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The following comments were made Coalition Chippendale Community Groups in their email update of 4 September 2006 regarding the CUB site Expert Panel reports, the RWA Built Environment Plan and the future of Chippendale.
The Expert Advisory Panel’s recommendations for the planning controls for the brewery site were released this week – it appears the report was released before the public submission period closed.

In short, the recommendations do little to allay fears about gross overdevelopment with an alarming absence in recommendations to support innovative and sustainable planning.

The Panel’s report ignores critical findings from the Jury report and studies commissioned by the City of Sydney.

Recommendations if accepted, result in unsustainable density with height controls for a set of "twin towers" limited only by the maximum allowable under the Federal Airport Corporation (FAC) - liveability for future residents and the existing village is substantially compromised.  

Poor planning anomalies such as the UTS tower are reinforced, with the twin towers positioned opposite the UTS to visually "support" the UTS tower as the City’s “western gateway” - plans long rebuked by experts with the concept of multiple towers rejected previously by the Design Competition Jury.

Key heritage is lost with the proposed park and adjacent low rise communities overshadowed and vistas lost. 

The absence of information about the overall density or gross floor area is apparent. However given the recommendations we assume, Fosters remain intent on achieving an overall density (floor space ratio) of 4.5:1 across the site - three times the FSR proposed for East Darling Harbour and a density rejected by the Jury as unsustainable.   

At the same time future planning controls for Redfern Waterloo were released.  Here documents show $15M will be taken as developer levies from the CUB site by the Redfern Waterloo Authority to fund or “promote” affordable housing outside Chippendale. This highly controversial levy in turn substantially increases the density on the CUB site.

The Built Plan for Redfern Waterloo only reinforces the level of change proposed for the area, with 18 storey buildings in Redfern and 5 storey buildings along Cleveland Street.  

Amongst the papers released by the RWA, was also a map confirming long held fears that the Government’s agenda is to expand the Central Business District south through Chippendale. This map shows the whole of the east precinct as part of the CBD.

Recommendations for the panel’s report include:
  • “Twin towers” up to 110 m height limit (36 storeys) sitting on 25 metre podium on Broadway
  • 45 metre towers (15 storeys) on Broadway, west of Balfour Street
  • Towers up to 45 metres (15 storeys) west of Balfour Street on Broadway
  • A series of towers banked back into Chippendale - 45 metres (15 storeys) or higher if certain criteria is met. Here the criteria fails to address adjacent communities but rather only focuses on the impact to the immediate street (on the site, which in some cases are particularly narrow), the proposed park or brewery yard.
  • 25 metres buildings (8 storeys) opposite historic Notre Dame university
  • 15 metre height limit for Wellington Street. 
  • 25 metre buildings around the “park” with only a 2 hour guarantee, for sunlight access, ie between 12 to 2pm (not even a minimum of 4 hours necessary to grow grass)
  • A park of about 5,000 sqm (the size of a football field) on the southern boundary (in the centre) of the site with streets on all sides – no other green space is proposed
  • No guarantee that adjacent communities won’t lose sunlight and be overshadowed
  • The demolition of some much loved heritage buildings including the second “Sunburst” building to allow a 4 lane roadway
  • Up to 40% of apartments allowable without minimum standards for sunlight (a media statement late last week suggests it may only be 30%) – this means hundreds of units without any sunlight.
  • Minimal green space with only one (approx) 5,000 square metres park, with little sunlight specified, ie  between 12 to 2pm (not even the minimum 4 hours necessary to grow grass)
  • No defined land use – other than 30% being residential or commercial.  Here the Jury urged that land use be defined at the outset rather thane leaving it to market forces.
A great deal of media attention has followed since with concerns about overshadowing, the lack of sunlight for hundreds of apartments and loss of heritage.  

Sadly the recommendations also failed to address sustainable traffic or parking management leaving Chippendale open to traffic chaos.  Nor are sustainable green solutions for water management and greening provided.  

Interestingly with Chippendale being one of only a few suburbs that’s missed out on having an urban design study done this year (in time for the City’s new LEP), given the map shows Chippendale as part of the CBD, fears are now held that height and density in the east precinct and along Broadway will be increased.  

In short our village faces its greatest challenge.

We understand Fosters will shortly lodge their plans for public exhibition with the Minister looking to fast-track the plans before the upcoming election. 

Whilst the panel’s report are recommendations only, it would be inspiring to see Fosters demonstrate corporate leadership by exercising restraint rather than extracting the maximum $ at Chippendale’s expense.

We urge you to talk to your neighbours and friends to make them aware of what’s happening. With an upcoming election, this issue is important for communities across the inner city.
From the Coalition Chippendale Community Groups (includes Chippendale Residents Interest Group, Friends of Carlton United Site and East Chippendale Community Group).  Like to help or give your feedback it's best to email us. COALITION CHIPPENDALE GROUPS email: communityworkingparty@yahoo.com.au