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REDWatch comments on LES use by Mirvac

Mirvac held two two information sessions on the future of the Large Erecting Shop (LES) on 31 May and 1 June 2022 about their pre-planning for the redevelopment of the South Eveleigh Large Erecting Shop. Below is the background to this development prepared by REDWatch.

The Large or the LES is the large shed to the west of the Locomotive Workshops which is also to the North of the Chanel 7 building and opposite Carriageworks. It is in the gap between the Locomotive Workshop and the LES where REDWatch, ARAG and FOE have been pushing for a bridge linking North and South Eveleigh to be built as part of the North Eveleigh redevelopment.

Until a few years ago the Large was where heritage railway operator 3801 Ltd stored its rolling stock operated tours from and many railway heritage volunteers worked, along with some other heritage operators. It was saved for a while as a heritage operational base, but subsequently heritage operations were moved elsewhere.

You can get a good idea of the building from this proposal in 2012 from Friends of Eveleigh for its use as a Sydney-based heritage and tourism centre - Friends of Eveleigh - Concept Plan for the Large Erecting Shop. You can find out more about the LES on the REDWatch website section on The Large Erecting Shop.

On 30 November 2018 Transport for NSW announced a new Heritage transport centre at Chullora. The media release and factsheet, made specific reference to the Large Erecting Shop (LES) at Eveleigh as being "adapted for new uses". The Australian Technology Park sale to Mirvac contained a provision which allows Mirvac first right of refusal of the LES if it’s not required by Transport for NSW. Now that TfNSW no longer have a use for the building, the Mirvac South Eveleigh information sessions are about what Mirvac wants to do with the LES.

One of the last things the Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA) did, at REDWatch’s persistent urging, was to remove the 12 storey high-rise controls that the RWA had placed over the LES for a residential building. This push was helped at the time by 3801 Ltd commissioning an independent report that showed the building was sound and not about to fall down as the RWA claimed. The current controls are for the existing height and we note the 2018 TfNSW media release states: “the Government is committed to the preservation of important buildings including the Large Erecting Shop and Broadmeadow Roundhouse which will be adapted for new uses.”