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USyd Abercrombie Precinct Development - December 2011 stakeholder briefings Report

In late November and early December 2011 Sydney University held briefings with more than 10 various organisations and stakeholder groups ov er their reworked thinking about the University’s Abercrombie Precinct development. A summary of the key points raised at the briefings and community workshop are provided below. These points have also been forwarded to the project design team, to be considered in the revised project design. The University expects to have a revised concept plan completed by the end of January and will arrange a follow up briefing in early February to present this new plan and get feedback, before it finalised and lodged with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. To assit in understanding some of the comments we have included a photo taken of one of the sketches used at the consultation.
USyd Abercrombie Precinct Development - December 2011 stakeholder briefings Report

Photo of USydney Sketch of possible new design usewd for consultation in late 2011

Overview

Over the past four weeks, the University’s project team has met with a broad range of stakeholders, including local community groups and residents, about future plans for the Abercrombie Precinct in Darlington.

The purpose of this new phase of consultation has been to cross check the new design principles prior to finalising the revised project brief and concept plan.

The aim is to ensure the new design of the Abercrombie Precinct achieves the best possible outcome for future users of the building as well as for our neighbours.

The new design principles aim to produce a more interesting and integrated development that respects the local character of the streetscape. Key design principles include:

  • Reducing the overall bulk and scale of the original proposal
  • Integrating the joinery workshop building to keep a heritage connection to previous uses of the site
  • Maintaining the large Sydney Blue Gum tree as a key part of the landscape
  • Increasing setbacks to Codrington Street and Darlington Public School
  • Providing additional green space
  • Reducing overshadowing
  • Ensuring pedestrian safety in relation to the Car park access
  • Referencing the history and character of Darlington in the building facade and materials
  • Creating parkland spaces for residents, students and community members.

The following summary covers the key items, issues and suggestions to come out of the briefings. They are not intended to provide a verbatim record of questions and comments.

Comments and feedback

Key issues that stakeholders and the community would like to see considered in the revised design principles:

  • Traffic, car parking and vehicle access to the development should be considered and addressed as part of the design principles
  • Legal bus drop off area required for the school bus
  • Include ‘ensuring pedestrian safety’ as a key design principle, (with particular emphasis on school safety, and drop off/ pick up zone)
  • Consider ‘desire line across the site’ (ie: pedestrian linkages between carriage works and Newtown) and level access for prams and bikes through the site
  • Suggestions for naming the park on the Cnr of Abercrombie and Codrington St after Trevor Davies
  • Need to specifically consider potential overshadowing of the primary school play area and show any impact in the revised design
  • Artistic interpretation of the history of Darlington/Eveleigh
  • Include ‘maintaining trees’ as part of the Principle for additional green space and consider options for community garden
  • Retain Mandelbaum house and consider any impacts of overshadowing.

Other design issues

A number of broader design and construction issues were raised that need to be considered as part of future development. These include:

  • Trade entry access into the school required
  • Managing the level of A/C noise from the new building
  • Additional mass of students creating congestion
  • Noise emanating from around student accommodation, particularly outdoor and rooftop areas.

Broader University issues

Other issues raised that are outside the scope of the revised project brief have been listed as follows:

  • Traffic modelling and parking study including student parking around the precinct
  • Need for separate consultation around parking plan for University
  • Location of kindergarten should be near to primary school and University
  • Relocation of Shepherd Centre
  • Improve access for people with a disability at Redfern Station
  • Consider need for a commuter bus around campus
  • Need for University to appoint a Community Liaison Officer for all community issues
  • Consider primary school upgrade works to be included as part of the project.

Next steps

  • Feedback to be considered in final design brief and sent to project architects
  • Summary of comments / feedback to be forwarded to meeting participants
  • Revised design by early February 2012
  • Consultation prior to lodgement with Department of Planning and Infrastructure to include:
  • Additional stakeholder workshops / briefings
  • Community information day
  • Lodgement with Department of Planning and Infrastructure by end February 2012
  • Tender for design and construction September anticipated
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