Sydney's Future Project
Sydney's Future Project

Penrith to rival Parramatta as Sydney’s second CBD

THE Battle of the West used to be restricted to the footy field but developers are predicting downtown Penrith will become the new Parramatta - overtaking Sydney's second CBD in population growth.

The Urban Taskforce has released its bold new vision for the Western Sydney suburb, which is expected to accommodate 56,791 more residents by 2036.

This growth will take the Penrith City's population to 258,195 - only 40,000 less than the current population of Wollongong.

Combined with new residents will be an expansion of high quality office jobs linked to the new airport at Badgerys Creek.

Areas like Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown are earmarked by the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority as needing A-grade office space in the next 20 years.

Urban Property Group has delivered two large apartment projects in Penrith and have another three in the pipeline, equating to more than 1000 dwellings.

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Managing director Patrick Elias said "within 20 years it will be the next Western Sydney CBD".

"The council has already actioned a vision document stating they are targeting 40,000 new jobs and 35,000 new dwellings for 2031 in the greater Penrith area," Mr Elias told The Daily Telegraph.

"With this being said, it's easy to paint a picture of a bustling CBD comparable to Parramatta.

"I think the epicentre of the CBD will have an array of both commercial and residential high-rise buildings with the surrounding suburbs accommodating for a mixture of medium and low-density housing estates."

In 2017 Penrith had an urban density of 1373 people per square kilometre - well below the city's most dense suburb, Potts Point, which has 16,229.

Penrith has a similar density to areas like St Ives and Warwick Farm.

Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson said Penrith has a lot of room to grow.

Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson says they will focus on green urban towers in Penrith. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson says they will focus on green urban towers in Penrith. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

"Our scheme for Penrith looks across from the railway station to a series of new green urban towers that give Penrith a very special character," he said.

"Being a smaller city there will be more space between the individual towers that will allow significant ground level planting to trees and parkland.

"The taller buildings will provide residents and office workers excellent views of the nearby Blue Mountains."

Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler did not respond to requests for comment, however Penrith councillor Marcus Cornish said the images show promise.

"If the pictures were realistic I would be open to some of those designs," he said.

"I would like to see more iconic buildings in Penrith.

"The projections here are what people wish for but the reality is more similar to Parramatta.

"Most of the applications we get are for square and more housing commission style high-rise."

Penrith has seen an influx of high-rise and apartments in the past 20 years.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes - who refused to comment on this story - previously said Penrith's Thornton Estate was an example of design excellence he would like to see more of.

Penrith Council's population forecasts show Penrith City will absorb the majority of the municipality's new residents.

What Penrith is set to look like by 2040.
What Penrith is set to look like by 2040.

The 2036 population predictions for Penrith City (56,791) are greater than the combined population growth of the 25 other suburban regions of the municipality.

A Penrith Council spokesman said transport links are vital to the area's growth.

"We need to ensure the new Western Sydney Airport on the City's doorstep and once in a generation government investment in road and rail upgrades deliver more local jobs and greater opportunities for the people of Penrith," he said.

"The good news is that we are on our way. In the last five years alone, more than 10,000 new jobs have been created in Penrith City as a result of our work to grow the local economy and encourage innovation and investment in the region."