Alex Hotel update

The Alexandria Hotel DA has been to the Land and Environment Court, for the initial hearing. The court has ordered a “Conciliation Conference“, to be held on the 30th of September, starting at 9:30am, at the Alexandria Hotel.

If agreement is not reached, the matter will go back to the Land and Environment Court – at a to be decided date.

Anyone wanting to know more is encouraged to come to the next ARAG meeting, which will be at 7pm on Wednesday the 9th of September, when this will be on the agenda – full agenda to follow.

Council will be holding an information session at 5pm on the 21st of September, at the Alexandria Town Hall.  Anyone thinking of attending the information session and/or the conciliation conference should RSVP to efredericks@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

Motions passed at the August meeting

The August meeting passed the following motions:

  1. THAT this meeting rejects as unsuitable and unsustainable the scheme currently proposed by Development Application D/2015/966 for development of 1,600 apartments in the Ashmore Precinct.
  1. THAT this meeting calls on the members of the Central Sydney Planning Committee, and particularly City of Sydney Councillors that sit on that committee, to vote against Development Application D/2015/966 for the development of 1,600 apartments in the Ashmore Precinct.
  1. THAT this meeting rejects as wholly inadequate the current planning and delivery of essential social and urban infrastructure in Erskineville and Alexandria to cope with any further development in the Ashmore Precinct including:
  • That the traffic modelling for the Ashmore Estate must consider the broad traffic flows across, around and through Alexandria and Erskineville and includes the impact of the WestCONnex M5 extension plan
  • The provision of rail and bus services
  • The provision of least 15% affordable housing including the provision of housing for older residents
  • The provision of child care services and school places for junior and high school students
  • The preservation of established public green spaces
  1. THAT this meeting calls on the members of the Central Sydney Planning Committee and the City of Sydney to reject all further development applications in the Ashmore Precinct until extensive action has been taken by Local and State Governments to address the essential social and urban infrastructure needs identified in the Ashmore Precinct Infrastructure Plan, by providing a timeline for delivery and a commitment to funding and commencing works.
  1. THAT this meeting calls on Local and State Governments to work together co-operatively to urgently address the following:
  • The neglect of local public transport services which have led to the crushing overcrowding on local train services, which are amongst the most overloaded on the entire railway network, and the truncation of local bus services without consultation and to the detriment of the local community.
  • The existing and impending consequences of population increases and demography changes in Alexandria and Erskineville that now require hundreds of additional primary and secondary school spaces and childcare places.
  • The absence of any credible forecast or analysis of the effect Stage 2 of the Westconnex Project (M5 Extension) will have on local traffic in Alexandria and Erskineville and the additional effect of approving any further development applications in the Ashmore Precinct.
  • The inadequate provision of stormwater drainage in the Ashmore Precinct, which leaves the Ashmore Precinct prone to flooding and precludes street level building access and activation.

Lord Mayor Vows to Put Off Ashmore Development

13 August 2015, 12:00pm AEST

SYDNEY – At a public meeting held in Alexandria last night, Lord Mayor Clover Moore undertook to put off a large-scale development at the Ashmore Estate in Erskineville until the State Government committed to essential infrastructure improvements.

Speaking to a crowd of around 100 local residents, Cr Moore said that while she could not make any promises that the development would not be approved, she would do what she could to ensure local services were improved before planners signed off on 1,600 new apartments.

The Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC), which is made up of three City of Sydney Councillors and four people appointed by the Minister for Planning and is chaired by the Lord Mayor, will vote on the application made by Hong Kong-based property developer, Golden Horse, after submissions close on 31 August 2015.

Speaking after the meeting, which was co-hosted by the Alexandria Residents Action Group and the Friends of Erskineville, President of the Friends of Erskineville, Darren Jenkins, said:

“The Lord Mayor’s undertaking is exactly what we have been pushing for. It is very welcome.

For too long there has been buck-passing between Local and State Governments about getting things right before these mega-developments happen.

Planning shouldn’t be about constantly playing catch-up.

I think the Lord Mayor has now agreed that enough is enough and it’s time for the State Government to get its act into gear, otherwise Clover Moore and her team will vote against more development at Ashmore.”

Vanessa Knight, Co-Convenor of the Alexandria Residents Action Group was equally optimistic about the outcome from the meeting:

“I think the Lord Mayor came to the meeting and gave the undertaking she did because she recognises the Golden Horse development will have an enormous impact on the local area.

The apartments going up in Ashmore will double the population, yet all recent infrastructure announcements – like Westconnex and the Sydney Metro – will reduce amenity in this area, not improve it. We are not against development, but will fight to ensure that we have the transport services we badly need now and the other infrastructure such as childcare and school places.”

The Golden Horse Development Application presently before the Central Sydney Planning Committee (D/2015/966) proposes up to 1600 apartments and 3000 residents. It is the single largest residential development application ever in Erskineville or Alexandria and will build more dwellings than the entire Harold Park Development (1,250 residences).

Last night’s meeting was the latest step in a long-running community campaign for the best possible outcomes from the Ashmore Precinct Development. The development as planned does not address long-standing flooding issues, most recently highlighted during the downpours in April which saw cars carried by the torrent down Coulson Street, would see the loss of 40 established and mature trees, including an iconic stand of fig trees nearby Erskineville Oval, and the increasing shortage of school places, with over 350 school-aged child expected to live within the development yet Erskineville Public School is now full.

Vanessa Knight

Co-Convenor, Alexandria Residents Action Group

Darren Jenkins

President, Friends of Erskineville

ARAG Meeting this Wednesday: Ashmore Estate, it’s going to be big

Ashmore Estate is coming. It’s going to be about 6,000 people in all.

The potential impact on our community is massive.

There’s been a DA lodged for the next, and largest, part of the
Ashmore Estate development.

For an update, come along to this month’s ARAG meeting:

  • 7:00pm Wednesday the 12th of August, at
  • Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden St.

Local MPs, councillors, planners and community speakers will be there.

Ashmore Estate community drop-in sessions 4/8, 8/8

The Ashmore Estate developers are holding two ‘drop in’ sessions at Alexandria Town Hall:

  • 5pm – 7pm, Tuesday 4th AugustAshmoreStage1
  • 10am – 12pm, Saturday 8th August

You’re free to drop in and ask any questions you may have. You don’t need to be there for the whole time.

The sessions are happening now because the developers have lodged the the ‘Stage 1’ Development Application. The Stage 1 DA seeks approval for the overall size, type and general layout. A more detailed Stage 2 Application will be lodged later, dealing with actual building designs, public domain and final design of McPherson Park.

The part of Ashmore covered by this DA is planned to have 9 buildings of up to 9 stories, possibly providing somewhere between 1,477 and 1,630 apartments. Depending on the number of apartments, there might be between 1,186 and 1,293 car parks on site.

This will be the largest single part of the Ashmore Estate. Glo and Motto apartment Buildings are already complete with 252 apartments. The remainder of the Estate will will be developed separately. It will provide perhaps another 1,150 units, making a total of about 3,000 dwellings.

The total increase in population will be somewhere around 6,600 people.

The Traffic and Transport Assessment estimates that this will require “one additional train stopping each hour” and 5 buses. (At this stage there are no planned improvements to public transport, and the government is in fact considering reducing the number of trains that stop at Erskineville.)

The report also proposes making use of the “Road capacity available on Mitchell Road”. (I think this means clearways.) The report notes that WestConnex is coming, but does not discuss its impact on Mitchell Road, except to say that WestConnex “has the potential to alter the main road traffic circulation”.

All DA documents are available here. Submissions are open until the 17th of August. (This may be extended.)

To learn more, come to the next ARAG meeting:

  • 7:00pm Wednesday the 12th of August,
  • at Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden St.

Motions passed at July meeting

At the July meeting, the following motions passed:

That the Alexandria Residents’ Action Group opposes the WestConnex project and supports the call for:
(i) The release of the full business case;
(ii) A halt to the tender process for the new M5 and M4 East; and
(iii) A parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex

ARAG members call on the City of Sydney to pursue an Interim Heritage Order for the Alexandria Hotel as a matter of urgency.

Alexandria Hotel update

There are two new developments.

Because council took longer than 40 days to approve/reject their DA, the developer has the right to not wait and see if council will approve the application – they can instead go to the Land and Environment Court. And they have done so. It’s not clear how this will play out. The Court can overrule Council, but given that the DA appears clearly non-compliant in several areas, most obviously height, it’s not clear what will happen.

AND, an Interim Heritage Order has been issued: http://www.gazette.legislation.nsw.gov.au/so/download.w3p?id=Gazette_2015_2015-63.pdf

This doesn’t guarantee heritage protection for the Pub, but it does allow up to six months for a proper assessment of heritage to take place, which on the face of it, would seem likely to mean that heritage protection is now a real possibility.