The state government’s developer, Landcom, originally planned to complete the peninsula park by mid-2020, but it remains fenced off to the public two years later.
Liberal MP Geoff Lee, whose Parramatta electorate will include Wentworth Point at the 2023 election after the redistribution of electoral boundaries, said he had apologized to the people of Wentworth Point for his government’s delay in building the park.
“The park has taken too long, I agree. It’s appalling. The person responsible for that shouldn’t have a job,” he said.
A spokesperson for Landcom said they were updating the Wentworth Point masterplan to include the state government’s proposal to build the new Sydney Olympic Park High School on the site. The proposed new school would cut into the planned footprint of both the residential development and public green space.
Landcom said the development will have around four hectares of open space including the proposed playing field, which will be used by the high school during school hours. The mixed-use residential development will cover 2.67 hectares.
One hectare is roughly the size of a rugby field.
Work on the next stage of the park is expected to start later this year and temporary play equipment installed by 2023, before the full development is completed in 2025.
Parramatta City councilor and Wentworth Point resident Paul Noack, who describes the high-rise community as “like Manhattan without Central Park”, said the needs of the community had changed since planning approval was originally granted in 2014.
He said building residential towers on the site would “absolutely suffocate the community”.
A resident action group wants the Coalition government and Labor opposition to instead use the land, which is owned by Transport for NSW, to extend the peninsula park.
“We are trying to get [Labor leader] Chris Minns to make an election commitment to give the land back to the community for public use,” said group convenor Mark Green, whose apartment overlooks the site.
When asked by the herald whether Labor would build the towers if elected, shadow minister for planning Paul Scully said Labor had been consulting widely with Wentworth Point residents and the council on to “address the government’s infrastructure failures”.
Amy de Paula said the high school and peninsula park at Wentworth Point was particularly important for her family, and would be a strong consideration when she votes in next year’s state election.
“When my son wasn’t even one, they said that there was a site for the Olympic Park High School, and it was due to be built within the next two years,” she said.
“He’s 11 and going to high school next year, and there’s not even a brick laid.”
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