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UTS Ku-ring-gai Campus

STEP EucalyptForestFor the last 25 years, STEP has been involved with the conservation of urban bushland at the University of Technology Sydney (Ku-ring-gai Campus) at Lindfield. Click here for some history of the site.

In 2003, UTS announced its intention to cease using the site as a university and, in conjunction with CRI Australia, to seek rezoning for a residential development on the site of approximately 560 buildings. Ku-ring-gai Council refused the rezoning and the NSW Government took the issue out of Council’s hands. On 14 June 2007, Frank Sartor registered the proposal as significant and pursuant to Schedule 1 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Projects) 2005 and is thus declared as to be a project to which Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 applies.

STEP's Position

STEP joined a committee, the Community Reference Group (CRG) which immediately expressed very serious concerns on numerous grounds. Although the CRG strongly opposed the proposal, UTS and the Government were able to say that the community had been consulted. The whole procedure, STEP’s position and the issues involved were summarised in STEP Matters (Issue 140, July 2007). Click here for a copy of our submission to the Department of Planning.

The Minister for Planning issued a determination on 11 June 2008. This approval entrenched the preferred project report submitted by consultants for UTS.

We shall lose a university and some bushland and gain dense housing in a precinct with high fire risk and poor road access. However over 9 hectares (22.6 acres) of bushland is to be transferred to National Parks (Department of Environment and Climate Change). In addition, the community input succeeded in winning some improvements including a reduction in the number of dwellings approved for the site, the retention of a full-sized oval for community use and in retaining heritage buildings on the site. The bushland and oval areas are shown below.

The land has now been advertised for sale and we can expect that, in due course, the new owner will submit building applications to Ku-ring-gai Council under the new zoning. At that time we, and the community generally, can make comment and representations in the normal way. Important matters include the treatment of stormwater that will destroy the bushland below the site if not adequately dealt with, the size and locations of fire asset protection zones and the treatment of bushland on the site but not ceded to National Parks.