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Frasers Broadway - CCCG Update 17 March 2008

The following New Alert on Frasers Broadway Development was issued by the Combined Chippendale Community Groups on 17th March 2008. The update reports on a meeting between some residents and Frasers over proposed changes to what Frasers propose for the former CUB site.

Recently representatives from the local community were invited to a Briefing about the CUB site by Frasers Managing Director, Dr Stanley Quek.

This included an invitation extended to Matthew Drake-Brockman, who initiated the Court action against the former site owners Fosters and the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, in relation to planning controls for the former CUB site.

Whilst the action was unsuccessful, it drew significant and timely public support for better environmental and sustainability outcomes.

Since then, the new site owners, Frasers, have demonstrated their desire to achieve a 6 star environmental outcome across the site as well as improved community consultation.

In response, we have been urging Frasers to revise the previously approved Concept Plan, to achieve a better planning outcome. 

For readers not familiar with a Concept Plan; a concept plan is similar to a “master plan”.  This sets out massing (building), height, open space, street grids, land use and heritage. The current plan allows multiple high-rise towers many of which overshadow the site,  with inadequate green space and poor planning outcomes.

Frasers have since indicated their desire to listen and where possible address concerns important to the community. This has included active community participation in workshops and continuing engagement and consultation. 

More recently, 4 world-class architectural firms were invited to consider the site’s planning and design - internationally recognised architectural firms - Foster + Partners from the UK and Jean Nouvel from Paris as well as local architects, Richard Johnson who this week was awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal and Tzannes, who are responsible for the heritage precinct. The appointment of these firms is an exciting development.  

From a local perspective we were keen to see a major revision of the Concept Plan, to reduce the environmental and urban footprint and improve the sites integration with historic Chippendale.   

At the Briefing, we were pleased to see the Concept Plan back on the agenda. Still in draft form, the revisions looked exciting and address many key concerns.  

Whilst there are still two stumbling blocks, ie the amount of density (gross floor space) and the lack of affordable housing, we were pleased to see a revised street layout and changes to the massing and location of buildings.  This has allowed for a major increase in green space as well as some wonderful planning initiatives including:

  • Exciting plans for Kensington Street , making it into an innovative and attractive local precinct for Chippendale
  • The inclusion of an iconic building on the site’s north east corner - opening to tiered green platforms and public parklands from the site’s northern edge to O’Connell Street... perhaps soon to be known as Chippendale Green…
  • Reduction in on-site parking with the opportunity for incoming residents to “sell back” their car parking when no longer required (as patterns in car use change)
  • Environmental initiatives - including the introduction of a tri-generation grid, likely to make the site nearly self sufficient
  • Reduction in roadways and vehicle access creating more green space
  • Changes in massing - allowing for green parklands along the length of Wellington Street and around the heritage precinct
  • Change in land use to 50% commercial/residential - allowing for bigger floor plates and improved sun access
  • The provision of pedestrian and cycle ways

One of the obstacles Frasers face is a State Government “levy” on the site’s redevelopment.  This results in over $30M being earmarked to the Redfern Waterloo Authority, impacting the inclusion of affordable housing on the site.  

Here, we believe the State Government is well positioned to make a difference - by showing leadership to ensure affordable housing is part of this development.   

We understand the revised Concept Plan may undergo further revision, prior to being lodged to the Department of Planning. The plan will then be publicly exhibited, at which time we are hopeful Frasers will make a community presentation.

We are hopeful further debate will result in a reduction in density (massing) to improve the site’s integration with Chippendale as well the provision of public housing. 

Indeed some of the design concepts - if achieved will be a very exciting first for Sydney .  We urge you to keep abreast of these developments.

There is much to congratulate Frasers on at this time.  To achieve a world-class outcome, we will continue to encourage Frasers to improve planning and design options by looking at ways to reduce the site’s density, as well as the inclusion of affordable housing.

We will also ask Frasers to look further at the traffic planning, to minimise traffic and the potential for local rat-runs by further developing opportunities for pedestrian and cycle access.

In the interim, Frasers are continuing to progress a number of Development Applications (eg Demolition works) via the Department of Planning. For more information about these - please access Major Projects on the Departments' website - or alternately you can access the Das, via a link from Frasers website - www.frasersbroadway.com.au.  FYI, we have raised concerns about:

  • the number of truck movements (over a very lengthy period of time)
  • access from Abercrombie Street to the site
  • potential noise and demolition concerns
  • the proposed construction hours on weekends - till late Saturday afternoon 
  • and requested Frasers extend their notification area further south to Cleveland Street.