This week I spoke to the Alexandria Residents Action Group (ARAG) and Friends of Erskineville (FOE) at a public meeting about the Development Application that has been lodged to build up to 1,600 apartments in the Ashmore Estate.
Both Green Square and Ashmore renewal areas have been in the pipeline since 1995 and now it's all happening. Ashmore is a 17-hectare site - once zoned light industrial - earmarked for urban renewal by the old South Sydney Council as far back as 1995, and rezoned for residential in 1998.
Ashmore will have about 3,500 new homes for over 6,000 residents, with local shops, a supermarket, cafes, separated bicycle lanes, live-work accommodation and a large central park.
Our existing community in the area is understandably concerned about the pace of change in the neighbourhood, especially around the provision of transport infrastructure and education and child-care facilities.
Given the rapid pace of development, it is absolutely crucial that the right infrastructure is in place for existing and new residents.
In 2013, the City prepared an Infrastructure Plan for Ashmore, identifying what is needed and who is responsible for its delivery. City staff are updating the plan to reflect the pace of development. It will form the basis of our ongoing discussions with relevant state agencies to make sure their services meet the growing demand.
I have committed to talk with the Central Sydney Planning Committee about what we can do to ensure that needed infrastructure is in place as development occurs. The CSPC must consider the Ashmore Development Application without prejudice after submissions close on 31 August 2015.
The City will continue to advocate for additional transport services for the area and for the increased school places to meet the needs of the growing community.
The City is also working to meet Ashmore's needs directly, by building three new childcare facilities in the area, as well as a new library, aquatic centre and creative hub at Green Square, about one kilometre from Ashmore.
I am committed to ensuring the development is sustainable, that it respects the character of the surrounding areas and provides the appropriate services, including transport and child-care.