Parramatta, with its large number of urban infill sites, could set a new design standard for new neighbourhoods, the director of property development company PAYCE Dominic Sullivan said on Wednesday.

Mr Sullivan told the City of Parramatta Lord Mayor’s Design Summit that Parramatta, with proposed new transport links and its geographic location in the heart of Sydney, was the perfect place to showcase well-designed communities.

The summit was focusing on how better design could ensure development improves the quality of life for residents in the fast-growing Parramatta precinct.

Speakers included the Lord Mayor, Cr Andrew Wilson, NSW Government Architect, Peter Poulet and the Minister for Planning, the Hon Anthony Roberts.

Mr Sullivan said the summit focus on good design was timely following debate about development in Sydney.

He said there were good examples of great design that had led to great outcomes.

“PAYCE has built a new community on a fully remediated site in Sydney at Homebush Bay West,” he said.

The once heavily-polluted industrial backwater is now a thriving new community known as Wentworth Point.

“This wasn’t just one block of flats it was a major urban transformation that required us to think a little differently,” Mr Sullivan said.

He said it included a supermarket, cafes, medical centre, a childcare centre and a mix of private and affordable units.

“It meant designing places for people, and places that would connect people – it taught us that the spaces between the buildings were just as important as the buildings themselves.”

Mr Sullivan said PAYCE had started work on a large 30-hectare site at the gateway of Parramatta at Melrose Park.

The $6 billion project would include new parks and open space, town centre, 1500 jobs and 6000 new homes, in what would become one of Sydney’s most liveable, connected and productive places.

Mr Sullivan said the development aimed to meet the government objective of new communities which are no more than 30 minutes from work, home, shops and recreation.

“The intention is to make public transport the smart option for new residents at Melrose Park,” he said.

“So in addition to the Rapid Bus on Victoria Road and the light rail to the new metro station, we are proposing a free internal streetcar for residents and visitors, on-demand shuttle services to connect with other transport options, car and bike share and we are investigating a fast ferry for western Sydney.”

Mr Sullivan said PAYCE, which has entered into an MOU with the City of Parramatta, to commence the design and planning of a bridge connecting Wentworth Point to Melrose Park, was confident it could use design to develop a great community.