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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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

Banana 'trees,' perfect for rooftop gardens. For trivial pursuit fanatics: Bananas are not actually trees. Their trunk is a pseudostem that dies once a bunch of bananas have been produced

Right now in major cities of the world enormously good things are happening in regards to built-up areas & green space. They too have growing populations. However, they have made decisions to make buildings more green, sustainable, people friendly as well as environmentally friendly. They are doing this because these buildings are going to be there for the next few decades & rather than continue to build unimaginative buildings that only house people, they are making the buildings also improve the environment while they are standing there.

Melbourne just announced the winner of a rooftop garden competition, the first of its kind in Australia as part of its Growing Up project. The winning rooftop garden was built on top of an old 10-storey office block & included a lightweight polystyrene hill covered in soil & planted with drought-tolerant plants & permeable glass paving to collect rainwater.

The Growing Up project says 20% of Melbourne city’s available space is wasted on unused rooftops. If we see an increase in the number of green roofs in Melbourne, we could see a reduction in the urban heat island effect of up to 2 degrees Celcius. We can also improve biodiversity, air quality & they really are a fantastic aesthetic addition to Melbourne’s space. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/15/2954450.htm

An experimental rooftop garden at the University of Melbourne’s Burnley campus has shown an energy saving of up to 40% for cooling the building in summer. This is significant at times of high power prices & the serious issue of global warming.

Another benefit is better stormwater management as the rooftop garden catches & utilises as much as 80% of rainwater, meaning less water going down the drain, less stress on our often old & inadequate drains, less flooding of roads & footpaths & less stormwater running wasted into the sea.

Interestingly, the roof membrane lasts 2-3 times longer when there is a rooftop garden because the garden protects the roof from UV rays & temperature swings.

Green roofs combat the heat island effect dramatically without changing land use.  I’ve heard people query the relevance of the heat island effect saying they like heat, but when the surface of footpaths, outdoor cemented areas & roofs are 27-50 degrees hotter than the air, it becomes a major problem.  In built up urban areas, night time air temperatures can be as much as 12 degrees hotter due to trapped heat radiating out from the surfaces of buildings.  This makes for an uncomfortable time for those living close by as well as higher power bills, poor air quality from increased pollution levels because pollution gets trapped in the heat, as well as elevated greenhouse gases & ground level ozone.

If there is a heatwave, all these effects increase & can result in higher rates of respiratory problems such as asthma, heat stroke & heat-related deaths.

Although green roofs are not common in Australia, in other countries they are an established part of the infrastructure. For example, Copenhagen is about to adopt a policy that makes a green roof mandatory for all new buildings with roof slopes of less than 30%. http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/09/copenhagen-adopts-a-mandatory-green-roof-policy/

Chicago has a Green Roof Grant Program for a while & has over 200 green roofs, covering 232,257 sq metres (2.5 million sq ft). They have a very good picture of what a city could look like – http://www.artic.edu/webspaces/greeninitiatives/greenroofs/main.htm

Nice photos of green roofs in Chicago from 2006 –http://www.inhabitat.com/2006/08/01/chicago-green-roof-program/

90 second tour of a green roof –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E278d5d0z0

5 minutes video of research on green roofs & their benefits –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxqdPOUoJ90&feature=related

Finally, from the benefits of Green Roofs IGRA World

It is very difficult to find positive arguments for bare or gravelled roofs. Lower building costs for “Non-Green Roofs” in comparison to a Green Roof, are weak arguments considering it is only a short-term calculation. Long-term costs of maintenance & repairs of ‘naked roofs’ are much higher than that of Green Roofs. It has to be considered that roofs belong to the most strained parts of a building; if no precautions are taken & product qualities lack, problems arise quickly. http://www.igra-world.com/benefits/index.php

It would be wonderful if Marrickville Council adopted green roofs as a standard in their new Local Environment Plan, a draft of which is soon to be released for public comment. These types of roofs are likely to be commonplace in the future because built up urban areas are becoming very hot & costly in terms of power use. Businesses will want to save costs where ever they can. The initial outlay is going to be ultimately cost effective because of a 40% reduction in power costs & because a green roof is expected to last at least 20-30 years without maintenance.

Marrickville Council could build on their reputation as a Green Council by encouraging green roofs & green walls at all new major developments & set the standard for other councils to follow.  More on green walls in a future post.

car park reflection

Save Hoskins Park – This has nothing to do with Report from the Gallery, but it’s terrific news that can’t wait.  The community won in their opposition to the DA in Piggot Street Dulwich Hill that would have seen 2 double fronted Federation houses demolished, many mature trees removed & building of 11 three storey town houses, 9 of which would loom over Hoskins Park.  See – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/3-more-street-trees-up-for-removal-local-news/ The DA was not passed & the residents are extremely happy with Marrickville Council.

From the Delegated Authority Report: The proposed development fails to satisfy the objectives & controls contained in Marrickville Local Environmental Plan 2001 & Marrickville Development Control Plan No. 35 – Urban Housing (Vol. 1).  It is considered that the proposed development would result in significant impacts on the streetscape, Hoskins Park & amenity enjoyed by residents of adjoining & surrounding developments.  Accordingly it is considered that the application should be refused.

View of the DA site from the high end of Hoskins Park

All up 154 submissions objecting to the proposed development were sent from the community.  Marrickville Heritage Society also put in a submission against this DA.  The community petition against the DA had 770 signatures.  This is a fabulous response from the community. Compliments to the community group Save Hoskins Park for they worked hard to ensure their cause became known far wider than just in the immediate area.  Well done & thank you also to Marrickville Council.

On to the meeting proper. Last Tuesday was the Development Assessment Meeting.  Clr Tsardoulias was absent.  The following is how I understood the meeting & any mistakes are mine.

The following DA decisions were deferred so that the Councillors could do a site inspection: 61 Edith St St Peters, 41 Neville St Marrickville, 14 Vernon St Lewisham & 15 Palace St Petersham.  There was a bit of commotion about one of the DAs being deferred with a member of the gallery jumping up & saying it was a disgrace.  He very much wanted the DA dismissed that night & judging by the nods from others, he was not alone.  Shows you how stressful development can be to the community.

Backpacker Accommodation at 43-51 Addison Road Marrickville – This DA was previously refused in December 2009.  See  https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/report-from-the-gallery-2nd-march-2010/

This time they proposed an 80 bed establishment with off-street parking for 7 vehicles, 2 of them designated Disabled Parking.  In recognition of the public

This Camphor Laurel tree is just over 2 metres wide

disturbances by intoxicated guests, they proposed to have a security guard patrol the local streets hourly from 9pm -3am Sunday to Thursdays & on-site Fridays & Saturdays “with authority to stamp out unacceptable behaviour.”

A speaker from the Backpacker Advisory Association of NSW addressed the Councillors.  He spoke about how ‘house rules’ will be sufficiently communicated to guests & enforced if need be.  He said there would be a full-time manager on-site who will have access to full-time security “which is unusual” & they have made provision for 6 neighbourhood meetings.  In regards to parking he said most backpackers buy cars to go on a road trip, otherwise they use public transport. He cited the benefits of backpackers bringing $1.1 billion to NSW in 2009, each spends $2,500 on average during their stay & they each create 6.3 jobs for the community.

The General Manager of the company spoke next & said they had been negotiating with local police & set up a customer complaint monitoring system & 6 neighbourhood meetings.  He said complaints had decreased of late.  Said of the 41 guests in the past 2 months, only 2 had cars.

Figs cascade over the path on a foreshore walk in Birchgrove

A town planner spoke next & tabled a letter from their lawyer.  He indicated they were prepared to take this DA to the Land & Environment Court.  He said the key issue was the security guard who will walk the streets & there will be a restriction of the number of ‘allowed’ parties.

3 residents addressed the Councillors.  Their speeches cited the following: broken glass, litter, vandalism & tampering with private property on a daily basis, female residents being accosted, cars driving on the wrong side of the road, groups of backpackers on the street screaming & fighting for hours, beer bottles lined up under residents’ cars, damaged public phone booth, vomit in the booth, a roller door being pulled off the garage & dumped with multiple other objects on top of a car, opening gates & letting pets out, climbing on residents roofs, damaging residents cars & so on.  Naturally they had concern for their children being out on the footpath.

The residents said these days the police do come less often because the residents don’t call them often as they realise the police have finite resources.  Therefore the situation hasn’t really improved even though it appears so on paper.  They also said the building is not vacant as travellers are already living there.

Although the building is in an area zoned light industrial, residential houses abut the site.  If this DA goes ahead, there will be 3 backpacker hostels which put the residents effectively inside a triangle of backpackers.

A massive Eucalypt on private property at Ballast Point Birchgrove

Clr Phillips said that while he appreciated the letter from the lawyer, Council must consider the public interest & this DA is a strong issue of concern for the public.  He said the fact there is a need for a security guard says a lot.  He said Backpackers come & go & he doubted they would sit down & read the Plan of Management.  He said he thought the development was too big, saying the police have serious concerns about the development & with another backpackers, Newington Mews, which already has problems.  He said, If Council approved this DA, they would be causing a lot more problems for the community & that an 80 bed hostel is not appropriate for the area & not in the public interest.

Clr Thanos said the current LEP allows this kind of use & he wanted the courts to be aware that Marrickville Council sees this area as inappropriate for backpacker establishments & that Council’s LEP is going to change soon.  He put up an amendment that Council’s LEP should be altered to prevent this from happening.

Clr O’Sullivan supported this amendment saying Council also had issues of concentration of sex industry facilities & should consider control of concentrations of backpacker establishments as well.  She said introducing another 80 backpackers who are often inebriated would have an effect on women, kids & older people.  She also said it’s a new issue in the area & we need to have a clear view on these.

Clrs Olive & Macri spoke about the fact that, even though the hostel is in light industrial, it still abuts residential areas.

Clr Hanna said he did not like establishments like this in the area & encouraged the residents to contact Council’s monitoring services in the event of further disturbances.

a row of young Figs

The DA was unanimously voted against.

200 Enmore Road – A restaurant wanted to extend operating hours to 3am. They are a non-alcohol establishment.  Approved.

Wilford Lane – The recommendation was for Council to negotiate a payment of $54,000 to the developer to widen this section of the laneway.  Recent meetings between Council & residents agreed that the widened section of Wilford Lane would become green space.  Over time, Council will buy back 3 metres along the laneway to widen the laneway from 3 metres to 6.  Passed unanimously.

Meeting finished.  A quick Council meeting followed which agreed that Marrickville Council hold a reception at Petersham Town Hall for the Women Walking for Peace event.  The reception will be organised by Clr Byrne.  Passed unanimously.  The women are walking from Brisbane through Sydney to Canberra from 13 March – 25 May 2010. To see the itinerary – http://footprints.footprintsforpeace.net/australia_walk/upload/files/Itinerary_Updated.pdf

It was a very quiet meeting last night.  Councillors Kontellis, Thanos & Hanna were absent & Mayor Iskandar & Clr Tsardoulias had to leave for other engagements around half way through the agenda.  The following is how I understood the meeting.  All mistakes are mine.

First up was quest speaker Cathy Lloyd, London Co-ordinator & Director of Open Bethlehem which is trying to save Bethlehem by encouraging interfaith dialogue, peaceful cooperation & harmony.  She said only 15% of Bethlehem residents are Christian & if relations between religious groups do not improve, it is likely that the Christian churches in Bethlehem will be museums within a few years.  She will speak at St Luke’s Church in Enmore this Thursday night.

Then on to the Land Use, Assets & Corporate Committee Meeting.

South Ward Local Area Traffic: Marrickville Council’s report recommended 24 points & a few residents came to speak about various points in the report.

Traffic on Warren Road Marrickville South: one resident spoke against & 2 spoke for the recommendations.

The ‘for’ arguments were about the size of trucks using the streets with particular reference to the 19 metre trucks currently used by Woolworths, saying they were too long for the local streets, caused traffic grid-lock, road rage incidents, frequent property damage, increased the risk of accidents & lowered pedestrian safety amongst other issues.  They agreed Warren Road should be made one-way from Carrington to Illawarra Road & wanted traffic to be allowed to turn right from Renwick into Illawarra Road to stop a large percentage of traffic leaving Woolworths being forced to travel around the block to go west & north.

The ‘against’ argument reminded of past experience when roads were made one-way which resulted in significant traffic increases & also expressed concern that other residential streets would get more traffic as a result of Warren Rd & Schwebel Street being made one-way.  Mayor Iskandar & Clr Tsardoulias supported this fear.

Clr Macri suggested a 12 month trial to see if the one-way option worked, but a council staff member advised this wouldn’t be a good idea because if the trial was unsuccessful, the residents would not like losing their parking rights again.  Clr Marcri also said Woolworths needed to act responsibly & suggested council erect ‘concrete tank traps’ to stop damage by trucks to council property.

Clr O’Sullivan said 75% of Warren Road residents said they wanted Warren to become one-way with parking returned to them & 50% of Schwebell Street residents supported one-way for their street.

The outcome is the report will be open for community consultation soon before a final decision is voted upon.

Road closure in Wilford Lane Newtown:  One resident spoke, but I was not in the Gallery during this discussion.  The outcome was the issue was to return to the Traffic Committee.

Proposed Metro Bus service from Sydenham to Spit Junction in Mosman: A representative from the NSW State Transit Authority spoke about the proposed service saying buses will be the low to the ground, 19 metre ‘bendy-buses,’ air conditioned & wheelchair accessible.  After listing all the pluses of which there

Just to lighten up this post a little, here is a photo of Roundup madness

are many, he then said that Council would be expected to pay for all new signage, the relocation of other signage & a loading zone.  If Council didn’t agree to this, then State Transit may have to think seriously about NOT instigating this service or continuing to provide other bus services.

Sounded very much to me like Council was being held to ransom & Clr O’Sullivan used these exact words a few minutes later.

The cost of the signage is $9,000, which doesn’t seem much, but Marrickville Council is poor & this money will have to be taken away from essential works in the locality. Clr Phillips said with rates pegged at 2.6%, it was going to be very difficult for council to look after services & the state government should pay for the required signage.  This was supported by Clrs Byrne & O’Sullivan.  Clr Byrne said that currently only 17% of routes are accessible routes & only 18% of the buses were accessible.  Clr Macri said it was disappointing that this amount of money was being debated & the community would be prepared to pay for such a bus service.  The motion was carried.

Marrickville Local Environment Plan Update: Clr Phillips was disturbed that the Department of Planning did not want to include the McGill Street Masterplan rezoning in the LEP until Part 3A is settled “which this council is against.” Clr Byrne was concerned that Department of Planning wanted to remove ‘accessibility’ from the LEP.  The LEP will return at a later date.

Duration of council meetings:  All Councillors & the new GM thought meetings were too long.  It was noted that meetings run late when DAs are being decided upon & when many residents want to speak.  It was decided meetings will aim to finish by 10.30pm with a half hour extension if required & that Councillors could use responsibility & discipline & limit their need to speak, especially if others have said the same thing.

Government Information (Public Access) Act: This was about Freedom of Information applications, meaning what information you & I can get hold of.  One person has requested a recording of a council meeting & was supplied with the same.  Marrickville Council keeps audio recordings of their meetings for 3 months after they are approved, so you mustn’t delay if you want one.  You could apply for a transcript, but I have no idea how long they keep these.  However, the written word loses all other nuances that are clear with recordings.

Finally a recision motion was accepted to put mobility parking space outside a residential home in Newtown.  It had previously been declined, but new information regarding the level of disability was submitted.  9pm & the committee meeting was over.

In other council news of late, The Cumberland Courier published an article about Strathfield Councillor Danny Lim, including breach of code of conduct findings against him. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/in-spotlight-for-wrong-reasons/

Next, also from The Cumberland Courier, Camden Council finances are in surplus largely due to development. I wonder whether Marrickville Council is hoping for similar with Section 94 money helping their financial position to become viable. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/development-surge-boosts-camden-council-s-coffers/

The Manly Daily asked “Is Warringah Council back on track?” with an article addressing poor behaviour by Councillors & long meetings with one where the agenda was not completed. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/warringah-councillors-try-to-get-with-agenda/

Lastly, another from the Cumberland Courier concerning Backpackers clogging Sydney’s local streets with their vehicles many up for sale.  Something to think about with the proposed DA for a 132 bed Backpackers in Addison Road Enmore with 7 parking spaces.  See Report from the Gallery – 2nd March 2010. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/backpacker-car-yards-on-our-streets/

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.

View of site from railway station.  The 9 storeys will be higher than the photo allows

View of site from railway station. The 9 storeys will be higher than the photo allows

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.

Already imposing at 2 storeys, the development reach to the end of the street

Already imposing at 2 storeys, the development reaches to the end of the street

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.  siskandar@marrickville.nsw.gov.au 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.

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