Latest Ashmore news

21 Mar, Ashmore Estate Development - Update

posted 21 Mar 2013, 09:04 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 21 Mar 2013, 09:12 ]

21 March, 2013

Dear Fellow Resident

Following submissions made to the City of Sydney Council (COS) in early 2012 by Friends of Erskineville (FOE) and residents, COS decided to carry out further investigatory and study work in relation to the development of the Ashmore Estate precinct bounded by Ashmore St, Mitchell Rd, Coulson Street, McDonald Street and the East Hills Railway Line.

Further investigation was mandated into the following:

The results of this further investigation are now available here
The report results of the three investigations are linked for download at the bottom of the page.

Residents can access the results and can make comment to COS if they wish. In particular the Traffic and Transport report will be of interest to all residents as it impinges on the entire suburb and current discussions surrounding a parking in Erskineville.
Best regards

Friends of Erskineville

5th Oct, Update on the Ashmore Precinct Development

posted 5 Oct 2012, 00:14 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 5 Oct 2012, 00:15 ]

Dear Fellow Resident

Many of you will recall that back in March 2012 you supported Friends of Erskineville and made a submission in relation to a Development Application from Leighton Properties to construct apartments and town houses in the Ashmore precinct. A copy of that submission is still available on our website.

It is of note that the council has basically not responded to the submissions that were made, and those submissions largely related to improved public transport infrastructure; parking and traffic issues; height of the development; provision of facilities such as schools and pre-schools etc.

In the last 48 hours FOE has learned that council plans to have stage one of a Leighton DA, which we understand is vastly different to the original on which the March submissions were made, put before the Central Sydney Planning Committee for decision on Thursday next, 11 October, 2012.

In spite of assurances given by the Lord Mayor that we would be kept advised of proceedings, FOE has not been officially informed of this plan; nor have we been given copies of the new plans; nor has there been an exhibition of the revised plan; and at this time nor has there been an opportunity afforded to residents to comment on the revised proposal. Indeed FOE only learned of the plan by way or rumor, and subsequently confirmed what was happening.

Accompanying this note is a letter to the Lord Mayor setting out our concerns, and expressing the need for further consultation and investigation. This development application appears to be rushed, and it is of great concern that there appears to be major changes which as yet have not been advised to residents or interested groups who have made submissions in the past. One in fact is drawn to the conclusion that we may well be in the process of being sidelined in this scenario.

I urge you to read and consider the accompanying letter which has already been sent to the Council by FOE. If you are in agreement with the FOE stance, can you please go to where you will find a simple letter to which you can add your name and address and send to the council in support of the FOE letter.

Residents have the right to be consulted on this issue. We all know that we are already suffering from clogged roads, lack of parking, insufficient public transport, insufficient facilities and other issues surrounding the development of the Ashmore precinct. It is therefore essential that we voice our concerns that these matters be addressed now rather than we residents being left with a range of problems to solve long after this council has moved on, staff have changed and State government personnel have also changed. Commitments without certainty are valueless as we have experienced in the past.


Thank you for your support


Mike Hatton


30th Jun, 2012 - FOE president update

posted 30 Jun 2012, 23:13 by Friends of Erskineville

Residents are well aware of the concerns that have been raised concerning the development of the Ashmore precinct bounded by Ashmore Street, Mitchell Road, Coulson Street and the Bankstown railway line. Those residents that attended the February public meeting convened by FOE to discuss this issue will be aware of the initial proposed statistics – 6000 plus additional people; 3500 residences in 40 blocks; 1950 off street parking spaces.


Following the public meeting FOE made a submission to the COS on this development. In addition FOE devised a generic submission on its web site which residents could then use to lodge a submission on the development – and in excess of 400 submissions were lodged as a result of resident action.


Residents have made it clear they are not opposed to development of the Ashmore site, but however desire that:


1.     The proposed height levels of buildings on the site be restricted to a maximum of 5 storeys as originally approved by the previous South Sydney Council

2.     The issue of flooding is addressed. The Ashmore site is part of the Munni Street flood plain and major work is required to cater for a 1 in 50 year flooding possibility

3.     Public transport infrastructure issues must be resolved prior to the commencement of any construction. The influx of 6000 people will double the population of Erskineville and public transport infrastructure is already overloaded and in crisis

4.     A traffic study must be completed before construction commences. Roads in the suburb are already gridlocked and the COS proposals do not include any traffic study

5.     Plans must include consideration of additional school facilities as well as health care and pre-school facilities


FOE has also met with Leighton Holdings who are the developer of part of the Ashmore site, and have placed resident concerns before the Leighton representatives. In addition meetings have also been held with State parliament representatives for the area and these concerns have also been conveyed to those representatives.


As a result of FOE and resident submissions, the COS is taking action in considering additional studies on the height of buildings and provision of services; traffic and parking; public transport infrastructure and future development in the years ahead. COS has invited FOE to be a part of the review of these studies as they become available in July, but FOE will maintain the necessity for action on the 5 points already enumerated in this newsletter.


Leighton Constructions have lodged a development application to commence construction – and this was allowed to be lodged by COS in the same period as the overall controls for the Ashmore site were being considered. Again, with the assistance of FOE, over 300 submissions have been lodged with council in relation to this application, and the application will be subject to the outcome of the further studies being undertaken by COS.


Ashmore is a major issue for residents and FOE and we shall continue to monitor the situation and engage council and the state government as and when necessary in order to pursue resident wishes in relation to this development.

13 Jun, Letter to The Hon Gladys Berejiklian

posted 23 Jun 2012, 22:27 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 23 Jun 2012, 22:31 ]

Read the full letter to Gladys Berejiklian here

Our concern is that in its planning the City has not taken into account public transport infrastructure requirements. Whilst we understand that such requirements are a matter for state government, we have urged the city not to proceed with allowing development until the public transport infrastructure needs have been identified and addressed. We have advised the city that a written implementation plan needs to be developed with timelines for implementation of that plan, and a firm commitment in writing to adhere to that plan. Unfortunately it would appear to us that the city is content to write letters to the State government on the matter, but at the same time is proceeding with review and approval of development applications to allow construction to commence without a firm plan to address the issue of public transport infrastructure.

At this time, Railcorp's own figures appear to indicate that peak hour trains operating from Erskineville Railway Station are loaded to a capacity of between 150% and 180%. Indeed it is often the experience of residents that they are unable to get on to a train and have to wait for the next train to arrive in the hope of gaining a position. Added to this is a bus timetable that does not appear to work to the advantage of residents in peak periods and it becomes immediately evident that the public transport infrastructure as it exists today is already in crisis - and this crisis exists based on current population figures and without any consideration being given to the explosion in population that will occur with the development of the Ashmore site.

28th Mar, Support for Inner-Sydney Transport Planning

posted 27 Mar 2012, 21:03 by Friends of Erskineville

NSW Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard today announced he would work with Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian to respond to concerns raised by residents about two proposed inner-Sydney urban renewal sites.

Mr Hazzard said he’d received a letter from Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore passing on concerns from local residents about the public transport, parking and traffic impacts of the Harold Park and Ashmore estates proposals.

A development application is before the City of Sydney Council for the Harold Park site at Glebe, while the council is currently finalising planning controls for the Ashmore estate at Erskineville.
“I will be working with the Transport Minister to ensure public transport capacity in the vicinity of these two major proposals is increased as the developments proceed and new residents move in,” Mr Hazzard said.

“These are very large urban renewal sites, with localised impacts and the government is very aware that careful transport planning is essential. I thank the Lord Mayor for raising her residents’ concerns with me and ensure her they will be addressed.

“The former Labor government under former Premier Kristina Keneally failed to consider any of the transport or related issues when it announced it supported a 19-storey height limit for the Ashmore estate.

“Additionally, the Part 3A system also introduced by Labor led to unilateral and arrogant massive increases in density without any thought to infrastructure or local community character.
“We’ve repealed Part 3A, which allows us a much capacity to sensibly balance the growth of our city and transport and other infrastructure needs.

“Wherever infill occurs in the renewal of our city, as Planning Minister I will always work closely with the Transport Minister to make public transport a high priority.”

“Development is necessary as our city evolves and getting public transport right is a key objective of the O’Farrell government,” Mr Hazzard said.

22nd Mar, Leighton submission from FOE

posted 22 Mar 2012, 01:11 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 22 Mar 2012, 01:17 ]

The Committee of the Friends of Erskineville Resident’s Association have submitted a formal a submission in relation to the Leighton Development DA D/2011/2152, which has been placed in the public arena for comment.

Read the full submission here

In summary we discuss the main issues, which are
  • Site Density
  • Transport Studies
  • Public Transport
  • Car Parking
  • Traffic
  • Flooding
  • Construction Denisty
  • Social Impact

18 Mar, commencement of works at the Ashmore site

posted 18 Mar 2012, 04:45 by Friends of Erskineville

Friends of Erskineville are aware of communication from Leighton concerning commencement of works at the Ashmore site.

The work that is commencing Monday 19 March, 2012 is the first stage – clean up and decontamination of the site and erection of a display centre for the sale of apartments etc. in the proposed construction when it is approved. This first stage work was approved by the council we believe pre-Christmas.

The next stage is the development application (DA) for the actual building construction and that is what the submission on our web site for residents to use is all about, and is what we got an extension on till March 23. Leighton are requesting up to 8 storeys in apartments and also 2 storey terraces. FOE have as yet not completed their submission which hopefully will be very detailed. This DA is still subject to submissions and as yet has not been approved by council and until such time as council does approve it they cannot start actual construction work.

As for Leighton abiding by the Local Environment Plan (LEP) – we are of the view that the Lord Mayor and her independent councillors, together with the Liberal Councillor Mallard have agreed the LEP and will force it through no matter what. It is a concern as aside from other things the proposed LEP increases floor space ratios by up to 35% which means more dense construction, and in our view may open the door for development of parts of Erskineville that up to now have been free of such a threat. FOE made submissions on this in person to the Council Meeting and Planning Committee meeting but those submissions – together with similar ones from Rosebery, Chippendale, Alexandria etc. - have been ignored, and in fact Council’s chief planner indicated they were of little relevance.

Just also to clarify – the six independent councillors and Liberal Councillor Mallard voted to exempt Ashmore from the LEP controls and for it to have a specific DA. This means that in fact the controls in the LEP and any Development Control Plan can be ignored by council if they wish in favour of what Goodman may submit for approva

16 Mar, letter from Urbis

posted 15 Mar 2012, 17:34 by Friends of Erskineville

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Susan Hatherly <>
Date: 16 March 2012 09:55
Subject: Macdonald Street Erskineville - Site early works
To: Dianne Knott <>
Cc: Susan Hatherly <>

Good morning,


Leighton Properties and LaSalle Investment Management are commencing early works on a new, high-quality, inner-city residential community on Macdonald Street Erskineville.


The 1.6 hectare site is in the north-west corner of the 17 hectare Ashmore Precinct. The site is bounded by Ashmore, Bridge and Macdonald Streets Erskineville and the rail line.


Site early works and display suite


On Monday 19 March 2012, activity will commence on site. Starting soon after will be the site early works, which have been approved by the City of Sydney, and will include:

§  Partial demolition of the existing warehouse

§  Site remediation and associated excavation works

§  Construction of site hoarding and fencing

§  Construction of a temporary display suite, landscaping and car parking for 24 vehicles

§  Signage within the street and along the Macdonald St and Bridge St frontages.

Site early works are expected to be completed in mid-2012. Work will occur on site from:

§  Monday-Friday 7am-6pm

§  Saturday: 8am-5pm

§  Sunday and public holidays: no work

For safety reasons, access through the site will not be available from Monday 19 March 2012. We apologise for any inconvenience and suggest an alternative route via George and Macdonald Streets.


Keeping you informed


Leighton Properties and LaSalle Investment Management are committed to keeping our neighbours informed of works on the site.


The project website has been updated with the latest information. Please visit


For queries about the Macdonald Street Erskineville project, please Susan Hatherly or myself at Urbis Public Policy on 1800 244 863 or email us at


Kind regards,


Dianne Knott 
Associate Director – Public Policy

8th Mar, Central Sydney Planning Committee

posted 14 Mar 2012, 05:01 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 14 Mar 2012, 05:40 ]

There were 22 speakers: residents, landowners, developers including Goodmans and Leightons, and lawyers acting on behalf of clients.


 ‘Relevant To’ notes were provided directly before the meeting. These are notes pertinent to points that will be discussed in the meeting. A point about Ashmore stood out:


“The city plan generated 510 submissions about the Ashmore precinct. In summary the vast majority of the submissions are concerned about the exhibited controls for the Goodman owned land... The remainder of the Ashmore precinct generated a very small number of submissions about the impacts on privacy for residences located on the western side of the railway line. These concerns do not justify a review of the LEP height controls and will be addressed through the development application process.”


FOE's Andrew Marshall addressed the meeting:

 ·         I thanked the Lord Mayor, councillors and committee for the meeting; stated I was a resident and VP of FOE; spoke briefly about the changes to FSRs in the heritage and conservations areas, and how neighbouring councils were reducing their FSR’s. (other residents had already addressed these concerns). I also stressed how wonderful it was to live in the area and what great work the Council has done to improve the liveability of these areas.

·         I then quoted from the “Relevant To..” and stated that the reason the submissions were mostly to do with Goodmans was that was the point of the public meeting last March, chaired by the Lord Mayor, so naturally the submissions were about that area and not the Ashmore precinct as a whole. Further to that, in recent months the FOE has produced a lot of work concerning the Ashmore precinct, including many submissions on the area, and had organised a public meeting two weeks ago attended by over 200 people where two councillors attended and unanimous resolutions were passed.

·         In several responses in Attachment G2 Ashmore LEP area, the Council’s reply to concerns, for example Public transport, was that the problems are “beyond the scope of the City Draft Plan”, but the plan should consider them. Also, within this plan, it states that it is not to provide population increases, just densities.

·         That stated we did not understand how an LEP could be considered when the DCP for Ashmore is still under consideration and the exhibition had only ended on 29/02, a date kindly extended by the Lord Mayor after representation by the FOE.


When senior planner Andrew Thomas summed up, comments on the Ashmore section were:

“We note Leightons asking to expedite the DA process.”

“We note Goodman’s concerns about the deferral...” (the Goodmans’ land is to be deferred from the LEP and they want that disregarded. If itis not disregarded, Goodman want a planning framework with timelines). 

“We note Mr Marshall’s comments about the submissions but this doesn’t justify a change”.


 Council meeting 12/03/12

The City of Sydney Council met to vote on, amongst several items, the adoption of the Draft Sydney Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2011.

Councillors Harris, Doutney and Burgmann all spoke from prepared texts and were opposed to the motion. Clrs Harris and Doutney spoke specifically to the increase of FSR ratios and that neighbouring councils are lowering their FSR ratios. They also were concerned about the raising of FSR ratios  throughout the conservation areas. Clr Burgman moved four amendments and one was passed.


The result of the vote was that those three councillors all opposed the motion. The other seven councillors voted in favour and it was passed.

Mar 12, Councillors Vote to DESTROY Erskineville Village and defer Ashmore until after council elections

posted 13 Mar 2012, 04:23 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 14 Mar 2012, 05:40 by Friends of Erskineville ]

Speech by Cr Irene Doutney 

City of Sydney Council, March 12th 2012

Before I make my comments I would like to acknowledge all the work that has been done by staff and councillors to get the City Plan to where it is today. I also attended some of the City Plan meetings and it is with regret that I find myself in opposition to the LEP as it comes before us tonight.


I have grave concerns about parts of the LEP, in particular those to do with our heritage and conservation villages. I believe that the number of large developments including Harold Park, the Ashmore Estate, Green Square, the City and the renewal of Redfern and Waterloo should absorb the mass of development and meet the Metropolitan Strategy target numbers without having to upzone the villages that surround them.


We need to protect our villages as they are the soul of the City and with a balanced approach we can let new development happen in these renewal sites while protecting the conservation and residential villages.


I note that at last week’s Committee meeting the majority of submitters from the Resident Action Groups had their concerns diminished while the developer submissions were all given extra attention with 13 sites now being considered for future amendment. Not so for the villages however.


There has been significant media attention over the gross overdevelopment of the Ashmore estate, where the City’s plans for an already large development were ordered to become even larger by the Labor govt, who’d received thousands of dollars in donations from the site’s owners.


It is politically cowardly to have this section of the plan deferred to a point in the future that will almost certainly be after the next Council elections.  The City should submit the plan with its proposed controls for sign off by the Minister along with the rest of the LEP. 


This would allow the City to own its plans and have the people decide on them democratically, as well as forcing the Liberal government to show their hand – will they stand up for residents or follow the developer friendly line of Labor?


The controls for Ashmore Estate currently advocated by the City are around double what was permitted under the 2006 Ashmore DCP and if these were the only up-zonings adopted in the area we would still be asking Erskineville and surrounds to bear a significant burden. 


However while Ashmore Estate gets the attention it is not the only part of Erskineville that is destined for overdevelopment under this plan.


The vast majority of the suburb, as well as surrounding areas of Newtown and Alexandria, looks set for major increases in density.


Under the South Sydney DCP almost the entirety of Erskineville had a maximum allowed floor space ratio of 1:1.  It is noted that these controls have been routinely exceeded and it is for this reason that we are told that the permissible FSR should be increased.


Changing planning controls to meet these past exceedances is not a visionary way forward. 


Higher FSR developments got through because developers were allowed to “slightly” exceed the controls.  There’s no reason to think the new controls won’t also be exceeded – plans 10% in excess of controls are routinely allowed under SEPP 1.  This means that for areas where FSR is increased to 1.25:1 we will see numerous developments pop up with an FSR of 1.37:1.  When we next come to review the LEP, will we then up the allowed FSR to 1.37:1 to accommodate these? 


You can see how this is a very poor precedent to set, and 1.25:1 is the lower end of new FSRs under the plan.  The situation will be patently much worse in the areas where FSRs will jump from 1:1 to 2:1.


It’s also worth noting that the new LEP will be using a new definition of FSR, where internal wall cavities and communal stairways no longer count towards total floor area, meaning developers will be able to get between 5-17% more floorspace into their developments, depending on total size, even without an official increase in FSR.


Having made these points about trying to change development controls to match existing development I would also like to draw attention to the fact that the area is not uniformly high density as various reports imply.


The 2009 Urban Design Study into the area, used to justify the bulk of the density increases, has a map of existing conditions in the area which shows it to be anything but uniformly high density.  Large areas of the suburb are predominantly less dense than the planning controls allow, calling into question the need to boost the density, when the residents are opposed to upscaling their village.


Examples include:

·   Newman St between Whitehorse and Angel Streets - only two out of 27 blocks are currently over 1.1:1 and none of these are over 1.25:1, yet all but one block is to be up-zoned to 1.25:1.

·   Block between Burren and Charles Streets – only 7 blocks are currently over 1.1:1, yet 86 out of 87 blocks are to be zoned 1.25:1 with the remaining block becoming 1.75:1.

·   Union St on both sides, between Erskineville Rd and Munni St – only 24 of 91 blocks are currently over 1.1:1 and none are over 1.25:1, yet 65 blocks are to be rezoned 1.25:1.


I would also like to briefly mention the residents of Chippendale who are concerned about the loss of Clause 37 which gave them some protection against certain types of development and I call on Council to put some heart into the LEP where people’s homes and futures are at stake.”

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