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Some Pertinent Facts - the Carlton United Brewery Site, Chippendale

This is the text of the fact sheet produced by The Coalition Chippendale Community Groups which was handed out at the meeting on 15 June 2006 to discuss the CUB site and the possibility of it being taking over by the Minister for Planning Frank Sartor. The sheet provides comparisons between exisiting controls, proposed controls and controls for other major development sites.

Some Pertinent Facts - the Carlton United Brewery Site, Chippendale

Fosters closed the Kent Street operations in 2003 after 150 years operations with plans to sell/redevelop the site.

To maximise their return, Fosters are looking for changes to the current height controls (being 45 metres) because the current controls restrict developers.  This reduces the sale price which we believe has clouded public debate.  

At stake is Chippendale’s future as a low scale heritage village, with the threat of the local population more than tripling.

Key issues pertinent in the debate are height and floor space controls (FSR = density).  The higher the height and FSR = the bigger the bulk and scale = the greater the impact – environmentally, socially and visually.   

The site’s value has also been inflated by the City previously selling off public streets on the site(at then low prices). This allowed Fosters to amalgamate land holdings and argue for the FSR to be applied across the site. Given Sydney’s property bonanza, this gave Fosters huge windfalls at the local community’s expense.

To understand what suggested new controls mean, (i.e. even before the State Government’s intervention to further increase these controls), we’ve done a comparison with controls for other areas around town.

Take a look at the comparatives and make your own judgement – is Fosters getting favourable treatment?

The CUB site is a landmark site prominently located in Chippendale heritage village, not the Central Business District.  Significant increases over the 45 height limits have already been rejected by an expert Jury.

Experts agree the provision for heritage buildings and much needed open space (including roads on the site) is crucial to offset existing constraints - these include some of the city’s heaviest trafficked roads, lowest open space and need for street vistas.  However without a corresponding reduction in FSR, this shifts the FSR from one part of the site to another part, inflating the FSR on large parts of the site, to levels considered environmentally and socially unsustainable. 

Its important to note that FSR is not a guarantee – it is a maximum that may be achieved subject to height controls and other planning requirements. However, owners/developers typically push to increase height limits, so they can maximise their return. Once achieved, developers use this to argue precedent on nearby sites or elsewhere.    

Critically, pre DA/Masterplan “discussions” are closed to the public with the community arguing their position at the public exhibition stage. This hinders debate and disadvantages the public who are forced to fight their position on the back-foot.

Here the situation is further complicated because large developments in the City of Sydney LGA must be determined by the Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC).  Here the CSPC led the push to change the controls.  Following the State Government’s interference, this resulted in the (Government dominated) CSPC calling for Frank Sartor, the Minister for Planning (who is also the Minister for Redfern Waterloo) to take over the planning process for the site.  

This raises serious questions - including process and developer levies legislated to be paid to RWA.

Remember The Rocks, as similarly Victoria Street in Kings Cross was saved because of the public outcry. Thirty years later, we’re fighting to save Chippendale.   This is not the Metro Strategy – just a sweet deal for Fosters.




Max. FSR


CUB site (current)

Current controls

15 - 45 metres

3:1- 5:1

1996–agreed Fosters

CUB site (draft)

Not yet exhibited

15 - 100 metres (33 storeys) or higher

Up to 4:1

Draft for exhibition



6 - 12 m (small part – 15m)


Current controls

Former ACI site

Green Square

2 - 15 storeys (mainly 8)


30 storeys rejected

Broadway (locality)

Mountain St Precinct

Up to 25 metres


Draft on exhibition

Haymarket, Central

City south area

Up to 5O metres


LEP 2005

City Edge zone

Up to Whitlam Sq.

Up to 15 metres


Draft on exhibition

Ultimo - Pyrmont


9 - 42 metres (UTS = 42)


LEP 2005

Jacksons Landing

Masterplan (Pyrmont)

9 - 28 metres


LEP 2005

Victoria Park


Mainly 6 storeys – nth tower 25 storeys


To reduce footprints


The Coalition Chippendale Community Groups (source documents - COS records).  Like to receive updates, email communityworkingparty@yahoo.com.au.