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The Draft Marrickville Local Environmental Plan (LEP) & the Development Control Plan 2010 are now open to public consultation.
These documents are very important in that once passed, they set what is okay in terms of development, how land can be used, controls for development including height, scale, density, heritage, conservation, parking & biodiversity for Marrickville LGA for the next 25 years. This means, if it has been deemed okay in the new LEP to build a 6 storey high-rise residential unit in your street, any attempts to oppose this development will likely fail. Great areas across the LGA have been earmarked for high-density high-rise living as the NSW state government has allocated housing increases to local councils that they must meet. Marrickville LGA has been told to increase its housing & Council are encouraging affordable housing.
From Marrickville Council’s website – The draft South Subregional Strategy contains dwelling targets & employment capacity targets for the south subregion to 2031. The targets contained in the draft South Subregional Strategy are an additional 35,000 dwellings by 2031 & additional 29,000 employment capacity by 2031.
The dwelling target for the Marrickville LGA is an additional 4,150 to 2031. The employment capacity target for the Marrickville LGA is 500 additional jobs to 2031. Marrickville Council is required to plan for these increases within its new comprehensive LEP & consolidated DCP.
The recently approved 3-building 7-storey high-rise residential development at the old Marrickville RSL site was only for 180 units. This gives a good idea just what 4,150 new dwellings will look like in terms of the visual impact with new high-rise development. Marrickville LGA will become a very different place in the years ahead & Council are giving us a chance to have a say in how it will look.
Marrickville Council have been quite generous in allowing the community 3 months to comment & shape the LEP. This gives ample time to thoroughly look at it & make comment.
The 2 plans are available to download on the net via Council’s website http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/lepdcpexhibition or you can view hard copies at Marrickville Council Citizen’s Service Centre or at Stanmore, Dulwich Hill, St Peters & Marrickville Libraries. You can email or post your submission or comment online.
The deadline for submissions is 5pm on 4th February 2011.
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.
This post has nothing to do with trees, but I believe it is of interest in light of the fact that Marrickville LGA is about to undergo quite substantial high-rise development.
In 2002 Council decided to create a new rate of ‘rates’ to apply to large shopping centres like Marrickville Metro. It charged Marrickville Metro the new ‘rate,’ higher than the rate that applies to homes & smaller businesses.
The company paid the new rate each year, but in 2008 objected & took the case to the Land & Environment Court. The court ruled in Marrickville Council’s favour. The company appealed to the NSW Court of Appeal. It argued the new rate should be overruled on a raft of grounds such as: Council had failed to comply with various sections of the Local Government Act, the rate was unfair, the rate was targeting only one site (Marrickville Metro), the 2002 & subsequent decisions about the new rate were manifestly unreasonable, the rate was imposed for improper purpose, the rate was discriminatory, some Councillors who voted in favour of the rate were biased.
On 24th June 2010, the 3 judges of the NSW Court of Appeal dismissed every ground of the company’s appeal. At paragraph 198 of the judgment Justice John Basten put it beautifully & succinctly, where he wrote: In many respects the company’s submissions “were simply untenable” & its arguments “were largely misconceived.”
The General Manager’s report in 2002 that examined the rationale for the higher ‘rate’ said:
Council may wish to consider the following factors:
- Larger shopping centres may attract additional traffic to the LGA & may concentrate traffic emanating from within the LGA placing a proportionately greater pressure on existing road & footpath infrastructure than other shopping configurations.
- Larger shopping centres attract larger retailers who are more likely to draw from a wider employment pool than that available within the LGA. Small shops along shopping strips & local businesses may be more likely to employ local staff enhancing local employment & local economic prosperity.
- Council may determine that the rate to be applied to shopping strips should be proportionately less than that applying to larger shopping areas to promote the survival of shopping strips. Apart from the more obvious issue of maintaining the economic vitality of local businesses, this action would support the following Council initiatives:
- Mainstreet strategies to promote local business
- Streetscape works designed to enhance the look & feel of shopping areas
- Community Safety objectives which are enhanced when people are attracted to prosperous, pleasant, well lit, local shopping areas
- Access for the elderly to shopping facilities particularly where car transport is not available.
- Enhancing the economic viability of suburban businesses may assist in maintaining the individual character of shopping & business zones within the Marrickville LGA. This would reflect the cultural, social & economic needs of the diverse range of residents within these areas & may help promote the unique characteristics of the Marrickville Council area from a tourist perspective.”
This is a landmark decision. Well done Marrickville Council. Businesses & developments are getting bigger & bigger, bringing increasing pressure on public infrastructure & impacts on the community that Council ultimately needs to pay for. It would be nice if the JRPP keep the above points in the General Manager’s report at the forefront of their mind when considering applications for new large developments.
I’m a bit late with this, but I have just read Marrickville Matters. I always like this magazine. They have a nice article about trees on page 5.
For those of you who don’t know, Marrickville Council has launched My Place 2021 & they are asking the community to have a say about the new Community Strategic Plan. The plan covers many areas including environmental & development issues. It hasn’t closed for comments & I’m not sure when this will happen. Don’t let this opportunity to have your say regarding how you think Marrickville LGA should be over the next 10 years. There have been a few comments, but not such that I would call great community involvement. You can comment anonymously if you like. I’ve yet to add my 2 cents worth. http://myplace2021.com.au/
The DA for the old Marrickville RSL site corner of Illawarra Road & Byrne Street is back like the gift from our Auntie that we don’t like. According to people I have spoken with, this newer version just brims with problems, including 5 areas of non-compliance. Frankly, the community are angry that their concerns have not been taken notice of by the developer & freaked out that it will be approved by the JRPP when it goes before them.
It’s all a matter of personal taste, but having looked at the plans, I think the building is ugly & without doubt, totally out of character for the area. It’s like the developers don‘t take the community seriously. “You are going to get modern so live with it!”
It looks like something from Pyrmont & despite this being an issue last time, there is NO minimal GREEN SPACE.
Are the developers thinking that this will be start-up housing before people move onto better accommodation? If so, then in my mind, they are creating a future ghetto for Marrickville. The developer says this development fits into Council’s future vision for Marrickville. This belief is another reason why it is important to leave your opinion on My Space 2021. Both the Councillors & Council staff need our input when designing our future.
There will be 3 buildings at 6, 7 & 9 storeys meaning it will tower over the neighbourhood & block city views from Schwebel Street. It will also bounce train noise from 3 rail lines back to Schwebel Street & the housing on the hill. The people who live here say it is already very noisy, especially during the night. The goods line is about to commence operating 24 hours a day.
The plans intend 17 studio units (I would have thought this type of housing wouldn’t be allowed anymore), 73 one bedroom units & 90 two bedroom units, a total 180 units. The previous plans were for 128 units. The community thought this was too big so they have returned with a plan for 180 units.
It has parking for 171 vehicles so they expect owners will not have cars. There is 663 sq metres of retail floor space, enough for a supermarket, so I wonder where the shoppers are going to park.
It appears they have removed the RSL from the plan because of concern having shoppers & kids able to see drinking & gambling from the shops & added another 3 metres to the overall size.
There is a petition going around with hundreds of signatures & I urge you to sign it. Once I know where it will be I will post the locations and date/times. If you would like a draft submission, you can send me an e-mail & I will send you the draft which was sent to me.
You can download a copy of the DA at Marrickville Council’s website -http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/p190800/eproclaim/index.asp?request_url=ptgeApplications/ptgePublicNoticeAppsList.asp It is 12 down in the list for 359 Illawarra Road Marrickville. You can also view in hard copy at Council’s Citizens Service Centre during business hours.
The deadline for submissions is Thursday 15th April 2010.
You will need to quote DA201000115, your reasons for objecting & provide your name & address (preferably your email address) & a contact phone number.
I sincerely hope that many people take the trouble to send in a submission. This development is regarded by many as the test run. If it gets through, then it signals what is okay for Marrickville LGA & we will get a lot more developments of this kind. It won’t take long before our Inner West area is changed for the negative with ugly high-rise & masses of traffic congestion.
Everyone I have spoken with acknowledges development & housing is needed. They just want it to blend into the neighbourhood, be greener in outlook, creative & not create towers & canyons that they feel will ruin the area. I agree.
While I was writing this I watched the news which was outlining the proposed massive increase in population in NSW. Isn’t it interesting how this topic has become accepted in our language in just a few months. Everything else has followed, including the pushing of high-rise throughout Sydney’s suburbs. From an idea, it’s become a ‘must.’
The evening opened up with an Extraordinary Council Meeting about our Sister City relationship with the island of Madeira, which was recently struck by flood & landslides killing 42 & injuring 250 people.
Discussion covered recognising the devastating effects of this & other recent natural disasters, Council’s poor financial position, the lack of financial capability to reciprocate to an equal level when representatives from Sister Cities visit Marrickville, the large numbers of Sister Cities we have & whether this should be reduced (imagine, “sorry sister, it’s goodbye”) & developing a policy regarding financial assistance to Sister Cities when Council is having problems financially supporting its own services.
The motion was carried to donate $5,000 from the Sister Cities budget to help with rebuilding the affected area. Mayor Iskandar had the deciding vote.
Then came the Development Assessment Meeting. One wouldn’t think that DAs are interesting unless they directly concern you, but actually they are.
There were DAs for single block developments, shops & large residential housing. The gallery was full & some residents waited for 2 hours to speak. The following is my impressions & thoughts:
People from both sides feel quite passionate & emotional about DAs. Some were frustrated by the time required for the DA process.
Local residents were concerned about developments they felt would significantly change the streetscape in terms of set-back & visual impact. Height, noise, parking, privacy & loss of light were other issues causing concern.
I have seen these issues raised many times both inside & outside Council meetings. People who become involved by attending Council meetings, signing petitions or lobbying against certain DAs hold the streetscape of the Inner West in high regard & they want to retain it. It appears that some people new to the area & developers want to build more modern buildings & this causes a conflict with the other residents.
Given that these developments are being built, I don’t think it will be too many years before the visual outlook of great chunks of Marrickville LGA will be significantly changed. Unlike Haberfield, which has decreed no modern buildings will be allowed & heritage will be protected at all cost, Marrickville LGA does not seem to have a policy like this.
I could be wrong, but it seems to me that if a DA ticks all the boxes, it is up to the councillors as to whether it gets approved. Naturally, the Councillors have differing perceptions of taste & beliefs as to what constitutes appropriate outlook, as well as what should be knocked down. Many cherished buildings considered heritage by the Marrickville Heritage Society & other authorities have been demolished over the years.
Last night one developer said the plans for a large residential development were “unashamedly contemporary,” yet the area this development is situated is one of the most historical in the LGA in terms of housing, other buildings, parks, trees & other historical infrastructure. I see some box-like buildings plonked next to softer, filigree terraces, but I belong to Marrickville Historical Society, so of course I prefer the older buildings.
Only last week Paul Keating said on Lateline, “Well, I can’t teach you good taste” when speaking about the 60 storey glass hotel in red planned for a finger pier at Barangaroo. Interesting that I liked much of the proposed development, but not this particular building.
I mention the issue of development & taste because our suburbs are changing. Marrickville LGA is about to embark on major new development & much of it will be high-rise. A lot will get through because the state government wants us to have housing for something like another 10,000 people & frankly Marrickville Council desperately needs the money which comes from Section 94 contributions (what the developers pay to Council).
The Councillors need our input either directly or via community lobby groups. Mayor Iskandar said this in both Marrickville Matters & the Inner West Courier recently. He also said that the changes coming would affect the community for at least the next 25 years. If we don’t let the Councillors know what we don’t want, then we will have to accept what the developers give us.
Very soon, a DA for a Backpackers in Addison Road Enmore will come before Council. This is a 130 plus bed establishment with 7 parking spaces, 2 of them designated Disabled Parking. Is this of consequence? Judging by the speakers last night & other recent community action regarding the proposed development on the old Marrickville RSL site, parking is a huge issue in people’s minds. Council is passing DAs where residents question the parking ratio & sincerely believe parking opportunities will be worse with the new development.
It’s changing times. Denser living will further impact on parking. Backpackers often have sufficient funds to buy a car & most residences have at least one car & sometimes more than two. Council & the government are encouraging public transport use, but living close to a railway station really doesn’t have much of an impact on vehicle ownership yet. Perhaps later it will when petrol becomes costlier. For now, there is the problem with a transport system that is already deemed inadequate. It’s all food for thought.
Moving to trees, a DA at 23 West Street was passed last night. This site will have 8 double storey modern townhouses built on a block where there are two 9 metre Council protected Canary Island Palm trees & a Fiddle Leafed Fig tree on the boundary of the back property. Council’s own report stated that Canary Island Palm trees only live for 15-40 years so the development would ‘outlive’ them. In fact, these trees generally live for 150-160 years, which is an enormous difference.
The Councillors agreed these 2 trees will be relocated to the back of the development, stipulating the root protection zone of the Fig tree will also be protected. This is a good thing, though I’m sorry we will lose the Palms from the streetscape, which has or is about to lose 31 trees on the opposite side of the street. Change.
It was good to hear that Palms relocated at Enmore Park for the swimming pool development are doing well.
Another DA passed was 63 Grove Street St Peters which will erect 34 double storey dwellings. 2 mature trees will be removed, yet the landscaping is great. They intend to plant 10 trees capable of growing to 15 metres, 19 trees reaching 5 metres, 9 trees reaching 7 metres, 10 trees reaching 8 metres & 46 trees reaching 5 metres. 94 trees in total. They also intend to preserve the current street trees. I wish all developments planted this percentage of tall growing trees.
One final point of interest is that various sites across Marrickville LGA are considered contaminated, so don’t eat the dirt. There is some serious toxic stuff around from poor industry practices in the past & dumping. Like toxins that live on to create problems decades later, we need to think if an upcoming development will also be like that & whether we want to be involved in community consultation to shape our community for the better.
On 24th January 2010 I reported in Tree News Local & International of a report by The Cumberland Courier of the death of a grove of 40 year old Gums on a property in Boundary Road, Box Hill which was being investigated by Hills Shire Council & Castle Hill police. Seems Hills Shire Council believes the trees have been poisoned as they have drill holes in them. Apart from the Gums, a number of Ironbarks thought to be older than 100 years are also dying on this property. Sad. Sad. Sad. You can read the first part of the story here - http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/what-s-killing-box-hill-s-trees/
& the second follow-up article here – http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/dying-trees-may-be-over-100-years-old-council-confirms-trees-poisoned/
Energy Australia is getting more negative publicity this time from the Inner West Courier. http://inner-west-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/wrights-rd-drummoyne-ruined-days-after-resurfacing/
Coffs Harbour City Council just won a court case against a company owner for the removal of koala habitat trees on a Moonee property in June 2009. The company received a hefty fine. To read this click on the following - http://www.lgtra.com/in-the-news/7-council/61-tree-preservation-order-fines-highlight-need-for-awareness.html
I don’t know if this type of offence has always made news, but it seems to me that tree vandalism is making the news globally at the moment. I think this is terrific. When I was growing up people did dreadful things to trees & there was no-one to call them to account for it. The attitude was ‘man conquers trees’ & we have huge loss of forests world-wide & a massive reduction in the percentage of urban trees to show for it.
Times have changed & it seems the community is insisting that offences against trees be punished. This type of attitudinal shift will only benefit us in the long-term & perhaps over the next 30 years we can leave the world in a much better state than it is currently.
The Cooks River Valley Times this week had the intended massive expansion (more than double) of Marrickville Metro shopping centre on their front page. If AMP do get approval to expand Marrickville Metro, we will lose another lot of healthy, mature & old Hills Figs. There are more than 20 which surround the shopping complex. Apart from the food & shelter these trees give to local wildlife, they serve a very important role in disguising the visually unpleasant complex, which is basically a cement box with entrances & ramps leading to car parking. Okay, this is what malls generally look like, but the Figs are way too precious to be chopped down to significantly enlarge a centre where shop-keepers have told me during general chit-chat over last 2-3 years that they are struggling to survive. There are also a number of tall Eucalypts with trunks around 2-3 metres which may also have to go if the building expands outwards & not upwards. This DA is going to have a big impact for the community if it goes ahead. I seem to remember Marrickville Council’s Draft LEP mentioning something about new units planned to house thousands of people within 800 metres from Metro. Oh boy. More high-rise.
Integral Energy have “chastised some of its contactors for overzealous pruning of street trees” after the street trees in Christine Street Northmead were ruined. Intergal Energy admitted their contactor “got it wrong.” In the article written in the Cumberland Courier the energy company talks about their tree pruning practices & training.
You may come across a Marrickville Greens flyer advertising a public meeting about the proposed DA for the Marrickville RSL site. I have posted a couple of times about this development application because it is the first of many such high-rise buildings which will change Marrickville as we know it forever & not for the better in my opinion. Many residents are very upset & angry with the RSL site DA & Marrickville Council’s Draft Local Environment Plan (LEP).
I am not unhappy about the return of the RSL. I never went to the old one, but many of my elderly neighbours went on a daily basis. It gave them an affordable hot meal & some social activity, which benefited them on a number of levels.
The problem with this particular development is that at 9 storeys it is too high, almost double the height of the latest developments on Marrickville Road. It will include 128 units. One could realistically would anticipate at least 2 people would live in each unit. This is a lot of people on such a small piece of land housed less than council’s own restriction of 30 metres from a railway line.
There will be 398 parking spaces & a supermarket twice the size of Woolworths. The supermarket will be open from 7am – midnight Monday to Thursday & 7am -1am on Saturday through to Sunday morning & from 8am – 11.30pm on Sundays. This supermarket will be open more hours than closed.
5 loading docks will operate from 6am – 10pm Monday to Saturday & 7am – 9pm on Sundays.
There will be phenomenal traffic to the supermarket, the residential units & the RSL Club. The developer anticipates 590 vehicles an hour. Illawarra Road & surrounds is barely coping with traffic during peak hours now. Blind Freddy can see that large amounts of traffic will spill into surrounding streets resulting in more noise & pollution. I know this to be true, as traffic in my street has tripled since we moved here. Marrickville already suffers from noise from planes, trains & automobiles. When will Council & the State Labor Government think we have reached our limit?
The Draft LEP passed by Marrickville Council last month agreed to high-rise development (7-9 storeys) along Marrickville Road in the Dulwich Hill & Marrickville shopping areas & along Illawarra Road from Marrickville Road to Warren Road. Most of the block between Illawarra & Petersham Road will also be similar high-rise development.
Many shop owners attended the council meeting that passed the draft LEP & they definitely approved of this plan if the amount of clapping at cheering was an indication. Apparently 38 shops along the Marrickville strip are currently empty. I suppose they think with 4150 new residents, business will improve. I would guess that business would be good for the supermarket at the RSL site, but unlikely elsewhere. Smaller grocery stores will be competing with 2 big supermarkets & I am not including Banana Joes.
Development has to happen because Sydney is growing at a phenomenal pace & not everyone wants to live in the newer outer suburbs, nor should they have to. The Labor & Independent councillors repeatedly stated during last month’s meeting that they preferred high-rise in the town centre rather than building residential units in our suburban streets. So do I, but such comments might be interpreted as threatening the residents & manipulating the issue: Shut up or multi-storey units will go up in your quiet street.
I can’t see any green space or trees in the RSL site plans. With a development of this size it is imperative that open green space is available for the residents & their children. The closest park is at the bottom of Byrne Street & it is small & lacking in facilities. The DA intends to remove the pedestrian crossing to this park for greater access for their trucks.
The Marrickville Greens will be holding a Public Meeting on – Wednesday 23rd September 09 @ 7pm @ Herb Greedy Hall –79 Petersham Road, Marrickville.
Regardless of your political preferences, please attend this meeting & hear what the issues are in more detail. Attendance will send a message to Labor & the Independents that the residents are prepared to take a stand on this, not just sitting back while their community is ruined.
PS The lights were back on again in Mackey Park when we went for a walk a couple of nights ago. Thanks to whoever is responsible.