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Leichhardt. Photo taken July 2017. This is what will be happening in Sydenham, Marrickville and Dulwich Hill.

The plan for Marrickville. It is a lot of high-rise.

We went to last night’s public meeting held by Inner West Council regarding the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor Strategy Revised.  Marrickville Town Hall was full with plenty standing at the back.

The meeting was called to inform the community about the NSW State Government’s revised plans & Council’s great concern about the plans.

The revised draft Strategy increases the number of proposed new dwellings at Sydenham, Marrickville & Dulwich Hill to 8,500.   Broken down this will be –

  • Sydenham Station Precinct – 500 new homes
  • Marrickville Station Precinct – 6,000 new homes
  • Dulwich Hill Station Precinct – 2,000 new homes

[ This does not include the 750 new dwellings at the Victoria Road Precinct that just received approval.  Nor does it include the 2,400 new dwellings planned for the Carrington Road Precinct.  ]

It was at times hard to hear the speakers & my notetaking skills are poor these days, so I will write the points down that I managed to catch.  All mistakes are mine.  Inner West Council did video the proceedings so that the community can learn of what is planned for the area, so I will post a link if I come across it.

The Administrator Richard Pearson opened the meeting. 

  • The original plans came out in 2015. These plans have significant changes.  There are higher density & higher infrastructure issues.
  • 8,500 new dwellings will be approximately 20,000 new people.
  • As a Town Planner myself, there are some serious issues from high-rise around Marrickville & Dulwich Hill Railway Stations where it bleeds into suburban areas.
  • The scale of renewal is major. There needs to be parks, schools, greenspace & drainage, plus other infrastructure needs.
  • I was surprised at the closing date of 3rd September when the council elections are on 9th
  • It is important that the elected Councillors can make submissions. I asked the government that they can put in a supplementary submission & was told verbally that they will be allowed to.  I am waiting for this in writing.

John Warburton – Deputy General Manager Community & Engagement

  • Our LGA has three areas along the corridor.
  • This is not part of a broader planning scheme leading to a lot of issues.
  • Lack of practical efforts to make suburbs livable.
  • No funding plan to pay for infrastructure.
  • There is a loss of too much character & fabric of the Inner West.
  • No building designs yet, only maps.

Sydenham –

  • Increase of 500 dwellings.
  • Gain 700 jobs.
  • High-rise near Frasier Park.
  • Inner West Council is concerned about loss of industrial land.
  • There is a proposed new plaza in front of Sydenham Railway Station.

Marrickville –

  • There is a lot of density for Marrickville.
  • A lot of high-rise.
  • 555 jobs.
  • The difference between the Local Environment Plan & the Corridor is profound.
  • 2,000 extra dwellings for Leofrene & Schwebel Streets.
  • Proposed central plaza opposite the railway station.
  • Council has a lot of concern about the loss of single storey housing.

Dulwich Hill

  • Slight reduction of 59 dwellings from original plan.
  • 5-8 storeys planned for Hercules & Terrace Roads.
  • Nothing addressed on how to pay for infrastructure.
  • No idea how to find open space.

Jo Haylen MP Labor

  • The plans do not reflect our community.
  • They have not been written for us. They have been written for developers.
  • No sustainability.
  • The State Government knows we are a fighting community. We won’t take it lying down.
  • Marrickville & Dulwich Hill are being asked to take far too much density – an extra 6,000 new dwellings up from 4,000.
  • In Marrickville South the plan ignores the heritage value of the area.
  • Marrickville is a heritage suburb. The government’s studies did not include The Warren.
  • No targets for the cost of housing.
  • Many of the houses to be bulldozed were affordable. This will change the face of Marrickville.
  • Dulwich Hill – 561 submissions against the original plans.
  • Only a reduction of 59 dwellings.
  • The Greek Church & the Maternity Hospital are to be demolished. There is a heritage impact.
  • Lack of provision for schools, open space, new services for the 100,000 new residents for the corridor.
  • The government should build the infrastructure we need before building the corridor.
  • If the Metro line goes ahead it will be built 8-years after the corridor.
  • They should be prioritizing Sydney areas that are under-serviced.
  • No money for schools, no money for Canterbury Hospital.
  • No Affordable Housing or Social Housing.
  • Sporting groups have trouble finding places to play.
  • No new open space. Linear parks & plazas to be delivered by developers as ‘in kind.’

Mary O’Sullivan – Save Dully Spokesperson

  • Only 4 areas in Dulwich Hill subject to heritage analysis in revised plans.
  • The Uniting Church at Constitution Road to be developed.
  • Maternity Hospital in The Parade to be developed. It’s a beautiful building.  No doubt in its heritage.
  • Hercules, Terrace & Constitution planned for 8-storeys. There are early examples of wooden Federation houses here.
  • Riverside Crescent planned for 5-storeys.
  • Open space – a small extension for Jack Shanahan Reserve & a Greenway extension along the Metro, plans to turn the last 4 holes of the Marrickville Golf Course into open space & access to open space at the primary school.
  • ‘The Hill’ is the Dulwich Hill Railway Station parking. So, where will people park?
  • The government says there will be no commuter parking along the Metro.

Peter Olive – Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance

  • We are against the overdevelopment along the corridor & against the Metro train line.
  • The Metro is a waste of tax-payers’ money.
  • This is a privatization of an existing service, a good functioning part of a rail network.
  • It’s an abdication of responsibility to provide public transport in Sydney. Many places do not have a train line.
  • There are a number of decisions targeting the Inner West – WestConnex, the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor, privatising the buses….

Kelsey – Save Marrickville South spokeperson

  • We have 4 points for the government.
  • 1. No higher than 3-storeys next to single storey houses.
  • 2. No higher than 5-storeys in Carrington Road Precinct.
  • 3. Plan infrastructure before approving building heights. Plan schools, open space, roads & parking.
  • 4. Keep Marrickville’s character & streetscapes.
  • Don’t be fooled with the yellow areas on the map. They are labeled low-rise of 2-3 storeys, but they are in the 4-storey area within 500-metres of a railway station.
  • Bright red is 8-storeys. If the developer gives up some land for open space it could be taller.
  • There are 8-storeys next to single storey family homes.
  • Carrington Road development is already in advanced planning stages with Inner West Council & the developer wants higher. It may not be part of the Marrickville Precinct & may increase population density above the plan.
  • Up to 25-storeys will block the light from Mackey Park & Tempe.
  • The parks are linear & along the rail line & the storm water drain.
  • Many of us chose to live in this area because of the character.

At this stage, we left the meeting.

For me it was great to hear professionals from Council & ex-Marrickville Councillors expressing the same concerns I have & more.  I have found on Facebook attempts at discussing development in the Inner West are effectively shut down by name calling & citing the need for Affordable Housing & not spreading Sydney even further.  The fact that $615,000 for a 25-sq-metre studio apartment in Marrickville is nowhere near affordable does not get a look in.  So, to sit & listen to eloquent, sensible & affirming speeches from across the political spectrum was good.

The fact is Inner West Council is seriously concerned at the future livability of our area.  This should speak volumes to those nay-sayers who do not want development discussed.  If the plans are not modified, we will find ourselves living in an over-populated area, with poor amenity & with services unable to cope.  Schools, childcare are at capacity now.  The sewerage system was at capacity a few years ago.

The former Marrickville LGA, where the development is happening already has the lowest percentage of green space of any municipality in Australia.  Add 20,000 plus new residents….it will be wall to wall people in the parks.

We all need to send in a submission.  While 561 submissions from the people of Dulwich Hill is commendable, the government must receive thousands of submissions if this community wants to be heard.

You can find Save Dully on Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/save.dully/

Save Marrickville South on Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/SaveMarrickvilleSouth/

The Save Marrickville South submission can be downloaded here —  https://goo.gl/forms/xkmwo3IQ338WRyXG3

You can go online & write your own submission here – http://bit.ly/2tfjnMv

The deadline for submissions is Father’s Day Sunday 3rd September 2017.

Full with people standing behind me.

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The “urban renewal” of Leichhardt. Photo taken July 2017.

Inner West Council is holding a public meeting on the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor Draft Strategy.  If this development goes ahead as planned it will be the end of Dulwich Hill, Marrickville & Sydenham as we know it.  Council has expressed serious concern about the lack of infrastructure to cope with the massive increase in population.  If Council is against it, you know it is bad.

“The revised draft Strategy has increased the number of new dwellings in the inner west by 2,500 to 8,500. Total dwellings have increased by 50% (Marrickville Station Precinct) and 500% (Sydenham Station Precinct).” – Inner West Council press release.  See http://bit.ly/2v87szX

As far as I understand, this does not include the 750 new dwellings I was told has just been approved for the Victoria Road Precinct in Marrickville & the 2,400 new dwellings planned for Carrington Road in Marrickville South.

WHEN:          Thursday 10th August 2017

TIME:              6:30pm

WHERE:        Marrickville Town Hall

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 3rd September 2017.

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