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The City is holding an urgent meeting to discuss events surrounding the Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) site at Chippendale. Join me at 7.30 pm Thursday 15 June 2006, Medina Executive Sydney Central, 2 Lee Street Sydney (adjacent to Central Station). Update from Clover's E-News No 300 of 10 June 2006.

I reported in eNews last week that the Minister for Planning wrote to me at the eleventh hour seeking increased Floor Space Ratio (FSR) controls for the site and inclusion of the Redfern Waterloo affordable housing levy in the draft Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA).

The Minister for Planning's late intervention has derailed six months of VPA negotiations, just as we were preparing to announce completion.

If his requested changes occur, they could compromise proposed public benefits and lead to unacceptable density on the site.

At stake here is transparency and accountability: a complex and balanced redevelopment proposal worked out through extensive planning studies, numerous public forums and negotiations with the site owner could be compromised by a Government deal behind closed doors.

The public decision-making forum for this development, the Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC), is dominated by four State Government appointees, including the Government Architect and the Director General of Planning.

The CSPC this week confirmed its endorsement of draft controls, including the expert advice that 4:1 is the extreme upper limit of acceptable and achievable FSRs on this complex site, contingent on design excellence and community benefits.

The State Government should have learned from the Cross City Tunnel debacle not to push for a large cash payment in exchange for controls contrary to the broader public interest. I have called for the Minister to come clean on how much money he plans to take from the site and to give assurances on how it would be spent.

The exhaustive planning process for the site weighed up the rights of the landowner and the community to enable sustainable redevelopment.

The process is one of trying to get consensus between developer's expectations and environmental constraints.

The draft controls for the site target high standards for new residents, amenity for existing residents and financial viability for the redevelopment project. The guiding principles, workshopped with the community, focus on redevelopment that integrates into the adjacent CBD fringe and the existing residences in Chippendale.

The proposed development provides for the high-rise buildings to address the CBD end of the site, stepping down towards the existing lower-scale residential precinct, with sun access planes protected and a new 5000 square metre public park located to benefit new and existing residents.

The plans provide for new child care and community facilities (or a significant upgrade to the Pine Street Community Centre); improved access to regional open space; intersection upgrades and local traffic management measures; revitalisation of the Broadway strip; and a high amenity residential and employment precinct with excellent access to the city's public transport network.

Extensive heritage analysis has resulted in additional buildings protected, with part of the site designated as a special heritage precinct, consistent with the social and industrial significance of the remaining Brewery buildings.

Recognising that public benefits from the redevelopment will take some years to achieve, the City has now begun work with the Chippendale community on an improvement plan to address immediate priorities for traffic management, public domain, open space and community facilities.

The project will include a review of existing local area traffic management (LATM); pedestrian and cycle safety and access; access to and quality of open space. The work will develop a series of projects that complement the community's historic and desired future character.


Contact Steve Thompson on 9265 9783 or