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This theme reports on the environmental considerations applicable to strategic planning, land use, the provision of open space, contaminated land, development and the built environment.


The Leichhardt LGA covers an area of 10.55 sq. km (1,055 hectares) in Sydney’s inner west, with a population of 56,307. Population growth per annum averaged 1.0% between 2002 and 2012. Urbanisation, development and increasing population density has impacted pre-settlement land use and severely limited available remnant bushland vegetation.

In 2011-2012, the provision of open public space increased for the first time since 2008, to 2 hectares per 1,000 residents. The availability of public space within Callan Park and Ballast Point Park has improved this ratio in 2012-2013. Public open space as a percentage of total land area in the LGA increased in 2012-2013 from below 9% to around 12.5%. Relative development pressure, measured by the number of Development Applications (DAs) received, declined in 2012-2013 from the prior year, and residential land use declined to 61.21% as a proportion of total LGA land area.

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New Developer Contribution Plans (s.94 Plans)

Developer Contribution Plans are funding mechanisms set out under Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) that allow Council to levy funds from developers to build extra public amenities and purchase additional public space required as a result of the development. Council is preparing a new consolidated Developer Contributions Plan (s.94 Plan) to replace the three Developer Contribution Plans currently in place.

Work has commenced on creating a “works schedule” for the new plan. Council’s existing developer contribution plans, relevant studies and strategies (e.g. Recreation Needs study, Bicycle Strategy, draft RDS and demographic profile) will be reviewed and potential works identified. Further land to be acquired by Council will also be identified during the preparation of the new plan.

Land Acquisition for Open Space

Council will continue its strategy to acquire land for public open space and other public purposes. Land identified for acquisition – whether that be new land or land already identified but not purchased – will be mapped in Council’s new comprehensive LEP and listed in the works schedule of the new developer contributions plan.

Callan Park

callan-park-soeA draft Master Plan has been prepared for the Callan Park site pursuant to the provisions of the Callan Park Act and State Environmental Planning Policy No. 56. The Draft Master Plan was endorsed by Council in July 2011 and has now been presented to the Minister for Planning for approval.

New Park Plans of Management

Balmain East Foreshore Park Plan of Management, February 2013:
This Plan of Management has been developed to guide Council and the community in the future development, maintenance and management of foreshore reserves under its care, control and management within East Balmain, including Lookes Avenue Reserve, Thornton Park, Illoura Reserve and Peacock Point.

King George Park Draft Plan of Management:
King George Park, Rozelle, is a fantastic foreshore park located next to the Iron Cove Bridge. The 'Bay Run' curves past the outside of the sporting ground and follows the harbour. The draft Plan of Management was prepared in 2012-13, awaiting Crown Lands Office review.

Public Recreation, Open Space & Foreshore Access

Callan and Ballast Point Parks:Ongoing community access to areas of open space in Callan Park (45 hectares) and Ballast Point Park (2.6 hectares) in 2012-2013 has increased the ratio of open space to 2.36 ha/1000 residents.

New Public Amenities – Playgrounds, Exercise Equipment & Toilets

Spindlers Park, Taylor Street North, Playground Refurbishment: In Spindlers Park, there is a children's playground, cricket pitch and small grassed area with trees. A new children’s playground was established at the park in 2012-13.

Lambert Park Playground Upgrade, Marion Street, Leichhardt: Lambert Park Playground is located adjacent the Lambert Park sports fields at the corner of Foster and Marion Streets, Leichhardt. The upgraded playground, including new landscaping, equipment and surfaces, was opened in August 2012.

Gray Street Playground Refurbishment, Gray Street Reserve, Annandale: The children’s playground upgrade at Gray Street Reserve Park in Annandale was commenced in 2012-13, with proposed new landscaping, equipment, signage, fencing and surfaces.

rozelle-square-soeRozelle Square Elevated Boardwalk, Rozelle Public School: A new elevated boardwalk, public square and seating located in the shaded open space fronting Rozelle Public School, was completed in early 2013.

Ternen Street Boardwalk, Balmain: A new boardwalk in Ternen Street, Balmain, commenced in 2012-13, anticipated for completion in late 2013.

Arguimbau Pocket Park, Annandale, Playground Refurbishment: The children’s playground at Arguimbau Park in Annandale was upgraded in 2012-13, with new landscaping, playground equipment, seating, signage and surfaces.

seniors-playground-soeBay Run Seniors Playground & Exercise Equipment: The Bay Run travels approximately 7 km around the shores of the Iron Cove Bay and is one of the most popular harbour side tracks in Sydney. A new dedicated seniors playground, constructed in 2012-13, is now located in Leichhardt Park, below the Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre.

Gladstone Park, Balmain, Sandstone Steps & Disabled Access: Gladstone Park is a popular park for passive and active activities in Balmain. The heritage sandstone steps were refurbished, and new accessibility ramps were completed in late 2012.

Foreshore Access Maintenance & Upgrades – Sea Walls

Leichhardt Park Sea Wall Repairs:
The repair of the sea wall in Leichhardt Park, between Lilyfield Road and Glover Street, went to tender in the reporting period, with construction commencing in the latter half of 2013.

Symonds Point Sea Wall Repairs:
The repair of the sea wall at Symonds Point commenced in 2012-13. The concrete and sandstone structure will be completed in 2013.

Bridge Upgrades

Whites Creek Pedestrian Bridge (downstream) reconstruction and widening was planned and designed in 2012-13 for construction in 2013-14.

Moore Street Bridge Leichhardt reconstruction and remediation was planned and designed in 2012-13 with ongoing design development and remediation works to occur in 2013-14.

Companion Animal Access to Open Space Strategy Review

The Leichhardt and Birchgrove wards of the Companion Animal Access to Open Space Strategy were adopted in 2012-13. The remaining wards are currently being exhibited for adoption in 2013-14.

New Sporting Facilities & Upgrades

Leichhardt Oval No.3, adjacent the Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre and along the popular Bay Run, was upgraded in 2012-2013 with new turf, irrigation and stormwater drainage.

2-8 Weston Street (Fenwick’s Stone Building & Park) Project

The 2-8 Weston Street site represents a significant investment in community open space. Local residents and visitors to East Balmain will benefit from the new open spaces, improved green space, views across Darling Harbour and foreshore access. The heritage listed Fenwick’s Stone building was restored internally and externally, and the new parkland opened in August 2012.

Community Gardens

Community gardens play an important role in educating the community about biodiversity, urban food production and sustainable living, as well as providing a locus for socialisation and community well-being. In 2012-2013 the existing Whites Creek Community Garden in Annandale, one of four existing gardens in the LGA, was expanded to incorporate the vacant lot at 25 White Street. The opening of the new Punch Park Community Garden is anticipated in 2013-14.

Street Tree Planting

Trees and their understorey provide shade, biodiversity habitat, sequester carbon, stabilise soils and mitigate the urban heat island. Council continues to plant street trees under its Urban Forest Policy (2007), planting 180 trees in 2012-13.