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Ashmore Estate Development - background paper

posted 6 Sep 2012, 04:23 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 6 Sep 2012, 04:26 ]
The Ashmore Estate is an area in Erskineville of approximately 17 hectares bounded by Ashmore Street, Mitchell Road, Coulson Street and the Bankstown Railway line.

The site is currently an industrial location and of the 17Ha is owned partly by Leighton Constructions (minority holding) (Leighton) and Goodman Investments (major holding) (Goodman), and there are other minor holdings. It is proposed that the site be developed to house 6000+ people, (which effectively doubles the population of Erskineville), in approximately 3500 apartments in over 40 buildings with provision for off street parking for approximately 1900 vehicles.

Read the full paper here

Comments and Concerns

  • There appears to be no co-ordination between Council and the state government. Council has responsibility in certain areas but when it comes to transport, traffic management etc. the buck passes to government with council saying it has no control. Why does council not ask for control or alternatively propose legislation to government that would allow for a co-ordinated approach? Is council too concerned that government may take away some of its powers, rather than being concerned in a common sense approach to planning?

  • Why has council exempted the site from the LEP and hence controls that will apply to all other construction in the city council area?

  • Why is council only allowing for approximately 1900 off street parking spaces for approximately 3500 residences? (when 2011 census statistics reveal static or increased car ownership in the area and hence present council policies regarding car control have failed and require a re-think). Do developers understand that under current council rules, if a resident only parking scheme is introduced then because the development is a new build all residents who do not have off street parking will not be allowed to have a resident parking permit and hence they would have to sell the approximately 1600 residences that will not be allocated an off street parking space on the basis that the buyers will not be allowed to own a vehicle? And can such an imposition be made on a free public? Why has council been approving other developments apart from Ashmore with NO off street parking being made mandatory as part of the development?

  • Leighton have admitted to FOE that their DA – lodged before the close off of submissions to the LEP, and to which over 300 resident objections have been lodged with Council – roughly complies with the proposed LEP which has yet to receive government approval. Leighton has also admitted they conducted a design competition, (which under Council rules allows for up to a 10% increase in development over and above Council guidelines), and that Council was part of the judging panel. The question now arises as to the relationship between Council and Leighton. Has Council been feeding Leighton information as submissions on the LEP were made when the submissions and the LEP were not complete – or had Council already made a decision on the LEP and was merely going through the motion of community consultation in order to tick boxes? What was Council doing sitting on the design competition judging panel when Council had to approve the final plan – a direct conflict of interest? Did Council exempt the Ashmore Development from the LEP as a result of lobbying from developers, and if not why has the site been exempted from the LEP?

  • It appears that council may well approve development proceeding without the transport, traffic, water and other infrastructure issues being addressed before construction commences. Why will council not condition any Development Application on the basis that these issues must be addressed with firm irrevocable commitments and plans before development can proceed? Is Council afraid that by conditioning any development application a Land and Environment Court case may eventuate? (and maybe that is what is required to satisfy issues once and for all?)