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Shop owners sweat on Cabinet decision

A lot has changed in Abercrombie Street Darlington with new shops coming on line. There are lots more coffee shops – from one about five years ago – with another coming on line in the next couple of months, as well as a mobile phone shop. It seems that everyone wants to move into Abercrombie Street reports Trevor Davies the December 2007 edition of the South Sydney Herald.

In 2006, a group of Darlington shop owners met to talk about ways to improve the Darlington shopping strip and came up with a 10-point plan:

  • Night lighting along the shop fronts in Lawson and Abercrombie Streets
  • Greening of the Sydney University perimeter
  • Over-bridge access between Wilson Street and the Aust Technology Park
  • Maintenance of the Redfern West/Darlington area, primarily as revitalised residential area with appropriate commercial amenities, such as improved hotel presentation
  • Improved shop-front presentation, pathway development and improved commercial premises
  • Appropriate placement of public health facilities
  • Darlington Fair – proposed. Sydney  Council to provide insurance coverage for public liability 
  • Redfern/Chippendale historical walking tours
  • South of city galleries and coffee walking tours
  • Produce markets in the Rail Workshops/Technology Park area a la Piermont, Homebush Bay, Fox Studios and Blackheath.

Most of the 10-point plan seems to have been included in the City’s Local Action Plan (see online) and marked for starting in the short term.

Andrew Packham, the owner of the Darlington Newsagency told the SSH: “Darlington is an interesting and vibrant shopping strip with much potential. The City of Sydney Council would be well advised to commence improvements to the footpaths and general lighting, as a matter of urgency. Convening a meeting of the business owners to discuss the individualisation of the Darlington Village shops would also be beneficial.”

Andrew Packham went on to say: “Probably the most concerning of all the issues facing the shopping strip are mooted proposals to re-route foot traffic and perhaps bypass the Shopping Village from a changed exit at Redfern Station.” All the other businesses that the SSH consulted agreed.

The NSW State Cabinet will soon sign off on proposals for Redfern Station. Then the plans will come back to the community for comment. The SSH has been told that the economic future of the shopping strip has been taken into consideration.

Photo: Ali Blogg: A view along Abercrombie Street, Darlington

Source: South Sydney Herald December 2007