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Clover Moore Urges Submissions to RWA Draft Built Environment Plan

URGENT ACTION NEEDED! - Redfern Waterloo Authority Draft Built Environment Plan April 2006
Clover Moore Urges Submissions to RWA Draft Built Environment Plan


The Redfern Waterloo Authority (RWA) plans massive changes in Redfern/Darlington that will dramatically increase building heights and densities without guaranteeing improved infrastructure, open space, public domain, community facilities or transport.

I urge you to make a submission before the deadline at 5pm, Friday 14 April 2006.

Read the plans:       Built Environment Plan:

                                State Environmental Planning Policy:

                                …or phone 9202 9100, or email for a copy.

Write to:                 The Redfern-Waterloo Authority, PO Box 3332, Redfern NSW 2016

What are the BEP and SEPP?

The RWA draft Built Environment Plan (BEP) and State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) promise “a strategic planning framework to facilitate the area’s economic growth”, but they’re basically about development. The plan differs little from the ill-conceived 2003 “RED Strategy”.

Planning controls will be more generous for eight mainly publicly owned sites. These are the North and South Eveleigh railyards (up to 16 storeys), Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh Street precinct (including The Block), Redfern Railway Station including Gibbons and Regent Streets (up to 18 storeys), Redfern Public School (up to seven storeys), Court House commercial), old Police Station (six storeys) and Rachel Forster Hospital (medium density housing).

Despite glossy “artist’s impression” images of Lawson Square without multiple lanes of traffic and Redfern Railway Station redeveloped as a Town Centre, there is little detail about how and if these visions can be achieved. There is nothing about protection of heritage buildings and, despite 18,000 new jobs and 2,000 new residences predicted, there will be a net loss of open space, including the existing Marion Street Park rezoned for 18 storey development.

The only sure thing will be that the generous planning controls are written into law via the SEPP.

What’s in the RWA Plan?

  • Redfern Railway Station: The Plan proposes a new Town Centre based on the Railway Station, with buildings up to 18 storeys proposed for Regent and Gibbons Streets, destroying views, sun access and existing open space in Marian Street. There is no funding or time frame.
  • Eveleigh Street and The Block: New height limits between three and five stories imply demolition of all existing housing and warehousing in the area. It will be difficult for the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) to realise its Pemulwuy Project under the new controls, which allow for only 30 homes, instead of the 62 planned by the AHC.
  • Eveleigh North: An “iconic” building up to 16 stories is proposed, with new three-storey height limits along Wilson Street and new height limits over heritage buildings implying demolition or major change. There is no information on protecting nearby residents from traffic and other impacts, and the Darlington Village local plans are likely to be overridden.
  • South Eveleigh: New height limits up to 12 stories are proposed, with new business uses near existing homes, and new height limits over heritage buildings that imply demolition.
  • Rachel Forster Hospital: The Plan provides for residential development, with the site probably sold to a private developer. No consideration is given to public open space on the site or important community facilities that have been identified as needed.
  • Court House and Police Station: The allowed maximum height of six stories seems to mean demolition of the police station, with the heritage Court House overshadowed. Homes in Turner and Pitt Streets could lose sun access.
  • Redfern Public School site: Serviced apartments or a hotel will be allowed, with four storey height limits opposite two storey terraces in George Street. Current open space is not guaranteed through rezoning.
  • Australian Technology Park: Nine to 11 storey development is proposed that massively exceeds the height of the current railway sheds, which are only about six stories.

Redfern and Waterloo Department of Housing properties are listed for consideration in Stage 2 of the plan - after the March 2007 election.

The Draft Plan will:

  • Reduce existing residential amenity: increased building heights proposed are out of scale and character for area, and extend CBD-style office blocks into Redfern;
  • Bring more people without new infrastructure: the SEPP guarantees new development controls, but not improved open space, public domain, transport, or services to deal with growth; and
  • Threaten public assets and heritage: Eveleigh Rail Yards, Redfern Public School, Redfern Court House, conservation areas and heritage streetscapes are designated for development.

What the RWA Must Do

The RWA must not proceed with the Draft Plan and SEPP until it has completed:

  • The proposed affordable housing and development contributions plans;
  • A Transport strategy with funded plans for upgrading and expanding Redfern Railway Station;
  • A Public domain and open space strategy to ensure adequate, high quality public space;
  • An Infrastructure plan including transport services and open space;
  • A detailed heritage review to ensure protection of heritage at each of the strategic sites;
  • A review of proposed height limits to better protect sun access, views and heritage;
  • A consultation plan, including public tenants affected by “stage 2” redevelopment; and
  • An implementation plan that coordinates the Built Environment Plan with the RWA Employment and Enterprise Plan, and Human Services Plan.

The proposed development is extensive and cashes in on public land sales, with no guarantee that vital infrastructure and service improvements will be provided. I urge you to make a submission.

Yours sincerely

Clover Moore MP

Independent Member for Bligh

electorate office 58 Oxford Street Paddington NSW 2021 Member for BLIGH

phone 02-9360 3053 • fax 02-9331 6963 • • email