Issues raised by FOE in 2011

Issues raised by Friends of Erskineville at Public Meeting 29th March 2011

Highly increased density over Councils Control Plan for the site.
SCC has a Floor Space Ratio (FSR) in their DCP of 1.75:1 for the Ashmore Estate site. Goodmans are seeking an increase to 2.75:1.
To help put this into context, the Motto development has an FSR of 1.37:1. The ACI/Meriton site on Bourke St/Danks St is 2.5:1.

 A village of Tower Blocks
To achieve their proposed density, Goodman want to include in their plans, 60 Metre tower blocks, accommodating between 17-24 storeys. These buildings would be taller than the towers opposite Sydney Park, along Sydney Park Rd. The limit Council wants to see on the site is 9 floors, across 2-3 towers located centrally on the site. There’s no guarantee of ‘tower creep’ once the development 
application is prepared, with the caveats of ‘If you let us do this, we’ll do that for you’. 

Poor quality design
Goodman have used a storey height of 2.7M, providing for a ceiling height of approximately 2.4M. Sydney City Councils DCP lays down for a 3M storey height.

Towers of this size will create significant overshadowing across Mitchell Rd, Belmont St and other surrounding streets and lower level parts of existing and planned developments in the precinct. 

Traffic & Parking
Residents around the Coulson, Eve, Macdonald and Mitchell Streets can expect to have a significant growth in the level of traffic flowing through Mitchell Rd because of the increase in density and those residents needing to access and egress the precinct.
In addition, an increased impact on parking pressures as it is unlikely there will be anywhere near enough parking opportunities for the tenants of the planned development. For instance, Sydney City Council parking allocation policy works on a MAXIMUM of spots per total residential capacity.
There is also likely to be an increased volume of traffic along Ashmore St, as it becomes an access point to parts of the development, impacting on the bottleneck issues around Mitchell Rd and Copeland/Swanson St’s.
Particularly as it is likely to be the access point for any retail infrastructure placed on the site, like supermarkets.
The proposed bike path along Ashmore St is likely to further reduce parking capacity which also has regular additional pressure from sporting events held at Erskineville Oval.
Opening Macdonald St into the development is also likely to re-generate a level  of traffic in the lower streets of Erskineville, which were purposely isolated from through traffic some years ago.

 Public transport
Rail journeys on the lines through Erskineville and St Peters are already under pressure, with not much chance of increased capacity on those lines and up to now, no commitment to stop the Cronulla/Bondi Junction train at either station, which could provide an additional capacity to the CBD and up to Bondi Junction.
Unlikely to see new or additional bus services come into the area, the current 355 route is almost as fast as walking to Bondi Junction. 

Loss of sight lines
The towers will create a huge visual block from Sydney Park through the rest of the suburb and on to the city, which goes toward disengaging the park from the rest of the community.
The Draft DCP requires the panoramic views from the eastern & western knolls of Sydney Park to the Central Sydney skyline are maintained. 

Loss of scale
We choose to live Erskineville for many different reasons, but one for many is the sense of human scale to the built environment. With 60 Metres the tallest and who knows the lowest, this development creates a level of height and density not in keeping with the local built environment. It’s more in scale with a CBD environment, of which has no relation to a residential suburb.
The Draft DCP requires a mix of building types that respond to the area’s context. 

How Green will it be?
They can say they will build rooftop gardens, green walls and make the whole development look like one big topiary maze. There are absolutely no rules to ensure the finished buildings are completed with these sorts of design features.
How much open garden space will be sacrificed for additional structures relating to the buildings? 
What is their long term commitment to the area?
Are they going to build it?
Will they get the City Plan approved and sell the site to a developer to build it. Think of one who has a poor track record with quality and low density.
Which ever developer takes the project on is likely to attempt to stretch the limitations of the Control Plan in order for them to maximise their profit, which will see us going through a similar process to the one we’re going through now

More on the Ashmore Precinct Development at City Of Sydney's website -