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Brewery site limits watered down

STRICT planning controls for the city's largest development, the $800 million Carlton and United Brewery site, have been watered down to lure developers to the troubled project. Report by Bonnie Malkin Urban Affairs Reporter SMH December 2, 2005

Under the guidelines, height limits for some buildings have gone from 45 metres to 100 metres and about one car spot per unit is allowed - almost double the 0.57 rate originally set.

The tallest buildings will be located along Broadway, reducing in height to 15 metres along Kensington Street.

Floor space ratios have also been boosted, increasing the dwellings that can be squeezed on to the site.

The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, originally wanted about 15 per cent less space for development.

Cr Moore denied she had backed down over density, height limits and car parking and said the controls were reasonable.

The State Government had forced up densities by applying a developer levy to the site that will go towards affordable housing in Redfern and Waterloo, she said. The levy is understood to be about 3 per cent of the project value, or about $24 million.

"We have had added pressure put on us by the [Redfern-Waterloo Authority] levy the owners have to pay, these costs are passed on and pressure is put on us," Cr Moore said.

In March Australand walked away from a deal with the site's owners, Foster's Group, blaming strict council planning controls for stifling its plans.

At the time, the council blamed the weak property market for the failed deal.

The new development controls for the 5.9 hectare project are due to go on public exhibition in January.

Once complete it is estimated the village will house 3000 people in 1500 units.

Shayne Mallard, a Liberal councillor and member of the planning committee, said developers were "queuing" to get into the site and were anxious to see what the new guidelines held.

It is understood Lend Lease is one of the companies interested.

A spokesman for Foster's Group, Geoff Donohue, said the guidelines looked "fairly logical".

The council and the planning committee are yet to vote on the guidelines, which include a 5000-square metre park, a large community centre and 12 newly-listed heritage brewery buildings in the north-western corner.

A spokesman for the Chippendale Residents Group, Michael Irving, said the park should be bigger and the community deserved to know how many car spaces would be allowed.