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Epping Transformation – Urban Renewal or Madness?
Whether we like it or not, where we live in Epping is being radically transformed from a quiet suburban location to a transport hub (Sydney Northwest Rail Link in 2019) and a high rise high density residential area – some say another Chatswood!
My wife Sue and I both live and work from our home in Epping. We have both lived in or about the Epping area pretty much all our lives and given that we are now both of, let’s say, mature age, it is with authority we can state that the Epping Urban Renewal now underway in our local area is both massive and unprecedented.
Sue and I prefer to take a positive view but it is hard to argue there aren’t going to be significant challenges and downsides – traffic congestion being perhaps the most obvious concern to residents. Roads & Maritime keep sending lovely reassuring leaflets but no resident I know believes the R&MS current intersection upgrades will deliver anything more than hot air. So will it be dark and stormy or sunny skies ahead?
Poly Horizon Apartments built by Ganellen - Chinese Developer PolyStormy Skies, 20-28 Cambridge Street 501 apartments in three towers up to 22 storeys! Poly Horizon ApartmentsA sunnier view, 20-28 Cambridge Street 501 apartments in three towers up to 22 storeys! Massive Cranes at work.
Notwithstanding, how can I, as a commercial photographer specialising as an architectural photographer not be intrigued by the changes? There is and will be a loss of history eg. the Uniting Church on Oxford St will be torn down and replaced by twin 17 story towers. This is balanced by some stunning new architecture, additional amenities and (they say) a new vibrancy. Easily visible from our town house at the end of our street (see photo), will be three huge towers up to 22 storys high. Poly Horizon Apartments built by Ganellen – Chinese Developer PolyView from Chester Street in front of our home. Next year we will see 3 towers here up to 22 storeys high! A little belatedly perhaps, I have now taken it upon myself to begin a personal project to document as much of the local change as I can. I have some images dating back to December 2015.
I intend to build a gallery of images and post regular Blog Updates. I will also seek ideas, feedback and comments from residents and others about visual aspects I might have missed. Obviously, this is a project which will be ongoing for at least a couple of years and might at times be controversial. I have my own views about over-population and the incessant need for growth. Where will it end?
Oxford Central Property Develpment by Chinese Developer GreatonUniting Church to be Redeveloped. 30-42 Oxford Street - 254 Units in Two Towers each 17 storeys with a small public Piazza and some commercial space View North along Oxford Street from Train StationThis skyline will soon be dominated by high rise towers. This view (to date) will include no less than 6 towers up to 22 storeys high!
We will see where the journey takes us! You can see more images here but I have many more to be added and will be constantly updating.
I worked at AGC in Epping when I first arrived in Australia in April 1980. Sleepy suburb then with very predictable menu at The Epping Hotel!
So much change, but is it really progress?
Time will tell.
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