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Sartor slammed over CUB

SYDNEY Lord Mayor Clover Moore accused NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor of making a multi-million-dollar "cash grab" yesterday by contemplating higher density at Foster's Group's $1 billion-plus CUB site development in Sydney's Chippendale, in exchange for higher affordable housing levies reports Paddy Manning in The Australian June 03, 2006.

The 1800-unit development, on the 5.7ha site of the former Carlton & United Brewery on the Sydney CBD fringe, is one of the city's most significant, and has been in planning for more than two years.

After drawn-out negotiations the City of Sydney and Foster's were about to sign a voluntary planning agreement including a maximum floor-space ratio of 4:1 and a 5000sqm park.

The proposed VPA did not canvass an affordable housing levy payable by Foster's under the state's Redfern Waterloo Authority Act - envisaged at 2-3 per cent of the value of the development, or $20-30 million.

On May 25, Mr Sartor wrote to the City expressing concern about delays to the council's approval process, contemplating "limited FSR increases" and threatening to "call in" the development by designating it of state significance.

Ms Moore said on Thursday Foster's finance director Angus McKay had advised her that, having spoken with Mr Sartor, the company would not sign the VPA and would be likely to seek increased density in order to be able to afford the levy the Government was now demanding.

A Foster's spokesman yesterday said no levies or floor-space ratios had been determined but the Government wanted to negotiate all aspects of the development at the same time.

"It was always our belief that the site could sustain a higher FSR," the spokesman said.

"This is a process issue. None of the work we've done has been lost," the spokesman said.

Mr Sartor said any suggestion that the affordable housing levy would be higher than the envisaged $20-30 million was a "fabrication".

However, a spokesman for Ms Moore said higher levies - up to $100 million - would be a consequence of increased density. "The bigger the FSR, the bigger the levy", the spokesman said.,20867,19343434-25658,00.html