Ashmore Estate Submission

ARAG endorses the following resolutions that were passed at the Friends of Erskineville public meeting on 22 February 2012:

RESOLUTION 1 Residents do not accept the flawed proposed 2011 Draft Control Plan for the Ashmore Estate Development, (presently open to submission and comment), and which nominates building heights of up to 9 storeys and FSR’s up to 2:1, and which has been produced without any serious regard to the traffic and transport needs of the Erskineville/Alexandria area or the urban design quality and servicing of the proposed new residential development.

RESOLUTION 2      Residents acknowledge and accept that the gazetted 2006 Development Control Plan (DCP) for the Ashmore Estate Development which provides for buildings of up to 5 storeys with a site density of 1:1 (western sector) and 1.25:1 is the preferred plan at present for the development of the Ashmore Estate.

RESOLUTION 3       Residents request that Council do not consider any changes to the 2006 DCP until a full simulated Traffic and co-ordinated Transport study has been undertaken to assess the impacts that such an enormous increase in the population will have on local infrastructure and the community. The required Traffic and co-ordinated Transport study must be specific to the Ashmore Estate development and include a full analysis of the present overcrowded and inadequate public transport infrastructure and a detailed plan of amendment to that infrastructure to allow for the proposed increase in population envisaged under the 2006 DCP

RESOLUTION 4       Residents request that Sydney Water upgrade the inadequate piped drainage system in the Munni Street catchment area to properly address flooding and allow ground level access across the precinct. Residents note that such an upgrade is in line with Sydney Water policy to provide a system capable of managing a 20 year flood event

RESOLUTION 5      Residents request that an urban design study be undertaken specifically for the site and its surrounds by seeking the services of the city’s Urban Design Consultant, Jahn Gehl, in order to promote an alternative, sustainable and socially responsible design for the new Ashmore residential village, destined to become one of the “Sustainable Sydney 2030” centres in the Council’s City of Villages initiative

RESOLUTION 6       As the proposed residential development of the Ashmore Estate will result in the loss of an important employment generating centre, residents request an analysis of the social, economic and environmental impacts on the capacity of the existing physical and social community infrastructure and jobs market is undertaken to support the very large number of additional residents

RESOLUTION 7       Residents request that a working group composed of State government and City of Sydney delegates, as well as resident delegates, be formed and be known as the Ashmore Committee, and that this Committee have an overall advisory role in the development of the Ashmore Estate and any change to the gazetted 2006 DCP

In addition, we wish to raise some matters which relate specifically to Alexandria residents. Alexandria is now facing a future of being wedged between the ATP and the Ashmore estate, which are at either ends of the already congested Mitchell Road. The ATP development is only half complete, and as the City of Sydney knows, has already caused significant pressures on residential streets in Alexandria.

The DCP does not take into consideration the parking, traffic, public transport and social infrastructure pressures that an additional 6,000+ residents will place on the Mitchell Rd corridor. Nor does it take into consideration the ATP developments that are occurring at the north end of Mitchell Rd, the new Bunnings store, or other nearby developments.

ARAG is not against development, but it is against poorly planned development. We would therefore urge the Council to delay any decision on the DCP until a full traffic management plan for Alexandria and Erskineville is completed.

We note with concern that the City of Sydney Council has not paid due consideration to the provision of infrastructure to support what amounts to a doubling of the population of this area: public transport, stormwater drains and public schools.

We realise that these issues fall under the jurisdiction of the State Government, but we would expect Council to be a strong force advocating for better services on our behalf.

We also note that the City of Sydney Council has not paid due consideration to issues that do fall under the jurisdiction of the Council: provision of child care and parking to support the increased population of this area.

Instead, if the DCP is implemented, it will considerably worsen what is currently unmet demand for childcare places and on-street parking. We would expect Council to put the interests of existing and future residents foremost in these matters.

We do not accept that the dominant factor in car ownership is owning a parking space. The current situation in Alexandria is already proof that this is not so. The dominant factor in whether people own a car is whether they need cars. In Alexandria, both trains and buses are already inadequate. Given the current low levels of services, and given that the majority of residents of Alexandria do not work in Alexandria, many residents need to own cars.

Adding additional residents – many of whom will be commuters – while removing a local source of jobs will only make this situation more dire.

The unfairness of the proposal becomes even more stark when comparing Ashmore with Harold Park. Harold Park is over 10.5 hectares of which nearly 4 will be dedicated to open space (35% of the site) while the Ashmore proposal provides less than 5% open space – in an area with an already low space per capita.

Harold Park provides a further 1000sqm for affordable housing, with 1250 new homes being created. The developable area of Ashmore is approximately 14 hectares yet 3200 new residences are proposed – 2000 more than Harold Park.

The City’s website clearly shows the planning process for Harold Park, with technical studies and planning principles evident. There is no similar planning rationale for Ashmore – it has increased density without the necessary technical studies to show how this will be done.

We would urge Councillors to be consistent in aligning their actions with their vision for a ‘City of Villages’. Over-development that is not in character with the existing atmosphere of this area will destroy our villages, not enhance them.

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