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Some concerns over plans for North Eveleigh

Sweeping developments proposed by the Redfern Waterloo Authority to transform the North Eveleigh rail yards have been met with tepid approval from local community inspectors REDWatch reports Ben Falkenmire in the South Sydney Herald May 2008.

The RWA’s Concept Plan for North Eveleigh, which will see 2,400 new residents and 3,270 employees enter the area, went on public exhibition May 1 with an extended community consultation window.

Commenting on an earlier version of the RWA’s plan, REDWatch said plan density and building height could have been a lot worse for residents.

“I think it’s great these buildings will retain some space and some vistas for surrounding residents,” REDWatch’s Geoff Turnbull said. “It could be seven or 10 times worse. It may well be that people will end up happy with what ends up there.”

Building heights in the eastern part of the plans are to be four to five storeys near existing residences on Cornwallis and Garden Streets, and eight storeys closer to the train tracks.

Over on the west five- and four-storey residential buildings will line Wilson Street, with eight- and 12-storey buildings planned near the train tracks. [Text corrected from print edition - REDWatch].

Over on the west eight- and 12-storey buildings will line Wilson Street, with five- and four-storey residential buildings planned near the train tracks.

Arch planning scrutineer Mr Turnbull said there were some concerns about the plans, mainly around parking, heritage and green credentials.

“How parking will be handled in relation to CarriageWorks, which is currently an issue, is a point of concern,” he said. “There are also no indications the RWA is going for best practice for green credentials like Frasers are on the CUB site. We are hoping for some improvement on that.”

Of the 181,000 square metres of floor space planned, more than half will be residential (92,000 square metres) and there will be on-site reuse of stormwater.

Just under 30% of floor space will comprise the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings including the Paint Shop in the east where four- and five-storey residential blocks and retail space are to be created.

“It really is early days for the heritage side of things,” Mr Turnbull said. “The Paint Shop is potentially at risk with larger heights planned than the existing building height.”

Welcoming the extension of community consultation by the RWA from four to six weeks, Mr Turnbull said consultation by the RWA could have been better.

“Certainly the RWA has improved some of the stuff that was in the BEP,” Mr Turnbull said. “But we have this process where the exhibition is the consultation. Quite often the stuff has been signed off before community gets a look at it.”

CEO of the RWA Robert Domm said the local community has had “at least three significant opportunities to provide their input over North Eveleigh”.

“This is in addition to CarriageWorks, Yaama Dhiyaan and the Blacksmiths' workshop community markets which have all undergone consultative processes,” he said.

Mr Domm said the RWA had sought extra time for the community to digest the plans, including eight information sessions for the public up to the final date for submissions on June 12.

Proceeds of the sale of North Eveleigh are to be used for a million-dollar upgrade of Redfern train station and the building of a pedestrian and cyclist bridge linking the ATP with Wilson Street.

The Concept Plan for North Eveleigh can be viewed or in person at the City of Sydney Centre, 158 Redfern Street, Redfern.

Image Caption: Artist’s impression of transformed rail yards at North Eveleigh


Source: South Sydney Herald May 2008



[REDWatch Note - At the time of the interview REDWatch had not seen the Final Concept Plan and Model and had not developed a position on the Concept Plan].