Mark Boyd ~ 11th Feb 2012

posted 12 Feb 2012, 14:03 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 13 Feb 2012, 03:54 ]


I wish to object to the Ashmore development plan based on the following issues:

1. The overall scale and density of the buildings proposed for the site - over 40 blocks of apartments and town houses proposed varying in height from 2 to 9 levels. The estimate is that over the course of the period of development of the industrial estate around 6000 more people will become residents of Erskineville, effectively a doubling of the current population of the suburb. The proposed development is completely out of keeping with the density, nature and character of the rest of the suburb.


2. Public transport - despite this enormous projected increase in population there appears to be little to no recognition on behalf of the State Government or the developers of the major strain that such an influx of people would place on the transport infrastructure of the suburb.  Although served by the Bankstown-City train line, the demand for this service is now at the point that at morning rush hour many commuters find it difficult to find room on the train, often having to resort to waiting for the next service. The bus service to the city up Mitchell Road is also full at peak travel times. It is imperative that council recognizes this and takes it into careful consideration in the design of the development.


3. The development will inevitably lead to an increase in traffic in an already congested area. Even those who use public transport for weekday commuting will often own a car for use on weekends or after-hours. While the provision of only limited car parking in the development may reflect the aspiration of the council and state government to discourage the use of private motorized vehicles in general, it seems likely that increased traffic will affect the amenity of the area.


4. Closely linked to point 3 is that the off-street parking provision appears manifestly inadequate - approximately 1950 parking spaces for approximately 3200 apartments. Parking opportunities for those without their own off-street parking is at a premium in Erskineville. If the current proposal goes ahead as proposed this will inevitably become significantly worse.

5. The height of the proposed buildings: the 9 storey heights are well out of keeping with the rest of Erskineville and will create shadows on existing resident premises and proposed new residences, particularly in the late afternoon. Oddly it seems that in 2006 after an extensive consultative process City of Sydney concluded that building heights of up to 5 storeys could be supported. However the current proposal has moved to a limit of 9 storeys. One assumes that pressure from various stakeholders was brought to bear on City of Sydney to encourage the accommodation of a denser population in the re-draft. Nevertheless, this has occurred in the absence of any apparent consultation with the community, nor it would appear with any new assessments of the impact or feasibility of this substantial change.


6. Provision for open public space in the new proposal is inadequate - less than 5% of the total site area. In 1997 the plan for the open space component aspect of the development was more than 5 times what is now on the table. This is simply greedy and inadequate.


In conclusion, the great paradox of the Ashmore redevelopment proposal is that it will devalue the great amenity of Erskineville as a place to live, which is the currency on which the council and the developers will seek their return on investment.


I respectfully ask you and the City of Sydney to take stock of what is being proposed at Ashmore and consider amending the plan to one that adds to rather than detracts from the character of Erskineville.


Yours Sincerely,