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Carlton United Brewery Site Update from CCCGs 25th December 2006

The following update on the Carlton United Brewery Site was issued by the Combined Chippendale community Groups on 25th December 2006.

The exhibition period for the proposed Concept Plan has now finished.   The proponent Fosters is now reviewing the submissions, with the Minister, Frank Sartor having the final say whether to amend, refuse or approve the Fosters plans. We have made some last minute representations through the local labour candidate for the March 2007 state elections, Linda Stott, requesting urgent representations to the Minister.

The Concept Plan in its draft form raised grave concerns about the bulk and scale of what’s proposed.  The Plan effectively allows up to 10 high rise towers up to 40 storeys high crammed onto the site, and triples the local residential/working population.  The Plans also have a major implication for liveability standards across NSW.  If approved, developers will get the green light to reduce sunlight standards across the State – this has major implications in terms of the State’s future environmental and sustainable planning.

In the interim, Council as the owner of various parcels of land on the site and some key parcels off site was asked to give their Consent Approval.  This included the land long promised by Council as a tiny pocket park offsite, on Balfour Street from O’Connor to Wellington Street .

In the Concept Plan, documents show this land forms part of the redevelopment, with the park as part of Fosters Concept Plans.  Disturbingly, the tiny pocket park is now scheduled to be built after 50,000 sqm of the site has been built and occupied. The timing and the fact the park is part of the planned works for the site is outrageous because it effectively puts the park into the developers’ hands and we believe outside Council’s Control.

Locals will recall this is the tiny pocket park that was planned by South Sydney City Council in consultation with the local community more than six years ago; then approved and funded for inclusion in Councils works in 2001.  The last minute intervention by the then Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney , Frank Sartor stopped it from being built.  Now 6 years later and despite a public commitment to fast-track the park, made by Clover Moore and Monica Barone, Council’s new CEO in June this year, we believe the park’s implementation is again being hindered. 

We are gravely concerned about this as well as Council’s recent decision to give Council’s CEO the power to grant Consent Approval to the site’s Owner Fosters, when the Consent Plans are still in draft form and so highly controversial.  This begs the question, what is Council doing?  

We were also disturbed to find out, that despite the public commitment from the Lord Mayor to fast-track the works, Council’s in its submission to the Department of Planning about the Concept Plan, did not reject the timeline for the park’s implementation.

Further concerns were also held after we sighted that the proposed State Planning Controls changes, do not lock in open space for this tiny pocket park – whether this is an oversight or not is not known, however if the park is not implemented, Balfour Street will be become one of the main access and egress points for traffic onto the site.  This will have large scale implications for residents and businesses to the south of the site. 

It is beyond reason that the local community is waiting for this tiny bit of green space to be built nearly 7 years after it was approved and the community may now need to wait for a few more years.  

In the new year we will be  seeking an urgent meeting with the Lord Mayor to find out what is going on and why similarly a request for the extension of Peace Park was deemed too expensive by Council, when tens of millions of dollars have been earmarked for Redfern, Glebe, Ultimo/Pyrmont and Surry Hills. 

In short, Chippendale has long been the “forgotten suburb” – it has the lowest open space in greater Sydney and now faces the impact from urbanisation on a scale not seen in any other suburb in Sydney. 

Plans for Chippendale should not be reliant on the brewery site to put in place local improvement works – rather open space on the brewery site should complement a separate program of much needed works for Chippendale. 

To do this, Council must fast- track the acquisition of viable green space locally – not ask locals to be reliant on access to regional parks – access to regional parks should be forthcoming through funding on the brewery site, however the acquisition of lands for some decent local green space outside the site, should also be fast-tracked now.   

It’s also worth noting documents in relation to the Brewery site, have been released, after a call by the Greens supported by the Libs.  Unfortunately one box is marked “confidential” and cannot be sighted by anyone other than the Greens MLC Sylvia Hale.  Two other boxes can be sighted by anyone who requests to do so – this can be done by going into Parliament during business hours.  We are in the process of organising a visit, however if you are able to help with some time to look at these documents please let us know.

Chippendale Improvement Plan – Update – Council Workshop

This Plan was expected to be ready for exhibition by the end of the year.  The absence of any recent news about it raises concerns whether the plans for the redevelopment of the brewery site is impeding its progress. 

This Plan follows a Workshop organised in September, and our long standing representations asking Council to fast-track a local Improvement Plan.  Given that local improvement plans in other suburbs are moving ahead, we will be calling on the Lord Mayor to expedite this.

FYI, this Plan will detail and priorities local improvements such as traffic, public domain and open space opportunities, street lighting, pedestrian and cycling routes - for the short – medium – long term. 

We are particularly concerned that the delay will impact traffic improvements for the east precinct – promised previously by the Lord Mayor, Monica Barone, Council’s CEO.  This includes long promised traffic improvements for Meagher Street to stem the rat running as well as some other initiatives.  We were previously assured the traffic plan would not be dictated or hindered by the redevelopment of the brewery site, rather fast-tracked.

Extracted from email news distributed by the Coalition Chippendale Community Groups, incorporatiing Chippendale Residents Interest Group and East Chippendale Community Group. For more information email .