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Mirvac’s redevelopment of The Locomotive Workshops approved

The Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has handed down its determination on two Mirvac DAs for the Locomotive Workshop at South Eveleigh (ATP).

You can see the approval, conditions, approval reasons as well as the material considered by the IPC here. The documents prior to this and the final approvals can also be found on the DPE website Bays 1-4a, Locomotive Workshop and Bays 5-15, Locomotive Workshop.

The approval sees a supermarket go into bays 3 & 4 along with a travelator connecting the Loco to the car park in the basement of the CBA Building 2. Also approved is the loading bay in the northern end of Bays 1 & 2 as is the ongoing place of the Blacksmith in Bays 1 & 2 South.

The determination also sets out the conditions for the development. These conditions were drafted initially by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE). As there were more than 25 objections to the development the proposed conditions then go to the IPC  and then make the determination and finalise the consent condition.

In this case, Mirvac requested the IPC for changes to the conditions as did heritage interests including REDWatch. It is encouraging to see some of the changes pushed for by heritage interests and REDWatch are reflected in the final conditions.

What did the IPC Change?

I was asked recently what is the point of doing submissions in the planning system as things seem to go ahead regardless of what the community says. We are often not good at looking back on what our input might have achieved and if we do, we often do not explain what has happened to our network.

Below I have looked at what changed from the DPE’s draft conditions and the final IPC conditions. Hopefully, it gives some idea of what changed as a result of the IPC process and the strong representation from REDWatch and heritage people about this important development.

Ongoing Heritage Blacksmith’s position strengthened

One key strengthening at the IPC was that the operation of the Blacksmith is approved in this DA to operate 7 days a week 24 hours a day. Other occupiers and their fit outs need a subsequent approval. A Blacksmith Plan of Management is also now required and all parties entering into leases, licences etc are to be notified of the Blacksmith’s approved operation (F16). The Blacksmith is also excluded from the general noise control (F6). These conditions require that:


B46. A plan of management for the continued operation of the Blacksmith must be submitted and endorsed by the Secretary prior to the issue of any construction certificate. The plan of management must be prepared by the Applicant and include: a) the continued permitted hours of operation: 24 hours and day 7 days per week b) a complaint register, outlining the nature and location of compliant/s. The register must also outline what if any mitigation was undertaken by the Applicant. The register must be provided to the Secretary every 6 months


F17. Prior to lease, licence, sale or the like of any retail or commercial tenancy the prospective occupants are to be notified in writing that the blacksmith operations have development consent and are permitted to operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in the area shown on the plan SA-AR-DWG-BB-B4-0330 Revision S, Proposed Plan - ground floor, prepared by Sissons Architects and dated 17/09/2018.


F6. The emission of noise associated with the use of Locomotive Workshop, the operation of any mechanical plant and equipment, excluding the operations of the Blacksmith, shall comply with the following criteria: …

These conditions hopefully strengthen the position of the Blacksmith as a pre-existing use in the building and will help to protect it against complaints from future tenants.

Stage 2 Heritage Interpretation Plan (HIP) required prior to Construction Certificate

The conditions proposed by DPE reflected Mirvac’s desire for the Heritage Interpretation Plan (HIP) to be undertaken prior to Occupation rather than prior to Construction. REDWatch supported the position of the Heritage Office, that had been recommended against in the DPE conditions, that it was necessary for this plan to be done prior to construction.

Our concern was that there needed to be a clear plan before construction as to how heritage was to be interpreted and where the movable heritage items were to be located. The new Condition B34 brings the Stage HIP forward meaning the development has to happen with a pre-exisiting heritage plan in place. The timing of the Stage 2 HIP also brings forward requirements for moveable Heritage and the updating of the Moveable Collections Management Plan (B47 & B48)

Heritage Representation on Community Liaison Group

While REDWatch argued for a separate Heritage Liaison Group in addition to the Community Liaison Group, the IPC has expanded the Community Liaison Group to include “a suitably qualified heritage consultant/sand/or heritage expert/s”.

Loading Dock Management Plan

The draft DPE conditions cover a management plan for the dock. The final conditions state this should operate “before 8am and after 6pm, all days”

What we did not get

REDWatch argued that the Heritage Covenant should be recognised and cited in the conditions. The records show the IPC did obtain a copy of the Heritage Covenant but it is not referenced in the final approval. The Covenants were entered into by Mirvac and the NSW Government when the ATP site was sold but if and how they interact with the DA process has not been clear.

REDWatch also wanted to ensure there was a stronger role of heritage voices other than just the statutory bodies of the Heritage Office and City of Sydney Council. While we did get heritage involvement on the Community Liaison Group, independent heritage experts were not given the advisory panel role that we advocated for.


There remains much work to be done around the Stage 2 Heritage Interpretation Plan and the associated heritage instruments. The changes made in the IPC strengthen the heritage possibilities for what can be achieved at the Locomotive Workshop. We will only achieve the best possible heritage outcomes for the Locomotive Workshops if we keep turning up and voicing our concerns until the last plan is finalised and implemented.