Feb 22nd, Erskineville over-development shows flaws in City planning

posted 12 Mar 2012, 04:17 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 14 Mar 2012, 05:41 by Friends of Erskineville ]

City of Sydney Greens Councillor Irene Doutney has explained the decision by her and fellow Greens Councillor Chris Harris to vote against the adoption of the new Sydney Local Environment Plan (LEP) as necessary to prevent a slew of inappropriate development.


Clr Doutney said that a detailed analysis of the changes proposed for Erskineville showed that this suburb was due for a burst of significant development based on questionable reasoning and that this had implications for the rest of the City.


“I gave extra attention to Erskineville because of the controversial Ashmore Estate development.”  Clr Doutney said.  “However looking more closely at the plans and community submissions it became apparent that there were problems beyond just Ashmore.


“The vast majority of Erskineville Village will also be up-zoned to a density that is in some cases more than twice what currently exists.  It is claimed that this is being done to bring the area in line with existing developments that are in excess of the current controls. 


“It’s a funny logic that says you should change the rules to accommodate those who have broken them.


 “The City carried out a detailed Urban Design Study in 2009, which is being used to justify these density increases, and it showed that the over dense developments are only a small minority of the suburb.  Many developments are actually well below what’s currently allowed, although once the permissible density rises further developers will smell money and I doubt these low density pockets will last long.


“It’s a case of changing the rules for everyone just to suit a privileged few.”


Clr Doutney noted that while the officially allowed density increase was only around 25% higher than the existing controls changes to the way density was defined and the ability of developers to secure a 10% density increase through Council discretion meant that many developments would be up to 50% bigger than currently allowed.


“The population is growing and we need to house people somewhere, but I don’t buy the justification for why Erskineville needs this, on top of what it’ll already be getting with the Ashmore development, which will be Erskineville’s fair share of extra dwellings plus some.


“It would be my preference to constructively engage with this process by moving an amendment, rather than simply voting against the LEP.  However without the benefit of a detailed, holistic Urban Design Study with the information we have for Erskineville covering the rest of the City we can’t be sure that the same problems don’t exist elsewhere.  That’s why the Greens will be taking a precautionary approach and voting against the new LEP in its current form.”  Clr Doutney concluded.


For further information contact Irene Doutney on 0416 410 374.