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Locals oppose supermarket in Erskineville

A development application has been lodged with the City of Sydney for a two-storey 2138 sqm supermarket on Erskineville Road. The Village Friends are calling for open transparent consultation on the impact of the development reports Ellice Mol in the December 2007 edition of the South Sydney Herald.

Paul Howard from Village Friends says the group was put together to inform the community. “Because this development is going to have a significant impact on the shops in the Erskineville village and the surrounding residential streets we formed the group Village Friends and we have launched a website”.

A petition in all the shops in the Erskineville village has returned over 1000 signatures so far in addition to the 360 people who have already signed online. Mr Howard says the appeal doesn’t end there. “There are upwards of 30 or 40 people who have written to the Lord Mayor plus we have a data base of some thousands of people who have expressed their concern about the development,” he says.

Mr Howard says the big impact is going to be on parking, traffic noise and congestion. “Erskineville Road now is bumper to bumper from three-thirty in the afternoon til seven o’clock at night.”

Owner of Café Sofia, Nick Vlahos says it’s the wrong spot for a two-storey supermarket. “There’s no access, Erskineville Road is a bottle neck so it’s clogged enough as it is.”

“If you assume that 60 percent of shoppers are driving that’s 960 cars per hour looking for a car space,” Mr Howard says. Even if 40 percent of shoppers take their car he estimates that 640 cars will be looking for parking each hour at peak shopping times. As described in the DA the supermarket will have a rear loading dock and a basement car park with 31 spaces. “It’s an unwritten law that the majority of people drive to do their shopping,” Mr Howard says.

The Village Friends are requesting the developer perform a social impact study. Mr Howard says there isn’t a need for the supermarket in the community. “Erskineville village is gradually going through a quiet improvement, a very nice florist shop, the deli that wins the council awards every year, some lovely restaurants, a new wine bar, we’ve got a great bakery, and a multinational company like this is going to destroy the fabric.”

Photo: Angelique Watkins: Site of proposed development on Erskineville Road Photo: Angelique Watkins

Source: South Sydney Herald December 2007