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Angry residents demand change to Sydney Uni ‘mega development’

Sydney University’s plans for a new business school in Darlington are under threat after angry residents issued a host of demands to the institution reports this media release from Residents Acting In Defence of Darlington (RAIDD).

Darlington residents want significant change to the design of the large proposed development which straddles three city blocks and writes two city streets off the map forever.

Rose Street, Boundary Lane, deaf children facility The Shepherd Centre and residential college Mandelbaum House on Abercrombie Street will all be demolished in the move.

Also to go are a community child care centre, the University’s large book Repository, a computing centre, and a park on the corner of Abercrombie and Codrington Streets.

Angry locals, who have formed an action group called RAIDD (Residents Acting In Defence of Darlington), have issued a host of demands to the University after a fiery public meeting in April failed to mollify the local community.

The business school complex will accommodate a total population of 7000 students and academics.

Residents are most concerned a proposed driveway to provide basement access to the complex of buildings has been placed next to Darlington Public School.

Placing the vehicle entrance on Darlington lane would pose less danger to children and stop cars being funneled down Golden Grove, Codrington and Abercrombie Streets where they are most likely to affect locals.

RAIDD also wants access to some dedicated park or courtyard space in the new complex given the volume of public space that will be privatised in the re-development.

Given the amount of public parking that will be lost if the development goes ahead residents also want to see more parking provided in the complex’s basement.

Also in the group’s sights is the seven storey ‘central pillar’ of the complex, and the development’s frontage on Abercrombie Street which will be five stories high. Residents want both reduced.

Locals also want assurances they will be able to walk through the complex 24/7.

Residents suburb-wide are increasingly nervous about the University’s plans given the current proposal to double the size of the Sports and Aquatic Centre on Codrington St and the University’s interest in the North Eveleigh site on Wilson Street.

Local resident and RAIDD member, Colin Sharp, says for decades the University has been gradually demolishing the suburb of Darlington, and he worries how much longer it will exist.

“The University has just acted like a bully through this whole process, you get the feeling they’ve only had public meetings to tick the ‘community consultation box’ in the development application,” he said.

“My son attends Darlington Public School and many parents are really worried about the impact years of excavation and building noise will have on students’ learning.”

The University’s plans for the ‘Abercrombie Precinct’ went on display on May 25 on the NSW Government’s Planning and Infrastructure website.

Residents can view the plans, by visiting the site ( and clicking on the ‘On Exhibition’ page [Direct Link -

Objections can be lodged until June 25.

To contact RAIDD email