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Locomotive Workshop redevelopment SSDAs - Exhibition until 15 Dec 2017

Mirvac originally split its proposal for the Locomotive Workshop into two but the Department of Planning has placed both the Mirvac DAs on exhibition together. There are differences between the documents as they deal with different ends of Loco. The Bays 1-5 DA deals with the heritage Bays 1 & 2, the proposed retail and the impact of the proposed supermarket on heritage. Bays 6-16 deal with the commercial end of the development. The issues related to the movable heritage collection and how the development deals with the heritage fabric of the buildings goes across both DAs.

What is the proposal

The Links to the DAs and the supporting studies are provided below. Given the importance of the heritage studies we have also provided links to these reports.

Locomotive Workshop Proposed Ground Floor Use

Bays 1-5, Locomotive Workshop


·         SSDA 8517 Environmental Impact Statement.pdf (10.17 MB)

Bays 6-16, Locomotive Workshop




SSDA 8449 Environmental Impact Assessment .pdf (9.426 MB)


While the exhibition closes on 15 December we have been told that the Department is allowing late submissions given the combined size of the DAs. If you need an extension please email Annie.Leung@planning.nsw.gov.au


Submissions are made through the Major Projects website at either Bays 1-5, Locomotive Workshop  or Bays 6-16, Locomotive Workshop. If you make a late submission you may have to email it to the Departmental contact above as the on line submission area may have closed.

Alexandria Residents Action Group have put together a proforma submission that you can copy and change. The heritage information in the proforma submission is based on material provided to REDWatch by people with experience in the site and its heritage. You can see the proforma here.

Heritage Concerns

The DA is very clear what is driving the proposed redevelopment in Bays 1-4a. In the words of the Heritage Impact Statement: The key impacts in Bays 1-4a relate to the cumulative impact of the chosen retail anchor – the supermarket, its associated loading dock and travelator. (HIS page 6) … As a result, every effort has been made by the design team to reduce, offset and mitigate the cumulative impacts of introducing a supermarket, and its ancillary requirements, into Bays 1-4, where possible. (HIS page 7)

From a REDWatch Heritage perspective the key issues that need to be assessed are:

1)      How does the proposal deal with the heritage fabric of the building? – While some concerns have been raised, the proposal seems to addresses most of these issues with the exception of a proposed loading bay in Bays 1 &2 and a travelator connecting the supermarket to the Building 2 car park.

2)      How does the proposal deal with the active heritage uses as represented by the Blacksmiths? – It is proposed that the blacksmith space be continued and activity increased. However the introduction of other retail uses into Bays 1 & 2 and retail activity in bays 3-5 may have long term implications for the active use in Bays 1 & 2 if the retail and heritage uses clash.

3)      How does the proposal deal with the moveable heritage collection? – State Heritage at ATP is not just the building but the significant collection of industrial machinery that Mirvac inherited as part of the site purchase. How these items will be accessible and used to tell the story of the processes, people and social history of the site is as crucial as how the DA deals with the heritage building fabric. This information needs to be on table before a final assessment is made to avoid the possibility that the difficulties of dealing with the machinery collection would see them sidelined in the push for commercialisation of the space they may otherwise occupy. It is already likely that some material will be put into storage rather than displayed all the time at the site – this was a concern raised when the site was sold.

4)      How does the proposal deal with the heritage space in Bays 1 & 2 which are available to tell the story of Eveleigh? While the active area seems safe in the short term the balance of Bays 1 & 2 has been set aside for a loading bay to service the site and the supermarket and for two retail spaces. This leaves little space to tell the Eveleigh heritage story and to create a heritage drawcard. A heritage centre above the loading bay seems inadequate compensation for the accessible space taken by the loading bay. While the heritage story should be told across the site it is not an alternative to a dedicated heritage space in Bays 1 & 2.

5)      How does the proposal deal with the social and labour heritage of the site? For some time we have been arguing that there needs to be a centre at Eveleigh which can act as a repository for worker and social history for Eveleigh. There is an indication that this might be possible in this proposal but there is no real detail. Like an exhibition space its success will depend on ongoing resourcing to ensure that it is viable rather than just another heritage plan for Eveleigh that looks good on paper but never gets implemented.

This DA will determine the future of Heritage at the Locomotive Workshop. It will determine if the Heritage potential is tapped so people with a heritage interest will want to come to the site for its heritage interpretation or if the heritage becomes primarily the ‘public art’ sculpture backdrop for the new commercial and retail precinct. There is much more at stake here than in the redevelopment of a heritage building, here there is active heritage, the machinery and a heritage dedicated space that need to be also appropriately handled in the DA. The question for us all is – Has this DA done that or does the balance between commercialising space and the heritage deliverables need to be adjusted. REDWatch is arguing that the heritage aspects need to be strengthened.

Other Concerns that have been raised

There are other DA issues that are likely to be of concern to local residents however here we have just concentrated on the wider heritage issues that might otherwise escape attention.

Proposed Loading Bay Access to Locomotive Workshop

One significant implication from the proposal to place the loading bay for the site and supermarket off Innovation Plaza is that trucks entering the loading bay will be using some of the same route used by pedestrians going to and from Redfern Station. While larger trucks are proposed to enter only between 10pm and 7am smaller trucks will share the pedestrian route from innovation plaza to the the steps towards Redfern Station from 9.30 to 11.30am and from 2pm to 4pm. Of particular concern is the area between the New Loco / Innovation Centre and the Managers Office where bikes rounding the corner may well come face to face with a truck. Trucks will reverse through the northern portion of Innovation Plaza to enter the loading bay. The DA does not estimate the pedestrian traffic expected in this area it wants to further activate nor does it deal adequately with pedestrian, bike and now proposed truck conflicts. Access through this part of the site was to be protected by the access covenant Mirvac entered into when it purchased the site.