Fairwater Estate

  • Fairwater Estate
    Young residents cycle along the pathway.
  • Fairwater Estate
    Hosuign features a variety of options including including free standing homes, attached terraces, and town homes.
  • Fairwater Estate
    Water features and mature trees provide respite urban heat during the warm summer months.
  • Fairwater Estate
    Ample public open space, seating and mature trees give Fairwater a strong sense of place.
Introduction

Fairwater is a master planned residential community, developed by Frasers Property Australia on the site of the former Ashlar Golf Course, located 1-2 kilometres from Blacktown CBD. The development was designed in response to the demand for residential housing in Western Sydney. When complete in 2019, Fairwater Estate will contain around 1,000 dwellings, including free standing homes, attached terraces, and town homes. The 38.5-hectare site will incorporate approximately 9 hectares of landscaped parks and gardens, lakes, ponds, a learn-to-ride bike track, play areas for growing families and connected movement networks, including footpaths and cycle paths.

Description of project

Through a successful planning proposal that rezoned the former golf course into a General Residential (R1) zone, and through partnering with Blacktown Council to develop a site-specific Development Control Plan, Fairwater illustrates how density can be done well. This is through providing a range of architecturally designed, medium density dwellings, underpinned by a sound urban design framework and supported by a vibrant community development plan. The Fairwater development delivers free standing homes, attached terraces, and town homes and in Torrens and Community title. The mix has been designed to offer a variety of accommodation to suit a range of residents’ budget and space requirements. The estate aims to deliver a safe, accessible and culturally rich community that encourages healthy and active lifestyles with great amenity, activity and diversity.

As the Sydney housing market moves into a denser urban form, Fairwater’s masterplan is built on principles attempting to achieve a balance between density and amenity.  The design includes streets and footpaths that connect and encourage people to visit public open space, retention of mature existing vegetation, the respect for the site’s topography, and the considered design of each dwelling. The Masterplan includes over 9 hectares of public open space including parks, lakes, wetlands and a network of connected walking tracks and cycle ways to support healthy and active lifestyles. The estate is a medium density development, with between 25 and 44 dwellings per hectare. Distribution of density and building typologies have been determined based on interfaces to public open space, retained trees, earthworks, hydrology, the railway line, existing movement networks and potential bus routes.

Fairwater is located less than 1 kilometre from Blacktown CBD, which offers a large shopping centre, employment opportunities, a transport interchange and easy access via motorways or public transport to Sydney CBD, Parramatta and Norwest Business Park, as well as schools, hospitals, and entertainment options.

As of September 2017, Fairwater is 40% occupied/or built and is scheduled for completion in mid-2021.  Early Community Development initiatives show strong community engagement with a focus on building community capacity and empowering residents to live healthy and active lives. Residents have been particularly interested in engaging in health promotion programs with a demonstrated desire for active travel and open green space, which will further enhance the livability of Fairwater and the broader Blacktown community. Some of the health promotion activities delivered via the Community Development program have included a daily exercise program sponsored by Live Life Get Active, an annual walking survey delivered in partnership with NSW Health and a resident’s community health week. The community health week delivers free workshops on site empowering residents to make healthy and sustainable food choices and participate in physical activity classes such as Yoga, Zumba and Pilates. All activities are planned in consultation with the residents, so they align with interests and needs of the community therefore increasing likelihood of participation.  The proximity of the estate, combined with the proposed amenities and infrastructure of the Masterplan demonstrate how the development has the potential to provide residential community facilities that support a healthy and active lifestyle. However, whether residents develop and maintain healthy behaviors is largely dependent on the ongoing delivery, promotion and use of planned amenities. Additionally, key stakeholder’s relationships are fundamental to sustainability of the community development program and underpin ongoing health promotion beyond the life of the development.

The time lag between the first wave residents and the delivery of community amenities, such as community facilities, can sometimes be beneficial, as this affords the opportunity to consult with the community and deliver facilities that better address their needs, however this can also be a barrier to establishing healthy behavior. Amenities such as bus routes, which impacts the connectivity and active travel opportunities for residents, would benefit from early establishment. However, it is important to address that these provisions often involve external stakeholders and the timeframes surrounding the delivery of these projects does not always coincide with occupation of the development. This location of this project benefited from the existing heavy rail infrastructure, providing residents with public transport accessible within walking distance. 

Project team
  • Frasers Property Australia, Development and Design
  • QPS Geothermal and Geo Air, Geothermal System
  • Craig and Rhodes, Civil Design and Survey
  • McGregor Coxall, Landscape Design
  • Cundall, Sustainability Consultant
  • Civil Certification, Hydraulic Engineering
  • Shelmerdines, Electrical Engineering
  • Elton Consulting, Community Engagement & Sustainability
  • Blacktown City Council, Local Government
  • Live Life Get Active, Fitness Program Provider
  • Harvest Hub Program, Produce Distributor
Health value
  • Over 9 hectares of public open space for the active use of residents, including 6 parks, several outdoor fitness stations and playgrounds, learn to ride bike track and playground, dedicated walkways and cycleways and, refurbishment of existing sports ovals in the nearby vicinity.
  • Provides residents with the opportunity to reduce car dependency, due to proximity to public transport and Blacktown CBD, and potentially increase active travel and physical activity levels. Fairwater is situated less than 1 kilometre to Blacktown train station, with direct access to Sydney CBD, Parramatta and Strathfield. A bus route is also planned to run through the development, which will further connect residents with the transport hub at Blacktown Interchange (Rail and Bus) and Blacktown Town Centre.
  • The Fairwater masterplan includes a network of safe walking tracks and cycle ways designed to encourage and facilitate physical activity, and connect residents to surrounding Blacktown amenities and transport.
  • Community events including Fairwater Community Health Week, bike riding program and a 'Walk to Work' day, encourage residents to be active and engage in physical activity as a community.
  • Additional a range of strategies heathy initiatives and capacity building programs have been developed through the developer’s partnerships with Live Life Get Active, to provide social and health benefits for Fairwater’s residents and the broader local community, through the provision of a free fitness and healthy eating program and the Harvest Hub Program, providing residents the opportunity to access affordable, healthy, fresh and local fruit and vegetables.
  • The Centre for Population Health, Western Sydney Local Health District have also been engaged to undertake public health research on walking behaviours of residents and provide recommendations for increasing walking and active transport usage.
Economic value

Fairwater provides architecturally designed homes that add value to the surrounding built environment, and individual home owner by providing functional, spacious light filled rooms, with the ability to adapt to a family’s changing lifecycles. The development’s commitment to the refurbishment of existing sports ovals in the nearby vicinity, provision of additional amenities in and around the estate, boosts the economic value of the surrounding areas.

Environmental value

Fairwater is New South Wales’ first community to achieve a 6 Star Green Star Communities rating, representing World Leadership in sustainability initiatives. Fairwater’s key sustainability attributes, as cited in the Green Star report include:

  • A 13.5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a traditional development.
  • The largest geothermal community in the southern hemisphere, saving residents 60% of their heating and cooling costs, equivalent to approximately $700 -1000 per annum.
  • A Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience Plan, to ensure the residents are protected from future climate risks.
  • Sustainability strategy, 'A Different Way', to create places where resources are reused, recycled and restored.
  • Recycling of over 95% of construction waste, plus 60,000 cubic meters of soil destined for landfill.
  • An $8.6 million investment to rehabilitate the riparian corridor and enhance the site’s biodiversity.
  • Rainwater tanks on all homes.
  • Local infrastructure improvements connecting Fairwater to local employment, services and public transport, reducing car dependency of residents.
Social value

The design and delivery aim to promote community interaction and social cohesion.  The design includes streetscapes that face onto public open space to encourage surveillance and community connectedness. Smaller lot sizes mean that residents utilise the common outdoor areas for entertaining and physical activity, which assists with creating a sense of place.

A full-time Community Development Officer has been employed to implement a Community Development Strategy, designed to promote community ownership, in consultation and partnership with local council, not-for-profits and other community groups and organisations. The Strategy involves a range of capacity building programs, community events, and the enablement of community groups to build the networks that form the foundation of a new community. This program is inclusive, diverse and reduces social isolation and loneliness. The ongoing support and facilitation of introducing neighbours to each other can greatly reduce loneliness and isolation for all community members.

Use value

Fairwater estate is a medium density housing development, providing a variety of housing options at a range of prices, in an area well connected to public transport and amenities. Residents have access to approximately 9 hectares of public open space, including landscaped parks and gardens, lakes, play areas and connected movement networks, including shared cycle and pedestrian paths. 

References
Scale of project
Individual Site
Location
Urban