Ashmore Estate Meeting

(Erskineville Public School)

Hello, everyone, welcome to this briefing. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.

Tonight we will bring you up to date on changes ordered by the State Government to the City's draft planning controls for two Goodman-owned sites in the Ashmore precinct.

To give a little background for those who may be unfamiliar with the history: the Ashmore Precinct has been identified for urban renewal since 1998. It was home to the Metters factory, producing ovens and boilers until 1973. It covers 17 hectares, and a lot of it still has large industrial buildings on big land blocks which may be redeveloped in the future.

Work has already begun with the development of the Motto, Glo and Star Printery residences.

Over the past six years, the City has put a lot of time and resources planning for the redevelopment of the precinct. It included technical studies to look at issues such as stormwater management, traffic, and transport, urban design and economic feasibility.

Many of you here this evening took part in our workshops to help us develop our planning controls. These were to form the framework for the location of new roads, open spaces, shops, and building heights and scale.

They were reviewed as part of our Erskineville, Alexandria and Newtown Urban Design Study, and to ensure they met the directions outlined in our Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy for sustainable renewal and increased housing.

We exhibited the urban design study for your comments in March and April last year. There were 57 submissions and City planners finalised the recommendations which were then incorporated into our proposed City Plan controls.

However, following representations from the landowner, Goodman, the Department of Planning ordered the City to increase the floor space ratio and the buildings heights for two sites, at 57 Ashmore Street and 165-175 Mitchell Road.

These lots cover about seven hectares and the changes we have been ordered to make include:

  • An increase in the floor space ratio - which is a measure of density - from 1.75:1 to 2.75. To give you an idea of what this might mean, the whole of the Meriton development off Lachlan Street in Waterloo, known as Crown Plaza, has a floor space ratio of 2.5:1
  • The other key change ordered is the more than doubling of the maximum building heights from the City's proposed maximum of nine storeys to 19 storeys.

This is not the outcome we worked hard to achieve or want, and it seems to us yet another example of the government's abuse of its planning powers.

Tonight, Andrew Thomas, the City's Executive Manager, City Plan, will explain to you more about the City's proposed controls and the likely impacts of the changes imposed by the Department of Planning.

You'll also hear from the landowner as to why they want these major changes to the controls.

The Friends of Erskineville will also make a short presentation.

At the end of the briefing, our City staff will be available to answer any further questions you may have about the controls.

I strongly urge you to make a submission on the draft planning controls, whether you do, or do not, support what is being proposed. Submissions close on April 4, but if you can't make it by this date, please let one of our planners know.

Thank you for coming this evening, and I'd now like to hand over to Andrew Thomas.