The Little Bay Master Plan site is located next to the Prince Henry Hospital site on Anzac Parade, Little Bay.
The site was part of the grounds of the Coast Hospital from 1881 to 1934. When hospital uses departed the site, its landform was dramatically altered by the processes of sand mining which exposed geologically significant miocene deposits. The University of NSW purchased the site in 1959. Christo famously wrapped the Little Bay Coastline in 1969 and in 1992 the Solarch solar energy research centre was built by UNSW students on the grounds.
Charter Hall is now overseeing the rehabilitation of the site and its reintegration into the surrounding urban fabric. The proposed subdivision is based upon the creation of a legible street pattern that is conceived as an extension of both the existing urban grain and broader landscape systems that edge the site.
A comb of east west oriented streets provide long through site vistas to open spaces within the site and beyond. The plan makes connections with adjacent street patterns wherever possible, and anticipates the future development of the HousingNSW site to the north by the provision of an edge street that maximises future possible connections and allows for the future diversion of a bus route through the site.
Streets have been designed with a strong landscaped character with street trees, swales, irrigated medians and raingardens differentiating the hierarchy and character of streets throughout the plan.
A linear park in the centre of the site forms the heart of the project. It is defined by the geologically significant miocene cliff face and incorporates biofiltration zones along its length.
A park supporting active play and community uses occupies the eastern edges of the corridor.
An urban park forms a lively focus for the western part of the site with sculpted berms and a children’s playground beneath an arbour.
The subdivision pattern is calibrated to accommodate a mix of multi unit residential apartment buildings, townhouses, row houses and courtyard houses – diversifying the local housing stock and addressing contemporary social phenomena such as decreasing household sizes, sustainability and affordability pressures.
Drawing on the site’s history as a place for experimentation and development of environmentally sustainable power sources, opportunities for the use of solar power and wind power are being investigated to provide renewable energy to the public domain.
Water sensitive urban design elements including swales, biofiltration ponds and dams will replenish the natural water cycle. A site wide black water treatment system is also being investigated.
The Master Plan was approved by the Land and Environment Court in December, 2009. McGregor Coxall have documented and overseen the construction stage of the project.