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.
Co-Convenor, Alexandria Residents Action Group
President, Friends of Erskineville