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4 September 2006

The RWA Built Environment Plan (BEP) and SEPP / The Built Environment Plan focus for REDWatch Meeting on Wednesday 6th September 6pm / Some Initial Reaction to the RWA BEP / AHC Plans impacted by RWA BEP changes / Redfern Aboriginal Authority Planning Ahead / CUB Expert Advisory Panel Report / Redfern and Regent Street Upgrade / Redfern Chamber of Commerce (RWCC) Website / REDWatch Too Political for RWA Link / Have your say in current Consultations

In This Update 

The RWA Built Environment Plan (BEP) and SEPP

The Built Environment Plan focus for REDWatch Meeting on  Wednesday 6th September 6pm

Some Initial Reaction to the RWA BEP

AHC Plans impacted by RWA BEP changes

Redfern Aboriginal Authority Planning Ahead

CUB Expert Advisory Panel Report

Redfern and Regent Street Upgrade

Redfern Chamber of Commerce (RWCC) Website

REDWatch Too Political for RWA Link

Have your say in current Consultations

Coming Events (entered on the REDWatch website)

The RWA Built Environment Plan (BEP) and SEPP

For those who have not yet looked at BEP, the RWA have helpfully broken up the Built Environment Plan into its smaller component parts so you can download particular maps or sections of the report which may be of interest. The files can be found on the RWA site at RWA Built Environment Plan along with the 13.3 MB full version. We also suggest you have a look at the Report On Amendments And Submissions which highlights the major changes made between the draft and the final version as well as providing some indication of the most common issues raised in submissions on the draft report. The RWA have also produced a new newsletter which has been distributed in the area. It can be downloaded from Redfern Waterloo Update September 2006 (pdf ~163kb).

The State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) which gives legal affect to the BEP was gazetted on 28th August 2006 in a Government Gazette Special Supplement No. 109 of 30 August 2006. The gazette however does not include the new maps referred to in the SEPP and which were exhibited. We have been told by the RWA that the Department of Planning do not propose to make the SEPP maps, which contain the planning law, electronically available. The RWA may put the BEP information in this form up on their website. At the present moment it looks like if you want the official SEPP maps you need to request them in printed form from the Department of Planning!

The Built Environment Plan focus for REDWatch Meeting on  Wednesday 6th September 6pm

Robert Domm, RWA CEO, will provide an overview of the recently released RWA Built Environment Plan to REDWatch at its monthly meeting on 6th September 2006 at the Factory Community Centre. Following Mr Domm’s presentation and questions, REDWatch will discuss its response to the RWA’s BEP. REDWatch will meet downstairs at The Factory, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo at 6pm.

Some Initial Reaction to the RWA BEP

Initial reaction to the BEP seems to have been largely positive. Many of the problems in the draft BEP have been fixed up and information which was missing in the draft on Heritage, Open Space and Transport impacts have been included.

While the BEP along with the Human Services plan and the Employment and Enterprise Plan make up the Redfern Waterloo Plan there is still concern about how the plans intermesh. We note that there is still no Vision statement in the plan. The first item on the list of items that the Redfern Waterloo Plan may make provision for in the Act is “(a) the strategic vision for the sustainable improvement of the area”. This is still missing.

Some areas of concern remain in the BEP including the Block (see below). Heritage issues are likely to arise at various points especially with the Large erecting Workshop zoned for adaptive reuse under a 12 storey building and the paint shop under a 5 storey building. Part of the railway fan is indicated as becoming a park. Interestingly the heritage map in the BEP only includes the ticket office on Redfern Station. There is no mention of the oldest public convenience on Redfern Station or other building on the station. The toilet was used by the Minister to justify the need to over ride the Heritage Act in the RWA legislation.

There is still concern about how the BEP meshes with the Human Services Plan. The widely argued need for supported accommodation and the decision to sell of the Rachel Foster hospital are seen as being in conflict. The RWA is saying that if a need for this kind of accommodation is identified then it could be considered in the Second Stage of the BEP which will deal with public and affordable housing. This would happen after the old hospital was sold for a housing development.

There is much interest in how affordable housing will be handled especially following the RWA’s announcement that about half of the affordable housing levy from the CUB site be used to provide aboriginal affordable housing over ten years in addition to whatever the AHC might provide. The RWA affordable housing policy will be keenly awaited especially to see how it will relate to the imminent sales of Rachael Foster and the Western portion of North Eveleigh which are flagged for housing developments.

In the one area where human services and built environment did meet in the BEP, the proposed new Health Centre in the old Court House and Police Station, we hear that there is concern within the Aboriginal Medical Service that they were again not consulted in line as per their agreement with the government.  . The AMS strongly protested the decision to establish the Lawson Street Centre without prior consultation and the new Medical Centre will incorporate the Lawson Street Health Centre functions next to them in Redfern Street. We are also told that there was some surprise at the Redfern Legal Centre (RLC) about the adaptive reuse of the court House for a community service. RLC had been pushing for the old court house to be used for circle sentencing. They were told that heritage building was not suitable for delivering services such as circle sentencing and are keen to know how medical services differs from the use they proposed.

We will pass on further comments on the RWA’s Built Environment Plan as comments become available.

AHC Plans impacted by RWA BEP changes

In the immediate aftermath of the release of the BEP there have been a range of conflicting views expressed about what the BEP meant for housing on the Block. Following we have tried to clarify some of the issues without getting bogged down in too much in planning jargon.

To understand the changes made by the BEP to the planning controls it is important at the start to understand what is meant by the Block as much of confusion is arising from different people using the Block to mean different things. For this explanation we will define the Block in the way it is understood by the AHC. The Block is that area of land defined by Eveleigh, Vine, Louis and Caroline Streets. It is not the broader area surrounding these streets. It is on this piece of land, originally purchased for Aboriginal housing, that the AHC wish to build the Gadigal Apartments. The Gadigal Apartments is the housing element of the Pemulwuy project. The Pemulwuy project also includes land to the east and south of the Block.

Under the Draft BEP there was not enough residential floor space available to build the 62 houses on the Block. The houses that could be built could all be built together on the Block. The final BEP passed into planning law last week has reduced the amount of housing that can be built on the Block by a further 10%. It has done this by creating a new zone to the east of Eveleigh Street. The residential allowance from the land next to the railway line can only be used next to the railway line not on the Block.

In the new zone, near the railway line, the RWA has increased heights to the same that is allowed to the North of Holden Street. They have also restored the residential floor space to the earlier 1:1. Overall floor space allowed south of Holden Street is still only two thirds of that allowed to the north of Holden Street. These changes, with the removal of the open space zoning on some AHC land near the railway line goes some way towards zoning equity close to the railway line, increased height and density further up the hill aside. The only way the AHC can use the residential allowance next to the railway line is to put some homes where they have currently planned for commercial development.

Had the Minister not introduced the new zone and cut the 1:1 floor space for residential by 25% on the Block then the AHC’s vision of the Gadigal Apartments on the Block surrounded by the commercial and non housing aspects of the Pemulwuy project could have produced the mixed development the Minister wanted. That the Minister has decided not to allow the extra residential floor space to be used on the Block shows that Minister is still fighting a battle with the AHC rather than seeking some genuine resolution.

The AHC looks set to continue to push for the restoration of the 1:1 residential floor space for the Block rather than give up their plan for the Gadigal apartments. The RWA believe they have given them enough increase in their land value for the AHC to give away their plan for the Gadigal apartments being built on the Block. The RWA is setting up a meeting between the AHC and the Department of Planning about the planning changes and the AHC’s project. We await with interest the outcome of that meeting.

Redfern Aboriginal Authority Planning Ahead

When the Redfern Aboriginal Authority was set up in 2005 an initial aim was to assist member organisations prepare a five year plan and to bring together the vision of what Aboriginal organisations wanted for Redfern Waterloo so they could together negotiate change in the area with governments and the RWA. This process is now underway. With funding from the Federal Government a consultant is talking to agencies about their vision for the area and their services. Hopefully this process will provide a solid basis of Aboriginal cooperation in Redfern Waterloo and for Aboriginal organisations to negotiate about the future of Aboriginal services and Aboriginal people in the area.

CUB Expert Advisory Panel Report

The Expert Advisory Panel has presented its report to the Minister and it can be downloaded from CUB Expert Advisory Panel Report to Minister. The Coalition Chippendale Community Groups’ response to the report in part says:

… the recommendations do little to allay fears about gross overdevelopment with an alarming absence in recommendations to support innovative and sustainable planning. The Panel’s report ignores critical findings from the Jury report and studies commissioned by the City of Sydney. Recommendations if accepted, result in unsustainable density with height controls for a set of "twin towers" limited only by the maximum allowable under the Federal Airport Corporation (FAC) - liveability for future residents and the existing village is substantially compromised. Poor planning anomalies such as the UTS tower are reinforced, with the twin towers positioned opposite the UTS to visually "support" the UTS tower as the City’s “western gateway” - plans long rebuked by experts with the concept of multiple towers rejected previously by the Design Competition Jury. Key heritage is lost with the proposed park and adjacent low rise communities overshadowed and vistas lost. The absence of information about the overall density or gross floor area is apparent. However given the recommendations we assume, Fosters remain intent on achieving an overall density (floor space ratio) of 4.5:1 across the site - three times the FSR proposed for East Darling Harbour and a density rejected by the Jury as unsustainable. 

The full comments on the Advisory Panel report, the RWA BEP and the future of Chippendale as part of the CBD can be seen in their latest update CUB NEWS + POTENTIAL THREAT TO ADJOINING AREAS.

In a mayoral minute to Sydney Council last week Clover Moore provided some council comment on the Foster’s scoping paper for the CUB site as well as a report back to council on the legal advice received by council on the Minister’s CUB order. The mayoral minute can be found on the REDWatch website at Mayoral Minute 28 August 2006 City of Sydney.

It is expected that Foster’s will make their formal submission in the near future.

Redfern and Regent Street Upgrade

As those who have been in Redfern Street will know the City of Sydney Council have started work on the Redfern Street Upgrade. The council has also put updated information on their website including making it much easier to find the plans of what is being done in the upgrade. This information can be found at Redfern and Regents Street Upgrade .

Redfern Chamber of Commerce (RWCC) Website

The RWA website has added a link to the new Redfern Chamber of Commerce website to their links page. The new site is at http://www.rwchamber.com.au/. The REDWatch website has earlier had a page for the Chamber of Commerce as the Chamber did not have their own site and we thought it was important for people to be able to get details about the Chamber.

REDWatch Too Political for RWA Link

Following the RWCC link being posted, REDWatch asked the RWA if it could also put a link to REDWatch up on their website. REDWatch was advised that the RWA would link to the RWCC because they are a “service organisation” but that the RWA does not have links to “political organisations” and that therefore the REDWatch request was declined. We find this a bit perplexing.

The City of Sydney provides a list and links to all residents groups (including REDWatch) see Resident & Community Groups as is the case with many local Councils. However the RWA considers residents groups to be political while a Chamber of Commerce is in not political. It is probably this same logic that sees RWCC represented on RWA taskforces where residents’ representatives are not included.

For the record REDWatch has worked hard to be representative of the broad community. It’s office bearers include prominent local members of the ALP, the Greens and the Liberal party as well as people who are not members of any political party. In addition the other major political grouping of the area “Clover Moore’s Independents” are represented at each monthly meeting. REDWatch happily provides links to the RWA and a wide range of other organisations and articles irrespective of its agreement with what is said. It is part of encouraging broad open debate out of which hopefully better outcomes will be achieved.

Have your say in current Consultations

This update also listed the various Plans and Consultation Meetings currently looking for community input. These items were reprinted from 25 August 2006

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Upcoming Events
Council's public meeting on Waterloo - 6 March 6pm Mar 06, 2019 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM — Alexandria Town Hall
Monthly REDWatch Meeting Mar 07, 2019 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Factory Community Centre, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo
Monthly REDWatch Meeting Apr 04, 2019 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Factory Community Centre, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo
Monthly REDWatch Meeting May 02, 2019 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Factory Community Centre, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo
Monthly REDWatch Meeting Jun 06, 2019 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Factory Community Centre, 67 Raglan Street Waterloo
Upcoming events…