Tag Archives: development

Alice St Community Wins Development Battle

Residents on and around Alice St in Newtown are celebrating after the Land and Environment Court refused an appeal by the development company Al Maha to expand their Alice St development.

Al Maha’s Development Application (DA) to add additional storeys to the block was refused by Marrickville Council twice earlier this year. Both Council and surrounding residents are concerned that development beyond the approved 5-storeys will be too high-density for the area, where public space, amenities and public transport are already under pressure.

Al Maha went to the NSW Land and Environment Court to appeal Marrickville Council’s refusal of the expanded DA. This week the Court made a decision in Marrickville Council’s favour, which states that additional height requested by Al Maha “breaches building height and FSR development standards” and “introduces other undesirable amenity impacts.”

Read the full decision here: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/565ba12be4b003c5681fb06d

Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong said:

“This is a fantastic victory for local residents who have worked together to fight Al Maha’s attempts to build more storeys despite serious community concern.

“Developers like Al Maha need to learn to listen to community concerns, instead of trying to force through their short-sited plans for gargantuan developments that improve their profits but wreck our suburbs.

“Marrickville Council made the right decision by knocking back the expanded DA – twice – and it’s shameful that Al Maha tried to take advantage of state planning laws that favour developers to push it through.

“It says a lot that even with biased planning laws that favour developers this expanded development didn’t get through.

“This outcome proves that communities shouldn’t sit back and let developers pillage their local areas. A concerted community campaign can make a real difference.

Greens Councillor for Marrickville Council David Leary said:

“Marrickville Councillors have been proud to work alongside the local community to ensure that the Alice St development remains at a reasonable density.

“We had good reasons to deny the expanded DA and we’re understandably happy with the decision of the Land and Environment Court.


20150604_alice-st-developemnt-action_high-res cropped

Marrickville Council rejects Parramatta Rd plan

2 December 2015, Marrickville Council has voted to reject the ‘Draft Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy’, arguing that it fails to achieve genuine urban renewal, fails to address the affordable housing crisis, and will place significant pressure on already underfunded local infrastructure such as parks and schools.

The Greens motions accepted by Marrickville Council mean Council has formally rejected UrbanGrowth’s Parramatta Rd redevelopment strategy, and will call on the State Government to work collaboratively with Local Councils for genuine revitalisation of Parramatta Rd.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “The community is facing an onslaught of so-called ‘urban renewal’ plans from the Baird Liberal Government – all designed to deliver large profits for developers at the expense of local communities.

“This latest strategy aims to massively increased heights by overriding local Council’s strategies & removing the opportunity for residents to have a say.  In the Taverners Hill Precinct near Petersham for example, the existing 313 dwellings are earmarked to increase to 3,054 by 2050. Residential blocks up to 12 storeys will be located directly next to single storey dwellings,” she said.

Large public meetings were held across the local area in the weeks before the Council meeting. Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong spoke at the public meeting held at Petersham Bowling Club on 27 November 2015 organised by the ‘Help Save Lewisham’ group. Ms Leong said, “The State Government is not urban renewal, they’re doing property development. This plan is about allowing developers to make a profit out of our communities and neighbourhoods.”

Large public meetings were held across the local area in the weeks before the Council meeting. Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong spoke at the public meeting held at Petersham Bowling Club on 27 November 2015 organised by the ‘Help Save Lewisham’ group. Ms Leong said, “The State Government is not urban renewal, they’re doing property development. This plan is about allowing developers to make a profit out of our communities and neighbourhoods.”

Greens MPs Jamie Parker & Jenny Leong at Petersham Bowling Club, November 2015

Greens MPs Jamie Parker & Jenny Leong at Petersham Bowling Club, November 2015


Marrickville Council voted to make a damning submission to Urban Growth outlining key problems with the draft Parramatta Rd strategy.

Council’s submission highlights the lack of planning to ensure infrastructure like parks and schools will accompany any new development. The submission strongly criticises the suggestion that Parramatta Rd will become a walkable or cycle friendly road because of the planned WestConnex. Recent modelling shows WestConnex will actually redirect more traffic to Parramatta Rd, making it even more congested, because Parramatta Road will be one of the few remaining roads that won’t have a large toll imposed by the Liberal Government.

Council’s submission is also damning about the failure of the State Government to genuinely address affordable housing. Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said, “Council’s submission points out that the simplistic strategy of approving more apartment towers – and letting the market sort out the prices – has failed to deliver affordable housing.

“If anything this approach has helped drive the housing crisis in the inner west, and to concentrate more investment housing in the hands of the few.

“Council’s submission will also highlight that successive Labor and Liberal Government’s have failed to give Council the power to insist on affordable housing as part of urban renewal projects (inclusionary zoning). If the State Government is serious about affordable housing it must give Council’s this power, and set targets of at least 30% affordable housing,” Clr Ellsmore said.

Marrickville Council agreed to formally endorse and attach an alternative Parramatta Rd growth plan developed by local residents and the Help Save Lewisham Group, to Council’s submission.

More information:    Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

Detailed plans for Camperdown Bowlo released

The Development Application for the upgrade of the former Camperdown Bowling Club has been made to Marrickville Council, and residents can view and have their say on the specific plans by 11 August 2015. For full details see the Council page for DA201500378 HERE. Download the plans for the site, which are part of the DA, are extracted here: Architectural Plans – DA201500378 – 31A Mallett Street CAMPERDOWN.

The Camperdown Bowling Club site is located on Mallet and Pidock Streets, next to Camperdown Park. The land is owned by the State Government and is managed by Marrickville Council for the benefit of the community. After the Club went bankrupt in 2013 the Greens on Marrickville Council supported the process to lease the site to a not for profit organisation, so it could be reopened as a family friendly venue with a strong community focus.  After a competitive process, a contract was signed with ‘Camperdown Project Pty Ltd’, a subsidiary of Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club Pty Ltd for a ten year lease and $1 million investment in the rejuvenation of the club building and community facilities.

In addition to strong requirements to ensure the venue meets community needs outlined in Council’s “Recreation Needs Study”, Marrickville Council committed that any new venue will be pokie free, with the Greens moving a ban on pokies in this and all other Council managed venues. For more information see: 2013 Media Release “Camperdown Bowlo to become pokie free“.

The DA on exhibition proposes:

  • Internal upgrade works to the old Club building, to include a new food and beverage facility with a mix of indoor and covered alfresco spaces
  • A meeting space for hire by community groups.
  • No expanded height or redevelopment of the building proposed.
  • A casual lawn area/childrens’ playground where young people can play.
  • The majority of the area which was previously dedicated to bowling greens converted to a community farm, to  encourage school and families to learn about sustainability living through an urban farm environment. There is also a chicken run proposed.
  • Potentially, a food stall at the Mallet St entrance.
Former Camperdown Bowling Club Site (highlighted in yellow) in the context of Camperdown Park and adjoining courts

Former Camperdown Bowling Club Site (highlighted in yellow) in the context of Camperdown Park and adjoining courts

The proponents have established an email list and website where residents can receive updates at http://www.camperdownproject.com.au/

Marrickville library saved from sale to property developer

17 March 2015

The Marrickville Greens have welcomed the vote by Marrickville Council tonight to reject the proposed sale of the planned Marrickville library site to a foreign property developer for $52 million dollars.

Maxma Developments Pty Ltd owned and controlled by sole shareholder and Director Xianhon Ma approached Marrickville Council to buy the site of the old Marrickville Hospital, which is currently undergoing an expression of interest process for construction of a new library, community hub and park.

The offer to buy the site was an unsolicited offer outside the current process.

In a letter to council Xianhon Ma’s lawyer Jeffrey Wong  said “Director and sole shareholder Xianhong Ma had been actively engaging in property development in Foshan, China for years”. The letter also claims that Xianhon Ma had constructed museums for movie stars Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

“But councils own due diligence revealed that Maxma Developments Pty Ltd was incorporated on 5 May 2014 and has only $100 in paid up capital. No security for the proposed transaction was offered by this entity apart from a 10% deposit” revealed Clr Leary.

The developer’s offer shows the developer planned to construct a 4 star hotel with 110 rooms, 400 residential units, an exhibition centre and commercial premises totalling 2000 square metres.

Up until this offer was received Marrickville council was involved in an expression of interest process for the construction of a library and community hub, 1200  square metres of park and residential and commercial development on the balance of the site including a minimum of 4% affordable housing.

“Council has never considered flogging off the entire site until this developer came along and if the developers offer had been accepted it would have derailed the process for the new library” commented Greens Councillor David Leary who succesffuly moved that confidential information relating to the project be released to the public at last nights meeting.

“The Old Marrickville hospital site has always been earmarked for use by the community for construction of a new library, community hub and a park. This was why Marrickville Council bought the site from the State government. Now that this deal has been rejected Council should get on with building these important community facilities without delay” said Councillor Leary.

Contact: Cr David Leary 0409 421 323

For more background and comments from Greens candidate for Summer Hill, Clr Max Phillips, see Greens Media Release from 15 March ‘Council should reject developer’s offer and stick with building a new library and new park’

Labor & Liberal Councillors push Victoria Road rezoning and dismiss Department of Planning directive

Marrickville Greens – Media release

4 February 2015

The Marrickville Greens Councillors today expressed their grave concern at the decision by Labor and Liberal Councillors to dismiss a Department of Planning request to withdraw the proposal to rezone 18 hectares of industrial land to high density residential in the Victoria Road Precinct Marrickville, and to instead push the developer’s proposal by trying to arrange a lobbying meeting between the development consortium and the Department of Planning.

After considering the rezoning proposal for gateway assessment, the Department of Planning wrote to Marrickville Council to “request Council withdraw the planning proposal to incorporate the recommendations of the [Employment Lands] study and allow for further investigation of the strategic merit of retaining the Victoria Road industrial lands in the context of the broader local government area and subregion”

“I am very concerned that Councillors made a decision to push the interests of developers over the significant, clear and strong advice from the Department of Planning, Council’s own planners, and the conclusions of the Employment Lands Study,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“The Department of Planning’s response was crystal clear that the rezoning proposal developed by the consortium was flawed in multiple ways, would not get through the gateway process and that it should be withdrawn. Councillors have thumbed their nose at this directive and instead moved to help lobby for the developer’s high-rise plans.

“We have left the realm of genuine, logical debate, and entered the strange world where certain Councillors are actively trying to use their power to do favours for a development consortium. Residents should be very concerned.

“The resolution passed by Council 7-5 rejects the Department of Planning’s request to withdraw the rezoning proposal and requires Marrickville Council staff to arrange and facilitate a meeting between the development consortium and the Department of Planning.

“These Councillors are effectively forcing Council staff to act as lobbyists for a private developer. This creates a major conflict for Council’s planning staff whose assessment recommended rejection of the rezoning proposal.

“The Greens want Council to heed the request of the Department of Planning to withdraw the rezoning proposal and initiate its own review of the precinct with the broader community interest in mind.”

The vote on the resolution was:
For Gardiner, Tyler, Macri, Hanna, Woods, Iskandar, Barbar.
Against: Phillips, Leary, Brooks, Ellsmore, Haylen.

Contact: Cr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

Council should take control of Victoria Road precinct planning

Marrickville Greens – media release

20 January 2015
Greens Councillor Max Phillips today welcomed news that the Department of Planning had rejected the proposed developer driven rezoning of the Victoria Road Precinct in Marrickville and said that Marrickville Council should now commence its own planning review rather than wait for the developer to submit revised plans.
“It was no surprise that the Victoria Road precinct failed to pass through the Department of Planning’s gateway process given it was badly flawed and and more of an ambit claim for developers dreaming of mountains of profit,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.
“It’s vital that Marrickville Council now re-assert its role as the planning authority and representative of the broader community interest, by commencing its own planning review of the Victoria Road precinct.
“The Employment Lands Study has been delivered and found that the precinct was an important part of Sydney’s position as a global city and generates considerable employment.  It concluded that the precincts location close to the CBD, airport and sea port, made it incredibly strategic land for industry in Sydney.
“This study provides a clear direction for Council to promote a positive evolution and rejuvenation of this area.
“Council has an important role to bring together disparate visions for the precinct and conduct a genuinely strategic planning review in the long-term and broader interest of the community.
“The Greens moved to begin such a review in November 2014, but other Councillors wanted to wait until the Department of Planning had completed its gateway assessment. Now that assessment is complete, there should be no more excuses for Council to begin its own planning review,” he said.
Contact: Councillor Max Phillips – 0419 444 916

Massive re-zoning of Victoria Road precinct gets fast-tracked

Marrickville Greens – Media Release

4 September 2014

Developers got their gold-plated wish granted by Marrickville Council last night, with a 6-5 vote to send a 18 hectare re-zoning proposal to the Department of Planning Gateway process, despite serious concerns being raised by planning staff and members of the community.

“The Greens are greatly concerned by the way this massive re-zoning is being fast-tracked without proper community consultation or important information made available to revise the proposal,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.

“After the vote, I overheard property owners talking outside the council chamber. One said to the other – “congratulations mate, you’ve just made a couple of million dollars”. This goes to show just how important re-zoning decisions are, the potential for huge windfall profits, and underlines why council should undertake proper and thorough processes.

“Re-zoning, all or part of this area is could bring some benefits and the greens support sustainable development and rejuvenation of the area.

“However, rather than taking a few more months to do proper consultation and revisions to the proposal, Labor, Independent and Liberal Councillors have opted to push a half-baked and greedy developer-driven proposal up to the Department of Planning.

“Councillors were given a 600 signature petition raising concerns about the project. The 600 signatures were gathered over only a few days as the issue went viral on social media, particularly among people concerned about the creative industries being squeezed out of the area by blocks of apartments.”

Contact: Cr Max Phillips 0419 444 916

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