“Our goal is to create a treasured place for the community to enjoy including new walking, running and cycling tracks that connect to surrounding suburbs,” he said.
A draft urban design landscape plan for the parklands will go on public display from August 10 which will outline the proposed landscape, pedestrian and cyclist connections, playground equipment, fitness stations and lighting.
A technical working group comprising NSW government agencies, Inner West Council and community members will also be set up to consider local sporting uses and other needs.
Under the plans, the parklands will be managed by the council but remain owned by Transport for NSW. The bill for building the park is included in the $3.9 billion cost of the Rozelle interchange.
Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne said the parkland presented a unique opportunity to reduce a “massive undersupply” of sporting fields in the area.
“The NRL, AFL, Football NSW and other codes are all committed to creating something special here that will benefit all sports,” he said.
Cr Byrne said Transport for NSW had also committed to fund the creation of sporting facilities at the park, which would need to include fields that could be used by multiple sporting codes.
The government committed to covering-over most of the old Rozelle Rail Yards with up to 10 hectares of parkland when it announced in 2016 that large parts of the WestConnex interchange would be underground, and a 1.1-kilometre tunnel built under Victoria Road.
Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker said sporting clubs had been crying out for more space and the new parkland would go a long way to make up the shortfall.
“I’m particularly pleased to see that on top of the parklands and sporting fields there is a commitment to fund the related amenities like playgrounds, toilets, and changing facilities,” he said.
However, Mr Parker reiterated calls for the government to filter three motorway exhaust stacks, which would be built in the parkland, to help protect the health of park users.
Two of the stacks will funnel emissions from the Rozelle interchange, and the third from a connecting motorway tunnel to be built under Sydney Harbour to North Sydney.
Under other long-term plans, a metro train station will also be built near the Rozelle Parklands on a site close to the disused White Bay Power Station on the border of Rozelle and Balmain.
The so-called Bays Precinct station is due to open by 2030 as part of the $20 billion-plus Metro West rail project, which will comprise a mostly underground rail line between Sydney’s CBD and Westmead, near Parramatta.
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Matt O’Sullivan is City Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.