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Like most things to do with trees & development much has to be done within a short time frame. The Railcorp DA for the removal of 21 trees & to demolish the Station Master’s cottage at Sydenham is a great example. This DA first came to my attention last January 2011 on the last day of submissions. See – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/railcorp-the-removal-of-21-mature-trees-in-sydenham/
Because of “significant community objection to the application” this DA is on the agenda for the next Development Assessment Committee Meeting at Marrickville Council this coming Tuesday 5th April 2011 at 6.30pm.
Council received 17 submissions objecting to the DA, including one from the Marrickville Heritage Society & a community petition that contained 314 signatures. Way to go people!
Because it is a Crown Development Application, Marrickville Council cannot refuse it, except with the approval of the Minister. If the Marrickville Councillors accept the staff recommendation to refuse the DA, it will be referred to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).
Council staff said there was insufficient information submitted with the DA & have not supported Railcorp’s application. They recommend that the Councillors also refuse the application “on the basis of a lack of information in relation to the heritage potential of the former station master’s cottage.”
Council says that the Station Master’s cottage “is not a heritage item or located in a Heritage Conservation Area” though it is located close to the “State listed Sydenham Railway Station group listing.” I say that the Sydenham Station master’s cottage is exactly the same (though not renovated) as the heritage-listed Station Master’s cottage in Tempe. With the $450,000 Railcorp intend to spend to demolish the cottage & remediate the land, they could renovate to retain the building & grounds, including the trees, as a public asset in an area where public assets are dwindling.
If it were to become like the Station Master’s cottage in Tempe it would be a significant asset to Sydenham. The Station Master’s cottage is a lovely building surrounded by a significant number of mature trees & visible from passing trains.
We don’t need to write a submission at this stage, but we will need to when the DA goes to the JRPP. However, it would be good if you could send 1 email to all the Councillors telling them that you would like them to refuse the DA & that you want the Station Master’s cottage & the trees on the property retained for the benefit of future generations.
3 people can come to the Development Assessment Committee Meeting on Tuesday to speak against this DA. You need to register by Monday 4th March 12 noon. You can register here – http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/apply_to_speak_at_a_meeting.html?s=828052576
The report can be viewed at Council’s website – http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/businesspapers.html?s=828052576 – Item 8 -117 Railway Road Sydenham or in hard copy at the Citizen’s Service Centre in Petersham.
If you would like to see the property & the trees, Kass Finlay McAuliffe has created a fabulous YouTube video that shows the large amount of birds & other insects, including Monarch butterflies that populate the site. It’s well worth a look – http://www.youtube.com/user/kassmusic#p/a/u/0/L2FzYu2gcCg
The Councillors email addresses are –
- Clr Sam Iskandar - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clr Victor Macri - email@example.com
- Clr Max Phillips - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor Fiona Byrne - email@example.com
- Clr Cathy Peters - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clr Laura Wright - email@example.com
- Clr Morris Hanna - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clr Peter Olive - email@example.com
- Clr Mary O’Sullivan - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clr Dimitri Thanos - email@example.com
- Clr Marika Kontellis - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clr Emanuel Tsardoulias - email@example.com
Thank you. J
This was the Development Assessment Committee Meeting. Clrs Iskandar & Macri were absent. The following is my understanding of the meeting & all mistakes are mine There were a number of DAs on the agenda. I have decided to write about only 2 because of the issues surrounding them.
568 Illwarra Road Marrickville – seeking to build 3-storey 7-unit block with off street parking for 6 vehicles. Council staff recommended refusal because of over-development, height, bulk, scale with “fatal flaws in the proposal.” The report listed 16 reasons for refusal including, “considered to provide poor amenity for future occupants.” The developer spoke to the Councillors saying he will now offer the units to Metropolitan Housing as affordable housing for a period of 10 years. He wanted the matter deferred to give him time to discuss issues with Council.
Clr Wright moved to defer with a condition that all material required from the applicant must be given to Council within 21 days, saying affordable housing was too important to reject. Clr Phillips was against deferring as there were multiple deficient criteria. Clr Olive was against deferring saying he was not against affordable housing, but as there was an exhaustive list of issues that were wrong, the DA would need a significant overhaul. He foreshadowed a motion to revert back to the report’s proposal to refuse the application.
Clr Thanos said there was also an issue of site contamination & the absence of further information from the developer legally bound Council to refuse the DA. Clr Hanna supported deferring, saying the DA provided affordable housing though this didn’t mean he would approve the DA. Mayor Byrne did not support deferral saying she was very concerned that the development was considered to provide poor amenity to future occupants & that internal amenity was important.
Clr O’Sullivan supported deferring saying the key issue was affordable housing at 20% below the market cost for 10 years & said it would most likely be rented by nurses, aged care workers, bus workers & the like. She said the applicant should be allowed to work on contamination, solar access, flood level, waste disposal & design issues. She said she would be happy to see a group of people being given the chance to enjoy the community.
Clr Kontellis said she didn’t support deferral because she thought this was setting the applicant up for failure. She said she did not want to create ghettos & poor standard of housing & the current plans will provide substandard accommodation, particularly amenity. Clr Phillips said the applicant had met with Council about affordable housing requirements, yet hadn’t adjusted the application. He said he didn’t think it was good to defer when the DA was lacking in standards & non-compliant on a number of issues. He was also concerned that this development would set a standard for the future & fill Marrickville with substandard housing.
Voting in favour of deferral – Clrs Wright, Tsardoulias, O’Sullivan & Thanos. Against – Phillips, Byrnes, Peters, Olive & Kontellis with Clr Peters as Chair giving the casting vote. Motion for deferral failed.
Clr Olive spoke to the motion, which was to revert to the report’s recommendation to refuse the DA saying this is a 2A residential area. Clr Thanos said the current application is unsuitable & should not be allowed to go through. Clr Hanna said he didn’t support refusal as the applicant may change the DA & not include the whole block as affordable housing.
Clr Tsardoulias said this was unacceptable & that the Labor team moved for deferral so the applicant can work with staff & this was a win/win situation. Clr Thanos then read from the legislation that said Councils cannot consent to development on contaminated land that has not been remediated. He said Council staff say the site is contaminated, yet the applicant hasn’t submitted the required information & therefore should be refused.
Clr Phillips said the Greens were not against affordable housing, but it was not correct to approve substandard housing just because it is affordable. He said people have a right not to live in substandard housing.
Carried with Clrs Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan & Hanna voting against.
80 Victoria Road & 12 Leister Street Marrickville – This is a DA to readapt Bethesda House & Stead House into residential flats & erect 3 other buildings to make 45 dwellings. The DA is in an area classified as of ‘regional significance’ & will go before the JRPP. Council is recommending refusal. The DA is seen as excessive in height, bulk & scale, will not complement existing streetscape & compromises heritage items & their settings. It also “significantly exceeds maximum floor space ratio.” The residents of all 19 houses on Leister Street signed a petition against the DA.
2 residents addressed Council supporting Council’s recommendation of refusal. They said everyone in Leister Street was against the development. They spoke about the following issues – parking is a huge problem & this DA effectively turns Leister Street into a giant driveway, 16 dwellings on Leister Street & now they want to put in 45 new units, most dense DA they have seen, community was concerned about the increase in traffic to the units & the increase in traffic to Metro & the pool. They asked Councillors to vote against the DA.
Clr Thanos said that residential units are prohibited in this area & Councillors should vote against it. Clr O’Sullivan said this is an allowable application because it will conserve Bethesda House & Stead House, both heritage buildings. She thought the intensity of the dwellings will detract from Stead House, squash & crowd it & that intense overdevelopment will destroy these buildings. Clr Phillips said all DAs should be coming through Council & that so far, all DAs in our LGA decided by the JRPP have been approved. Clr Olive said he hoped the DA would be refused by the JRPP. Motion to recommend refusal carried.
Clr Phillips moved an urgent item without notice that Council buildings not be used for JRPP meetings. Clr Olive said there is confusion in the community because the state government has created an overlap in the functioning of Council & the JRPP & Clr Phillips’s motion will reduce this confusion. Clr Wright thought it was “mindless symbolism.” She said residents contact Councillors who help them navigate the JRPP process & that Councillors have an impact on JRPP decisions. She thought residents understood the difference in the two processes.
Clr Thanos was concerned about residents from a non-English speaking background who don’t understand the difference between the JRPP & Council. He said he supported the motion to find another location. Clr Hanna didn’t support the motion saying people may have to travel to the city making it harder to attend. Carried with Clrs Tsardoulias, Wright, O’Sullivan & Hanna voting against.
Here ends the Report for this week.
This was the Development Assessment Committee Meeting. Absent: Clrs Peters & Wright. Mayor Iskandar & Clr Hanna were both very ill & I hope they get better quickly. The following is my understanding of the meeting & all mistakes are mine.
The Gallery was full mostly with the community who came for Item 8 – the Marrickville Metro expansion. This was dealt with first & I did not remain for the other agenda items that were DAs for individual houses.
Part 3A Redevelopment of Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre – Clrs Hanna, Macri & Thanos declared a pecuniary interest because they own shops in Dulwich Hill & Marickville & left the chamber. Clr Hanna is also the President of Marrickville Chamber of Commerce.
4 people spoke, 1 for the expansion & 3 against. The person who spoke for the expansion worked as a taxi driver & said his previous work as an engineer made him have much concern for various aspects of the plan. He said that the Metro plan has 3 taxi spots which is not enough as Marrickville Rank is the main place to get jobs in the area. He had assessed the roads around Marrickville Metro & thought the levels suggested in the Drainage Report were insufficient & needed to be lowered 1.5 metres. The parking also needed to be lowered with standard barrier kerbs. He thought that as Murray Street was the major access for trucks, when they back into ramps they will block traffic substantially. He reminded Council that Marrickville Council IS the Roads Authority & the sale is not part of the plan.
He said heavy-duty pavement was needed at bus stops & bi-pass traffic hasn’t been discussed. He wanted a deferred commencement until stormwater & overflow issues for Murray Street, Edinburgh Road were addressed. He said he presumed Council will sell Smidmore Street & therefore didn’t include the issues of this street. He said the roads sit high while drainage sits under concrete ramps. He finished off with saying at least $1.5 million for road construction is needed before the Metro expansion goes ahead.
Three speakers spoke against the Marrickville Metro expansion. Some of the issues they raised were:
- the high level of disturbances, noise & litter that will only worsen should the Marrickville Metro expansion go ahead,
- it was a grossly inappropriately & high development not near a main road & surrounded on 3 sides by residential heritage houses,
- the expansion will affect our community indelibly in the future,
- AMP Capital have had a long-term lobbying campaign & that they are doubling the height, size & impact, not ‘revitalizing’ Metro,
- traffic will significantly increase in surrounding areas,
- although 2 of the speakers live opposite Metro, they have had no community consultation, nor have their neighbours,
- their Traffic Management Plan is inadequate & will take away parking,
- the loss of employment across Marrickville LGA would be massive as 50% of the money local shops currently earn will be lost,
- an Arborist needs to look at the trees surrounding Metro as these trees will be lost for the convenience of the developer,
- the laneway access near Edinburgh & Victoria Roads gives access to 18 garages & it is already difficult to exit this laneway. This area is a cross road, not a t-intersection & if the Marrickville Metro expansion goes ahead they may have to ask for traffic lights,
- there are many road accidents in the area & frequent road rage that can be realistically expected to get worse,
- delivery trucks to Marrickville Metro already break curfew & Metro intend to have 24 hour delivery hours,
- there is no guarantee Marrickville Metro will not charge for parking as happens at Broadway Shopping Centre which will further increase the competition for parking,
- They commended Council’s Report.
Clr Tsardoulias said Marrickville Council doesn’t want the Marrickville Metro expansion to go ahead. Clr Byrne said Council will not consent to sell Smidmore Street & that a Marrickville Metro expansion will have a detrimental impact on both Marrickville & the broader community. She said it was blindingly obvious it was a bad idea, that the plans are flawed & she was surprised it has got this far. She thought the loss of employment & the loss of trees are issues that need to be included in Council’s Report & reminded the community that the Minister for Planning is the final decision maker.
Clr O’Sullivan spoke about the devastation to shops on Glebe Point Road because of the Broadway Shopping Centre & Double Bay shops because of Westfield. She said the concept plan was amorphous & slippery & conducive to concealment. She also said IKEA will not be renewing its lease at Rhodes so Edgeware Road will become an artery.
Clr Phillips spoke about Marrickville Metro’s glossy PR shots which are deceptive & don’t show all the empty shops around the LGA. He thought their survey saying that most people want an expansion is also quite deceptive. He said Council doesn’t want the Town Centre at Metro & he didn’t support the sale of Smidmore Street. He said AMP Capitol want a voluntary agreement of $800,000 to allow for community infrastructure in Metro, but we already have our own libraries & this is private space. He mentioned 1,000 extra cars/hour on Saturdays & 500 extra/hour on Thursday nights. He said if it wasn’t a Part 3A, it wouldn’t have a hope of being approved through Council.
Clr Olive said that 13-55 Edinburgh was prohibited for reuse & that Marrickville Council’s Urban Strategy has never endorsed this kind of development. He said if the Minister approves it, he will be going against what the NSW state government has been telling Council for many years is not permitted. It should not go ahead & will be a detriment to the community. Mayor Iskandar said we will fight the Metro expansion & we will win. Clr Kontellis said Metro has been working on this for many years, that they asked for rezoning & it was given. She said 95% of Part 3A applications are approved & she felt cynical.
Clr Tsardoulias asked that the airspace in Smidmore Street be included in
Council’s Report & that Anthony Albanese had told him earlier that in excess of 500 submissions against the Marrickville Metro expansion have been received from the community. He said if the expansion goes ahead, local shops will have to drop staff & stay open longer to make up the difference.
One major aspect of Council’s Report is a recommendation to take Metro’s application to an Independent Hearing & Assessment panel (IHAP). This will allow the community another opportunity to speak about their objections to the plan. The motion that Council make a submission along the lines of the report prepared by staff was carried unanimously.
Just a reminder that the deadline for submissions opposing the Marrickville Metro expansion is this Friday 10th September 2010. To read more about the issues see - http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/marrickville-metro-expansion/
Last night was the Development Assessment Committee Meeting. Absent: Clr O’Sullivan on leave. The Deputy Mayor of Larnaca, Cyprus was acknowledged as a special guest in the Gallery. As usual, the following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.
2A-4 West Street Lewisham – 9 two-storey townhouses. A local resident spoke against the DA saying it was more destruction of significant Lewisham history with another substantial house being demolished & local residents were concerned with the amount of new housing in the area. He asked that a comprehensive Dilapidation Report be done on his property. Clr Marcri confirmed that a Dilapidation Report would be prepared. The DA was passed unanimously.
40 Albermale Street Newtown – 2-storey house with a 2-storey garage. This is the 3rd time before Council. The neighbour is concerned about loss of sun, loss of light, changes to the line of houses & streetscape. He said the house is a gross overdevelopment for the size of the land & of the 8 grounds for refusal, only 6 have been partially addressed. He also said that cracks appear in his walls from month to month due to the small foundations & therefore was worried about deep excavation 1 metre from his house. The speaker for the DA said they had compromised by doing deeper excavation, lowering the roofline, reduced the room above the garage by 9 sq metres & they will cut a hole in the roof to allow sunlight to go into the neighbour’s property.
Clr Tsardoulias supported the DA saying he was not concerned with overshadowing. Clrs Olive & Phillips said that the open space was less than required & thought this DA set a bad precedent for the area. The DA was lost with Clrs Hanna, Macri, Tsardoulias, Iskandar & Wright voting for it to be passed. Clr Olive then moved for refusal on Council outlined grounds which was carried with the same Councillors voting against.
174 Denison Road & 36 Piggot Street Dulwich Hill – Subdivide this land
into 2 lots. A DA for this site was last before Council in May 2010 for twelve 3-storey townhouses. This saw a return of the Save Hoskins Park community group who were united in opposition of the amended DA. 3 residents spoke against the DA saying it was an unsympathetic over-development that would ruin an intact area of 1920s houses, create parking problems, overshadowing & that scant consideration was given to Marrickville Council’s own development requirements & policies. They said 150 objections were sent to Council with a petition of 800 signatures & their Face Book site had 230 friends demonstrating the community was against this DA. They also said it didn’t make sense to sell off the heritage & streetscape for short-term gain.
Clr Thanos said the development was wrong & would ruin the look & feel of the area. Clr Tsardoulias supported Clr Thanos & asked Council to look at classifying 134-136 Piggot Street as heritage houses. Clr Kontelis wanted safeguards to stop development that is “greedy & disrespectful” to protect our cultural heritage. The DA was refused. I wrote about this development here – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/3-more-street-trees-up-for-removal-local-news/ & http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/report-from-the-gallery-–-4th-may-2010/
Operating hours of the Annette Kellerman Pool – Opening at 5.30am Mon-Sat. A resident spoke against the extended hours saying they will
set a precedent for increased hours for Marrickville Metro & asked that hours be unchanged & reassessed in 12 months. Another resident spoke about increased traffic, parking, noise that will impact on residents by affecting their sleep & therefore their health. He asked why did Council think earlier than 8am was not okay for Sundays, but 5am was okay for the rest of the week.
Clrs Thanos, Macri, Iskandar & Wright supported a 5.30am opening. Clr Macri said Council will not be running the pool, therefore they won’t have control over what goes on. (I was shocked to learn that Council will not be operating the pool. 17 plus million of ratepayers’ money to build it, yet the profits go elsewhere?) He put up an amendment that there be an incentive to the operator to keep noise down by having a 12 month report on noise. He also said it was important to give residents recourse to come back to Council. Clr Peters was concerned that there was a gym & noise from music could affect neighbours & wanted a 12 month trial. The amendment from Clr Macri was lost with support from Clrs Tsardoulias & Peters.
Cyprus Club – 58-76 Stanmore Road Stanmore – 4 storey, open piazza, 11 room guest accommodation, 25 place child care centre & 46 one bed & 10 two bed units. The Architect said they had lowered the building by 200mm & reduced the numbers of units by 4. He also said they had consulted with the community. A resident spoke saying the resubmitted plan made token & cosmetic changes, that they were asked to follow the topography & they haven’t done this & will set a precedent for the area. He said community consultation was bad, they met with the developer, took the information back to the residents & when they tried to meet with the developer again, he remained unable to be contacted.
There was a long debate with Clrs Byrne, Philips, Peters concerned with height, size, bulk & overshadowing problems & not working with the topography. Clr Peters was concerned that environmental strategies were not included in the design & that the size is above Council’s own floorspace standards. Clr Thanos, Macri, Tsardoulias, Iskandar, Kontellis & Hanna spoke in support of the development. Issues discussed were the requirement of 2 hours direct sunlight for neighbours, that the roof height was only 8 cm over the requirement, the community has been there a long time, they are setting up independent living for elderly people & it is important to support the Cyprus Club. Clr Kontellis supported the DA, but said she would like the developer to “consider incorporating her colleagues’ valid points.” The DA was passed with Clrs Olive, Peters, Phillips & Byrne voting against.
525 Illawarra Road Marickville South – 4 storey Residential Aged Care facility for 120 beds & a 2-storey Child Care Centre with off-street parking for 86 vehicles. This DA will go before the Joint Regional Planning Panel on Thursday 12th August 2010 at Marrickville Town Hall at 5.30pm. (Also decided at this sitting of the JRPP will be 359 Illawarra Road Marrickville, the old Marrickville RSL site.) The public are welcome to attend & speak before the panel.
A weird thing happened to me last night in the Gallery of Marrickville Council. I lost all motivation. The audio was again dreadful. It was very difficult trying to listen to the Councillors through the sound which alternated between frying eggs & sitting next to a bubbling aquarium. The heat was stifling. Clr Olive was alert to this & wore a t-shirt.
I wonder whether the Councillors also have trouble hearing each other & think if they do, it would make the long hours they spent in meetings very difficult. It’s stressful to hear a constant sizzling noise in the background while the voices of the speakers are on low sound. I think Council should bite the bullet & invest in a new audio system.
Last night was the Development Assessment Committee Meeting, which is not my favourite meeting. Sometimes it is interesting when it concerns high-rise, destruction of heritage buildings, Backpackers, the removal of mature trees or the like, but after the first item I found I couldn’t stay. The lure of the Sultan’s Table in Enmore was too great so we slipped out into the fresh air.
We did stay for the first item, a DA at 51 Thornley Street Marrickville South. They were applying to build a dual occupancy with one of the dwellings in the back garden. What was of interest to me was the DA sought to remove 2 mature trees on the property. Both trees were protected by Marrickville Council’s tree preservation order. A consulting Arborist made a report. While the Arborist agreed the trees could be removed & replacement trees be planted along with general landscaping, it is my understanding this was not accepted by Council. The trees will stay & the Fig will have one branch pruned. The DA was passed which would have pleased the owners as they first submitted a DA in August 2008.
Councillor Tsardoulias was back in his seat, so he seems to have recovered, which is good. Clrs Byrnes, Wright & Iskandar were absent. Here ends the shortest Report from the Gallery I have ever written. Once again, any mistakes are mine.