Category Archives: Development

Alexandria Hotel: we’ve won Round 1.

We are still waiting to hear this formally confirmed, but we have been told that the developer will withdraw their current application to demolish the Alexandria Hotel.

They had been hoping to prevent the building receiving a heritage listing. It appears they have finally recognised that the merits of the case for heritage are too strong to be ignored, and that the physical building is now safe from the threat of demolition.

This does not mean that the hotel is safe. While the developers may abandon their attempts to redevelop the site, they may also come back with a new proposal that seeks to ‘adapt’ the existing building, possibly by keeping the front of the hotel while building on part or all of the current beer garden, and possibly even building ‘into’ the upper level of the hotel.

This is a win for the community. But until we know what happens next, it isn’t over yet.

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Trouble with Private Certification

A new apartment building, JOSHUA, at 33-49 Euston Road, Alexandria, appears to have been built in contravention of the Development Approval of the City of Sydney.

As a result, the City has referred the Private Certifier to the Building Professionals Board, and is considering further action, including issuing a Notice of Intention to demolish and to rebuild the building in accordance with the conditions of the consent.

This is important – a timely compliance reminder to developers, at a time when so much development is scheduled for our area.

We’ll keep you posted.

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

Central to Eveleigh Corridor to be discussed at our August Meeting

The ARAG meeting to be held on Wednesday the 13th, at the usual time and place of 7PM at Alexandria Town Hall, will be on the proposed redevelopment of the ‘Central to Eveleigh Corridor’ – basically, everything along the railway lines from Goulburn Street car park in the CBD to Macdonaldtown rail station, including Central and Redfern stations, the Australian Technology Park, and Eveleigh Rail Yards.

This is an opportunity to have your say on the impact of the concept plan on: Australian Technology Park (ATP), Sustainability, Connections & Transport, Heritage & Culture, Public Spaces & Social Facilities, and Housing and Employment.

Petitioning the Minister

REDWatch have created a petition requesting that the State Government suspend the exhibition of the Strategy until the NSW Planning Review is complete:

https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/please-exhibit-metro-strategy-for-sydney-under-the-new-planning-system

Under the proposed new planning system, the ability to comment on Development Applications will largely be lost.  In theory, there will be a period of consultation on the rules that future Development Applications will have to comply with.

However, even though the new planning system is not yet in place, the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure is already exhibiting the Draft Metro Strategy for Sydney. This is the document which will become the new Regional Growth Plan for Sydney.

The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure has formally refused requests by BPN (the Better Planning Network) to suspend the exhibition of the Strategy until the new system is in place and community engagement can be adequately resourced and conducted.

Please consider signing this petition.  For the government to proceed with this exhibition without the opportunity for proper community consultation would be to express contempt for the very legitimate concerns residents have.

Planning Law Changes – Public Forum, Monday 27th.

Coming soon to our suburb

The planning system is changing and many more developments are proposed for the inner city.

Our current right to comment on DAs will be removed for 80% of developments including many high-rise.

Developers are happy about that but are we?

Come and show you care and hear about how these changes will affect us and how to have your say.

Monday 27th May, 6:30pm
Redfern Town Hall,
73 Pitt St Redfern

Guest Speakers

  • James Ryan, Nature Conservation Council,
  • Corinne Fisher, Better Planning Network,
  • Ron Hoenig MP, Member for Heffron and
  • David Shoebridge MLC, Greens Planning Spokesperson
  • A representative from the Minister for Planning

Forum jointly organised by REDWatch and ARAG.