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Supermarket a threat to “village life” in Erskineville?

Erskineville residents met again on Wednesday October 15 to plan the next phase in a 12-month-long fight to stop the development of a supermarket on the corner of Erskineville Road and Gowrie Street. City of Sydney Council refused the development on the grounds that it was too large. However, Harold Finger, the developer, has since appealed the decision, taking the matter to the Land and Environment Court reports Ellice Mol in the South Sydney Herald of November 2008.

Council lawyers organised a briefing of the case at the Holy Trinity Church on Roachford Street, where residents read prepared statements for the hearing.

The owner of Deli Erskineville, Saso Boseviski, said Erskineville does not have the infrastructure to support the development, and the population in the area is not large enough to sustain a two-storey supermarket, adding: “The village as it is, is perfectly suited to a village life with a sense of community. This is the thing a supermarket will take away.”

Local resident, Brett Mason, voiced his concerns about the additional noise and environmental implications at a time when the world is looking to reduce energy consumption. He says truck deliveries increase pressure on the environment as they wait to unload their deliveries, sitting idle and spreading pollution into the nearby surrounds.

Mr Mason said it is impossible for a truck to "navigate the already narrow streets and rejoin the traffic on Erskineville Road which also suffers from gridlock".

Catherine Spooner, from the Friends of Erskineville Working Group, offered the thought that the gathering was a rehearsal for the court case. The turnout at the Holy Trinity Church was considerable. With every pew in the church occupied, some people had to stand outside the entrance.

Leslie Clarke, Friends of Erskineville member, said that the residents of Erskineville were not anti-development. "We welcome appropriate development that will compliment the Erskineville area," she said.

Council lawyer, Chris McEwen, says the case will begin at the site of the proposed development on November 24. The presence of residents is more than enough, he says, to send a strong message about the opposition to the development.

The hearing will begin at 9.30am on the corner of Erskineville Road and Gowrie Street on November 24.

Source: South Sydney Herald November 2008