Victoria | Urban
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 nine 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 one 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 was 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 desire for active travel and open green space, which will further enhance the livability of Fairwater and the Blacktown community. Some of the health promotion activities delivered via the Community Development program include 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 behaviours 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 behaviour. Amenities such as bus routes, which impact 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.