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At the Marrickville Council Meeting of 1st May 2012 Councillors voted to allow developer Brookfield Multiplex to proceed with a planning proposal for a new development in Marrickville called the Victoria Road Precinct.
Clrs Olive, Phillips, Byrne, O’Sullivan & Wright voted against the proposal. Mayor Hanna, Clrs Macri, Iskandar, Tsardoulias, Thanos voted for it with the Mayor using his casting vote to pass the vote.
Council’s recommendation was, “Council advise the proponent of the Victoria Road corridor development proposal that it will consider revised planning controls for the precinct along the lines of those which apply in the B5 & the B7 zoned areas under MLEP 2011. These may include bulky goods uses, showrooms, creative industries & live/work (similar to that permitted in the St Peters triangle precinct) land uses in appropriate parts of the precinct. Additionally, that these investigations be undertaken in advance of the next review of the MUS which is scheduled for 2013.”
The developer’s main selling point is that it will be a 6-star energy-rating precinct. The area is mostly industrial zoning as far as I can tell & is under the flight path.
Brookfield Multiplex say we don’t provide enough local employment opportunities & want to create “showroom retail along Victoria Road, Intermediate zone to inland commercial uses, transitioning to industrial uses in the east, transitioning to residential uses in the west, sprinkled with cultural uses, extending green corridors through the site.”
The Inner West Courier say that, “…. the precinct would push showrooms as the main type of employment, with items such as timber, tiles & all home renovation needs.” http://bit.ly/K3vldC I guess this will be like what is happening in Alexandra – a place to go to look for your new bathroom, taps, tiles etc.
I cannot see in the proposal or my notes how many people or how many units they intend for the precinct, but considering they are looking at around 350 units just for the Marrickville RSL development, I would guess in the thousands. I seem to remember 5,000 people mentioned, but don’t accept this as fact.
In the papers it says that, “Council which has fulfilled its commitments under the State planning framework to plan for additional dwellings & employment numbers.” These are 4,100 extra people in Marrickville. “Pivotal to any strategic assessment is the fact that Council has met its dwelling targets to 2031 & requires an additional 600 dwellings to meet its 2036 target.” That is 24-years in the future.
Two other sites are being looked at to add further housing on top of the 4,100 agreed for the LEP 2011 that takes us to 2031 – Carrington Road Marrickville (1,000-1,500) & West Street Petersham. I can’t see how the Victoria Road Precinct plan will not go ahead in some form or another now that approval has been given for developers to do more work on the idea.
Lastly, the perimeters of the precinct –
Sydenham Road from to Fitzroy Street to Edinburgh Road, then up Leicester Street, around Enmore Park via Victoria Road, Black Street & Llewellyn Street, back onto Enmore Road, then into Cowper Street, down Phillipott Street, Fahey Lane, down Perry Street, Addison Road to Illawarra Road, then along York Street, back onto Illawarra Road opposite Charles Street, down King Street, into Shepherd Street, around Marrickville Primary School at Thompson Street, incorporating all the industrial properties down Farr Street to return back onto Sydenham Road. It’s a big place.
Tonight the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) met at Marrickville Town Hall to consider the DA for the old Marrickville RSL site. Well, they did approve it (unanimously) despite around 100 people from the community attending & 12 people, including Clr Kontellis, Clr O’Sullivan speaking at length about what they believed were the problems of this development. I also addressed the Panel. There were many arguments from the community including that the proposed building was ugly, inappropriately big, greedy, non-green & insensitive to the locality.
The Panel members were Clr Macri, Mr Ken Hawke, Mr John Roseth, Ms Mary-Lynne Taylor & Mr David Furlong. The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.
The JRPP gave the following reasons for approval:
- The height of the development is not reasonably out of context with other developments & future planning
- The current floor space ratio requirement is 2:1, the development will be 2.29:1
- The height of 26 metres is allowed for this site
- The traffic impact is acceptable
- There will be some views loss, but on balance the proposal allows reasonable view sharing
- The developer advertising the units before approval by the JRPP was noted, seen as ‘unfortunate,’ but did not influence the Panel.
The JRPP imposed 2 conditions:
- The waste storage had to be designed in a way that the garbage trucks can enter the property, this be dealt with & with the okay from Council before development starts
- Install appropriate AS115A street lighting across the street at no cost to Council
Essentially, why would the JRPP knock back a 7 storey development when Illawarra Road & Marrickville Road is about to be developed with 5-6-9 & 13 storey buildings?
The Architect spoke about his cultural background, that he grew up in Campsie, danced at the Marrickville Town Hall when he was younger & was an award winning Architect.
He said along the following lines, I designed the Lamia development & am extremely proud of that. It was refused by Marrickville Council & has won an architecture award. People were complaining about that. I’m not shy about landing a big building in Marrickville as it can do an enormous amount of environmental good. It’s called urban consolidation.
He said he had 25 more points (I would guess they were issues brought up by the residents to address), but decided not to, asking the Panel if they had any questions for him. They had 3.
1. Why is the building so high?
A: We have a mandate to work within what is already presently there. 7 storeys is a significant offering to the street. There is an enormous amount of amenity in buildings these days. Hollowing out the centre does this. High is an appropriate form. Marrickville Town Hall has enormous height. Any building next to a railway should be a public building.
2. Why haven’t you included solar panels?
A: Technology would be token. We do not have the solar cells. Better would be passive like not being required to turn the light switches on. (All 180 units have reverse cycle air-conditioning. Now that’s green.)
3. Had you considered a green roof?
A: Not an environmental mandate. You have to water a green roof. To what end is pumping water up to the roof? (Actually, I have read that certain succulents routinely used for green roofs planted on a purpose-built green roof base do not need watering, survive solely on rainwater & can sustain long periods without water)
So there you have it. The local people at the meeting left angry. I feel very sad. This building is just the start of high-rise development in Marrickville town centre. The only building that I have heard discussed as having green requirements, is the Marrickville Hospital site. I can only hope that the new Local Environment Plan includes green building & sustainability such as green roof, green walls, solar power, decent sized trees & green space as a mandate.