The Baird Government’s rezoning plans for the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor threaten an architecturally renowned, award-winning house in Marrickville, says Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill.

The house, in Fletcher Street Marrickville, won two 2015 NSW Architecture Awards from The Australian institute of Architects; for Residential Architecture – Houses (New) and Sustainable Architecture, but is set to be surrounded by medium density, 5-7 storey development under the Government’s plans.

“This is the kind of architecture we need in our neighbourhoods – beautifully designed buildings with a sustainability and heritage focus,” said Ms Haylen.

“The Baird Government’s rezoning will allow for one-size fits all development that will destroy the human scale of our heritage streets,” Ms Haylen said.

“Instead of architectural excellence, we’re likely to see buildings thrown up that don’t meet community standards and which change the face of our suburbs forever,” Ms Haylen said.

The owners, Nikki Maloney and Margee Brown, are concerned the scale of development allowed under the rezoning will ruin the sustainability features of their home, but also stop the movement towards sustainable, sympathetic development in Marrickville.

“Just over 12 months ago we completed a new sustainable home that re-used the materials from the old 1890's home” said Ms Maloney.

“Building the house brought together a great community in this street,” said Ms Maloney.

“People got involved, supported the passive design and shared their own stories about their long searches to find a home with the heritage and street-scape Fletcher Street offers them and their families.”

“Others in the street have lovingly restored their homes and families choose to live here because of the historical homes on the street,” Ms Maloney said.

The house is recognised as an example of sustainable architecture and architects from across Australia are drafting submissions to the Government’s consultation process, fighting to keep Maloney’s award winning home just as it was intended.

 “Our architect studied the sunlight and wind patterns to devise a passive home with no heating or cooling devices, just nature doing its work. The size of the home was strategically designed as a one and a half story home so as not to shadow the neighbours,” said Ms Maloney.

“Obviously these award winning strategies would be destroyed if residential towers limited the air flow and sunlight is affected,” Ms Maloney said.  

“It’s obviously devastating for the owners to have worked so hard to create a home that incorporates all the features we’d like to see in new development and have that undermined by the rezoning,” said Ms Haylen.

“The house is an emblem of the kind of suburb we want to live in – smart, sustainable and sympathetic. Under Baird’s plans, we won’t see many others like it,” Ms Haylen said.