Our Lady Help of Christians, Oxford St, Epping

Our Lady Help of Christians, Oxford St, Epping


The proposed development includes aged care and senior living tower (29 storeys), new primary school and new Church hall.

April 2020 photo montage_Cambridge Street side

Make Your Views Known

You can register to speak at the meeting of the Sydney Central City Planning Panel on Wednesday 6 May 2020 or you can opt to listen to the virtual meeting. But you must register by contacting the Planning Panels Secretariat before 4pm Monday, 4 May 2020 on 02 8217 2060 or via email to enquiry@planningpanels.nsw.gov.au. You will be provided the phone number and code to enable you to join the public teleconference once registered.



This proposal below, amended, is now coming  to a meeting of the Planning Panel on Wednesday 6 May at 12 noon. You can see information on registering to listen to the meeting or speaking in the box above. 

This proposed development is on the site of Our Lady Help of Christians Church at 29-33 Oxford St. Buildings on the site will be demolished  except for the existing heritage listed church building, and most trees removed. The development consists of a 29 storey tower, of which four storeys will be for a residential care facility (nursing home) and the 25 storeys above this will be for seniors assisted living. The present school will be rebuilt on the south eastern boundary, and a parish hall on the north eastern boundary. A basement car park and pick-up and drop-off zone for 316 cars will be built with entry off Cambridge St.

The Trust is very much opposed to this development and do not feel that the amendments since the original DA (below) are sufficient to warrant its approval. 

We do not think it is good aged care practice to stack around 400 old folk, some of whom will be quite infirm, into a 96.5 metre high tower block, and then place this tower next to a primary school. The area around the school and the tower will consist primarily of hard surfaces and few tall trees. 23 trees currently on the site are due to be removed.

We are also concerned about the mix of old and infirm people with school children, particularly in the event of an emergency, such as a viral epidemic or a tower fire. Have we learnt nothing from the current COVID19 pandemic?

The Hornsby LEP for this site specifies a maximum height of 72 metres. We object to the 34% excess height, which will make this the highest building approved in Epping so far. The excess height causes wind and overshadowing effects and reduces the visual amenity of Epping as a place to live.

The DA argues that the development will have no effect on Epping’s dire traffic situation. Do they think the 316 cars will sit in the carpark?

The Trust needs your support - please consider registering to speak on 6 May. 


Parramatta City Council has put on exhibition this DA for a major development on the site of Our Lady Help of Christians, fronting Oxford Street and Cambridge Street, Epping . You can read the details here. 

The proposed development is for three major buildings on the site. Firstly, a new primary school building fronting Oxford Street, and replacing the current school at the back of the site. There is provision initially for one class per year, but this could be extended later to two classes. The second element is a new parish hall and office on the right of the Church, where the current priest's house is located. The third element though is a very large tower (29 storeys) behind the church encompassing basement car parking, a number of floors of aged care (132 beds), and then floors of retirement living units (205 units) - essentially a residential apartment development. 

The Trust has some concerns about this DA;

  •  At 96.5 m tall, the tower exceeds the Local Environment Plan maximum by 34%, and at that, it will be the tallest building so far to seek approval in Epping. It will set a new precedent for future buildings in Epping. As a consequence of the building height and bulk there will be increased wind speeds and turbulence around the development. The adjacent buildings between Cambridge and Oxford Streets will also be overshadowed in winter from late morning.
  • The increased number of dwellings achievable by this high tower will further contribute to the appalling traffic gridlock that the Epping Town Centre Traffic Study has shown will occur in the next few years.
There are other technical aspects about the tower development to which we will be calling attention. For example, the height of the proposed podium facing Cambridge St, and the size of the floor plate both exceed planning limits. And solar access to some apartments is less than required. And there is inadequate deep soil areas for tree planting around the development.
The effect of construction noise and disruption to traffic in Oxford St and upon Arden School  during building works are also concerns of the Trust.
There are other ways in which this DA has been carefully thought through - the heritage value of the Church and its street frontage on Oxford Street is preserved, and the landscaping in this area should enhance this. The Trust has also lobbied the Church to make the parish hall available for hire by local community groups as there is less and less low cost community space available in Epping. 

This DA will be determined by the Sydney Central City Planning Panel.

The Trust will be submitting its objections, but while it represents several hundred members, the Trust’s submission will count as a single objection. If you share our concerns, please submit your own objections to City of Parramatta Council. You can find email them at council@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au or post a submission to City of Parramatta, PO Box 32, Parramatta 2124. You need to include your name and address, and the DA number - DA/586/2018 in your submission. The closing date for Submissions is 26th September 2018. You need to clearly set out your concerns.