Sydney’s Canterbury racecourse could be the city’s next major apartment development

Canterbury racecourse Photo: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Canterbury racecourse in Sydney’s inner-west is being eyed off as a potential new high-rise development, with the NSW government looking at rezoning the 35-hectare block.

Fairfax Media reports that the Department of Planning is conducting preliminary investigations into whether the site, not far from Canterbury railway station, would be suitable for apartments up to 18 storeys high.

Department of Planning spokesperson said the original Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor strategy did not include Canterbury Park racecourse, but it was added “after receiving feedback from the community, including from the Australian Turf Club (ATC), recommending the racecourse be investigated for new homes and open space”.

“The master plan will consider all of the racecourse land and will consider the potential for new homes as well as open space and community facilities,” they said.

In 2010, the 10.6 hectare Harold Park paceway, 2.5km from the CBD, was closed and sold to developer Mirvac, which is nearing completion on the $1.1 billion construction of 1,250 new homes in apartment blocks up to seven storeys high.

When contacted by Fairfax, Australian Turf Club CEO Darren Pearce said his organisation ” will explore any opportunity for the future of the club”, adding that “Canterbury Park remains an important asset for Sydney racing”.

The surplus land the ATC plans to sell around Canterbury racecourse. Source: JBA

The earliest the site could be sold is 2021 as part of a 10-year moratorium struck when the racecourse’s former owner, Sydney Turf Club, merged with the Australian Jockey Club to create the ATC in 2011.

But the ATC has already announced plans to sell off a 6.5 hectare part of the site, mostly used for parking, when the moratorium expires, because it is “surplus to the operations of the racecourse”.

The idea of redeveloping the racecourse is part of the revised development strategy between Sydenham and Bankstown, where the government is hoping to add an additional 35,000 homes around the rail corridor.

A planning spokesperson said there is no timeframe yet to prepare the Canterbury racecourse master plan.

“When the master plan is prepared, it will be put on public exhibition for the community to provide feedback,” they said.

Fairfax Media has more here.

A potential development plan for land surrounding the racecourse site from the ATC’s submission to the Dept of Planning. Source: JBA