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No to Supermarket

RESIDENTS have triumphed after a controversial proposal to build a two-storey supermarket at Erskineville village was rejected in the NSW Land and Environment Court last week reports Robert Burton-Bradley in Central of 21 January 2009.

Commissioner Trevor Bly ruled the development was likely to have significant traffic impacts and was not in keeping with the character of Erskineville,

The applicant sought consent to shelve an existing building at Erskineville Rd and build a 2138sq m supermarket with a specialty store, rear loading dock and an underground car park with 31 spaces.

The developer, Harold Finger of Artro Management Pty Ltd, did not return Centrals calls after the court's ruling.

Late last year Mr Finger accused Sydney Council of caving in to popular opinion. "We were shocked," Mr Finger said. "[We] purchased the site and got a reasonable feel from residents, and a positive nod from council and its traffic department and its planners."

Mr Finger said the council's position changed once opposition to the proposal began to increase.

Councillors rejected the proposal because of its scale, intensity, traffic generation and adverse impact on the village.

Residents opposed to the development collected 4500 signatures and campaigned for more than 18 months.

Friends of Erskineville spokesman Paul Howard said the community village had been saved from overdevelopment and traffic congestion.

"We are very happy, it's been 18 months of long, hard fighting but the community was always there supporting us," he said.

Mr Howard said it was important for property developers to realise that Erskineville was a village environment and that only certain developments would work.

"There will be a huge amount of development activity there in coming years, we need something that reflects what the community needs," he said.

Source: Central of 21 January 2009