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CUB development a step closer

Almost a year after a $203m development agreement fell through, drafting controls for the Carlton and United Breweries site are about to be approved. LUCINDA FRIDAY reports in The Southside News 4/2005 p4 December 2005.

Draft plans for the redevelopment of the old Carlton and United Breweries site at Chippendale are undergoing final changes before public exhibition.

The plans, which specify building height, conservation and heritage requirements, parking and traffic controls and provision of open space, should be finalised this month.

The Central Sydney Planning Committee, the consent authority for the site, has deferred publication of the final plans to accommodate further talks with the City of Sydney Council and owner Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) on heritage buildings, street configuration, sunlight access and residential amenities.

Development of the site has been controversial since CUB decided to move its brewery operation to Queensland more than two years ago. Revised planning controls are intended to ensure appropriate development and to provide certainty for local residents and any future developer, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said earlier in the year.

The final plans will see proposals to retain and protect additional significant heritage buildings, Andrew McKenzie, spokesperson for the Lord Mayor, told Southside News.

The Council has asked that two buildings – the old Malt Store and another belonging to the Irving Street brewing complex - be included as heritage items in the plans. Retention of these buildings and of the historic street layout could compromise CUB's plan for a Little Broadway shopping high street in the precinct.

Council consultants propose an alternative shopping strip be located on Balfour Street.

The Council is also negotiating to secure childcare and community facilities, and the provision of a 5000 square metre park. CUB spokesman Geoff Donohue said: "We have always been supportive of a voluntary planning agreement as the best way to deliver public benefits on the site. We're also committed to preserving and interpreting the heritage values of the site and have identified a number of buildings for new heritage listings."

According to draft plans the Council wants to integrate the CUB site with the neighbourhood through the gradation of building height from the northern end of the site at Broadway down to the southern end at Chippendale. The preferred scheme includes two 96-metre high towers opposite UTS.

However, plans may run into problems from local residents. Lindsay Charles, spokesperson for Chippendale Residents' Interest Group, said: "We dispute the need for towers this tall on the site. They appear to simply be packing people in to increase developers' profits, rather than seeking good urban design and environmental outcomes. Chippendale is not the CBD."

Charles criticised the planning committee, which is made up of NSW Government and Council representatives, for approving an interim parking rate of 0.97 spaces per residential unit at the site, in spite of public transport accessibility. The City's parking rates are currently under review.

The 5.8-hectare site, which operated as a brewery from 1835 until January 2005, is expected to house up to 3000 residents in addition to providing commercial premises.

The RTA is yet to test the impact of increased traffic in the area and to endorse external road reconfigurations.

Australand Holdings Ltd withdrew from a $203m development contract with CUB in March 2005 following conflict with the City of Sydney Council regarding the site's planning controls.