The last building to be constructed on the Harold Park site is now being advertised until 4 September. However, this one is not being built by Mirvac, but by City West Community Housing.

The affordable housing site is on the immediate left as you enter the site from Wigram Rd. It faces east, running along Ross St. It overlooks an already completed part of the new 3.8 ha park, and a line of Federation duplexes with attractive stone fences along Ross St facing West (you may remember these as belonging to Harold Park, and lying just outside the entrance).

The Glebe Society asked that an affordable housing component be included in the Voluntary Planning Agreement between the City and Mirvac. This was part of the package of benefits that included the 3.8 hectare park and the 500 sq m community space in the Tramsheds.

NSW does not have a mandatory requirement for a proportion of large development sites to be Affordable, although this has been under discussion for some time, and is a fact of life in many cities throughout the world. Generally the idea is that a portion of a development includes apartments suitable for renting to people on moderate incomes who work in essential services. This is because such apartments are becoming increasingly difficult to find as inner cities become the favoured choice of wealthier citizens.

In this case City West will build 78 units on 2500 sq m of land. The main difference from the rest of Harold Park is that the majority will be one bedroom units, whereas a typical commercial development like Harold Park has mainly two bedrooms per unit. Clearly, City West expects to accommodate mainly singles and couples, although there are no studio apartments. City West also conferred with Mirvac about the design and finish of the building, which blends in well with the other blocks nearby and is between three and five storeys. On level three there is 350 sq m of green roof with recreational facilities for residents.

Probably the most controversial aspect of the proposal is that there is just one basement level of parking provided for 34 car spaces, although there are 91 bicycle spaces and four for motorcycles. City West argues that public transport is good, with three bus routes close by (370, 433 and 470) plus the Light Rail, and of course the Tramsheds will provide a wide range of shopping and services within walking distance.

The Society will raise these issues with the City, plus a number of other more minor matters.