Frequently Asked Questions
We are want to keep you up-to-date on the project and answer your questions. We have put together a list to some of the popular ones.
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Why do we need more houses?
Community projects like Figtree Hill and Gilead are necessary to keep housing attainable for local families and first home buyers. Lots at Figtree Hill have sold out in record time reflecting the strong demand for housing in the area.
What are the conservation corridors?
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment engaged ecology experts to review koala corridors across the general Greater Macarthur region. They have identified a number of corridors in the region, two of which traverse both government and privately owned land, including the Lendlease project site. Our contribution to these corridors will create protected areas for a broad spectrum of local wildlife and biodiversity. The two east-west corridors connect core koala habitat along the Nepean River and Georges River.
How did we come up with the conservation corridors?
Lendlease’s contributions to the two east-west koala corridors at Gilead, as well as the Nepean River corridor, will help deliver the first conservation corridors for koalas in Campbelltown.
The NSW Government has confirmed that Lendlease’s contributions to the corridors meet the expert advice and recommendations of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment have published a map outlining the koala corridors on their website.
Will the community have access to the conservation corridors?
Walking tracks are being proposed to enable the community to explore the local bushland and be connected to nature.
What is the total conservation area across the project?
Over 280 hectares of land will be dedicated to conservation across the project. The total conservation area is larger than Sydney’s CBD.
How will the conservation areas be protected?
The proposed rezoning will protect koala habitat within the corridors in perpetuity. The conservation areas will be set up as new biodiversity stewardship sites, which means the will provide the highest level of land use protections and conservation outcomes possible on private land.
What bushland is being protected?
The bushland is made up of Sandstone Shale Transition Forest, and Cumberland Plain Woodland. A regeneration program aims to restore this beautiful and diverse habitat within the conservation areas of the project.
What will happen to the koalas?
Our proposed conservation measures will support the Campbelltown koala population and increase core koala habitat across the development by 30% over time.
What monitoring is occurring?
Annual monitoring results will be included as part of our environmental reporting. A base line koala survey was undertaken in 2021 and subsequent survey in 2022.
What is happening to the Appin Road safety upgrades?
Lendlease is committed to and working with the NSW government on the safety upgrades to Appin Road. We have made offers and lodged plans the department and are awaiting approval so we can start.
What is happening with the koala underpasses?
Lendlease is committed to making Appin Road safer for koalas and motorists. Our offer to the NSW Government includes two koala underpasses. The locations along Appin Road, near Noorumba Reserve and Beulah Reserve, were first identified by the Chief Scientist’s independent panel of koala experts. We await government approval.
What additional roads will be built to support the community?
Appin Road is the main entrance and exit point for the Figtree Hill precinct. The Governments Greater Macarthur 2040 plan will support future connections to the Gilead site along Medhurst Road and Menangle Road.
Will there be public transport?
Public transport, through local buses, will connect the community through to Macarthur Square and the railway station. Future routes will be planned around the road network and surrounding area.
What is being done about active transport?
Dedicated pedestrian and cycle routes will be developed throughout the project.
What about traffic noise?
Road noise will be reduced through acoustic walls, setbacks, and urban design.
What schools will be included in the development?
Lendlease is working with the NSW Government on delivering a school for the new community. Land has been identified as a school site on the Figtree Hill Masterplan. Early residents of Figtree Hill have several existing schools in the Campbelltown area to explore.
What will be included in the local retail?
As the new community grows, local retail will be delivered at Figtree Hill and Gilead, dependent on planning approvals.
What environmental approvals are required?
Environmental approvals for the project come under the Commonwealth Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) and the NSW Biodiversity Certification Act (BCA).
We achieved certification for Figtree Hill in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Applications and assessments for Gilead have been lodged with the relevant Government departments and agencies.
How many trees have been removed from previous agricultural practices?
Approximately 70% of the site was progressively cleared of native vegetation over the last 200 years due to farming and agricultural practices.
Most of the remaining vegetation, which is located along the waterways, will be retained within the conservation areas.
Will there be any impacts to heritage?
The project will celebrate the rich First Nations and European history that remains across the site by protecting and sharing the story of previous generations. The historic landscape features will be carefully interpreted within the design of new community.
What impact will it have on the Upper Canal?
Built in the 1880s, the heritage listed Upper Canal, runs through the site and transfers water to Sydney. The project will protect the heritage values of the Upper Canal and Lendlease will work with Water NSW to ensure connectivity within the conservation areas is achieved.
What is happening to the Mount Gilead Homestead?
The historic Mount Gilead Homestead and surrounding farmland is not part of the development or owned by Lendlease. It was listed on the NSW State Heritage Register in 2020.
How will the community adapt to climate change?
More than half of the original Gilead Estate will remain bushland, heritage homestead or parkland – which is green area substantially larger than all of Sydney’s Olympic Parklands.
What about green open space?
More trees will be planted to increase the tree canopy throughout the project enriching the natural bushland setting and shade cover to create a cooler community. Lighter coloured roofs across the community will help to reduce urban heat island effects and energy costs for new homes.
What are the sustainability features of the community?
The project will be all-electric enabling the community to be run on renewable energy. Homeowners are being encouraged to choose smart energy-efficient appliances, rooftop solar and heat pumps. We are looking to incorporate innovative energy storage and smart technology.
Will the project provide jobs?
The project will support 2,200 full time equivalent jobs during the planned construction period. Additionally, it will contribute over $1.16 billion in civil construction works to the NSW economy over the life of the development.
What facilities will be included in the project?
Figtree Hill and Gilead will be providing parklands, playgrounds, multipurpose community and educational facilities and there is also potential for childcare, medical, and other recreational facilities.
What facilities are there in the local area?
The new community is just 10 minutes from the heart of the Campbelltown-Macarthur regional centre. The new residents will have access to the health, education, retail, civic and transport services. There are more than 20 early learning, primary and secondary schools within a 15 minute drive.