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130 sq metres of roof at the Alfred E. Smith Career & Technical Education High School in Melrose in the Bronx USA has just been transformed into a green roof.
“In the high months of heat like June, August September you’re going to see at least a 65 percent change in the temperature.”
There is a 1 minute video that allows you to see the roof to get a good idea of the changes & how they are doing it. http://bronx.ny1.com/content/top_stories/127275/bronx-school-begins–green-roof–installation
Seeing this made me think again of The Revolution apartment building to be built on the old Marrickville RSL site. The Architect said green roofs were not a mandate in Marrickville LGA. I am wondering whether Marrickville Council’s new Local Environment Plan (LEP) that is due to be released for public exhibition will be encouraging green roofs in as many new developments as possible. I hope so.
Green roofs last 3 times longer than an ordinary roof & lower temperatures by around 65%. To me this is such an easy intervention to get serious benefits in lowered energy use & improved quality of life. The video is interesting & shows that roofs already in place can be transformed into green roofs.
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.
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.
Marrickville Mayor said something very interesting in the Inner West Courier 10th September 09 & I quote: “It isn’t up to us. It’s up to the community we’re consulting with, because it’s going to really affect the people of Marrickville for another 25 years. I will be listening to the people to give me their advice.”
Mayor Iskandar was responding to questioning from journalist Marie Sansom for an article she wrote called ‘Draft plan allows high-rise’ with the subtitle ‘Heritage under threat, say Greens.’ In this article, she discusses Marrickville Council’s draft Local Environment Plan (LEP) which Labor & the Independent councillors Thanos, Marcri & Hanna passed at a Council meeting a couple of weeks ago. I was there & witnessed most of it. I left half way through the Greens amendment being tabled by Clr Peter Olive. The next day I heard from other residents that all the councillors, particularly the Independents successfully argued against the Greens amendment. The feedback I was given was ‘vitriolic.’ It must have been a humdinger of a meeting. They felt despondent, like high-rise was a ‘done deal.’
The meeting was filled with excitement from both the gallery & some of the councillors. It started with each councillor having to declare pecuniary interest & listing the properties held by themselves or their families in the area. This was very interesting & perhaps explained the excitement. Then an 1880’s heritage building & Art Deco units were voted to be demolished. A few weeks ago the Beynon & Hayward building on Livingstone Road Petersham was agreed to be demolished for a car park. I’ll leave this for Marrickville Heritage Society to comment on, suffice to say heritage does not count for much with all but the Greens.
So the situation is the NSW State Labor Government intends for Marrickville council to add an extra 4000 dwellings in Marrickville by 2031. First up is the old RSL site, which I posted on last month. 7 storeys with 2 storeys designated for retail – one space at 600 sq mts, perfect for a supermarket. Traffic along Renwick Street going up to Woolworths was counted a couple of years ago at around 575 a day. The developer’s plans expect 590 cars per hour. This is a mammoth volume. Even if this means peak hour only, the traffic spill off on our streets is going to be horrendous.
This is a tree site, so I have said enough. The September 10th edition of the Inner West Courier isn’t available on the net yet, but if you go to http://digitaledition-innercity.innerwestcourier.com.au/ you can view it when it is posted. Note also the front page reporting that Planning Minister Kristina Keneally has backed down after community pressure over development at White Bay. People power can be effective. The recent opposition to the loss of the Figs has proven this.
Please contact Mayor Iskandar & tell him you don’t want 7 storey or above development in Marrickville. firstname.lastname@example.org 9558 7777 or 0408 210 618 If we sit back & do nothing, it will happen. Mayor Iskandar says these changes will affect us for the next 25 years, more like forever I say.