Application has yet to be filed. However, Penrith City Council is aware of the plans.

The land has sat vacant for decades and the adjacent Panasonic factory, which forms part of the development plans, closed almost 20 years ago. SHMH4 purchased the site in 2015.

A render of the new-look stadium, with the vacant land to the right.

Tomasy claims the redeveloped eastern grandstand will have an adverse impact on many of its future residents.

“A substantial component of the residential apartments which face to the west will be overshadowed by the eastern grandstand after 2.00 to 3.00pm on a daily basis,” the letter said.

“This is considered to be an adverse impact on the solar access to a substantial number of residential apartments and is totally unacceptable and could lead to a significant devaluation of the properties which will be deprived of the western sun which is a valuable source of solar access to the future occupants of this development.”

Serious noise concerns have also been raised, with Tomasy’s letter arguing impacts on future residents of its apartments were not considered in the EIS.

The old Panasonic main office in Penrith forms part of the site on Station Street.

Tomasy Planning has also raised concerns of a potential conflict of interest, in that Ethos Urban prepared the EIS for the Penrith Stadium project. Ethos Urban was also the principal planner for SHMH4 Pty Ltd’s proposed development, however it is understood they are no longer involved.

“It is evident that Ethos Urban was clearly aware that 164 Station Street had been identified by Council and the Government as a key site for redevelopment for a major high rise housing development,” Smith said.

“In the section under Community Consultation, there is no reference to anyone consulting the owners of 164 Station Street, notwithstanding they are the largest landholder immediately opposite the stadium site. They consulted everyone else. Our client’s representatives and office are based in Waterloo, and they have no records of any discussions with Ethos Urban on the Penrith Stadium project.”

Tomasy Planning’s letter claims there has been “major oversight” in preparation of the stadium EIS.

An artist's impression of the new-look Penrith Stadium.
An artist’s impression of the new-look Penrith Stadium.

“It is not only mis-leading, but it is deceptive for the authors of the EIS for the Penrith Stadium refurbishment to fail to consult our client and their principal planner, who is employed by the same company that has prepared the EIS. Ethos Urban is fully aware of the status of the redevelopment of 164 Station Street, Penrith,” Smith said.

Tomasy Planning is demanding a new EIS be prepared for the stadium project.

If that were to happen, there would be significant delays to the refurbishment, which is scheduled to take place after this year’s NRL season.

“A new EIS would give serious consideration to the residential development proposed for our client’s land and assess any adverse impacts that could be generated as a direct result of the proposed Penrith Stadium refurbishment,” the submission said.

The current stadium. Photo: NRL Images.

The Weekender can confirm that Infrastructure NSW will now meet with the owners of 164 Station Street, following their submission.

“Infrastructure NSW has continued to engage with the community and stakeholders, since the NSW Government announced its commitment to redevelop Penrith Stadium in December 2021,” a spokesperson said.

“Infrastructure NSW will meet with the owner of the land at 164 Station Street, and any feedback will be considered and responded to in the Response to Submissions Report, which will be made publicly available.”

The Weekender understands Infrastructure NSW does not believe there is any conflict of interest in respect to Ethos Urban.

Ethos Urban was contacted for comment.

Troy Dodds

Troy Dodds is the Weekender's Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia's leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.

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