At last night’s Council meeting Mayor Jo Haylen urged fellow Councillors to adopt a series of recommendations to ensure proper consideration of the development proposal for Victoria Road before referring it to the NSW Government Gateway Process.
Mayor Haylen said it was critical to not rush the process, particularly given the size of the proposal.
“This is a highly significant site covering 18 hectares in the heart of Marrickville – which makes it the largest redevelopment proposal ever in our area,” Mayor Haylen said.
“The proposal will change the colour and shape of Marrickville. We have to make sure it is a change for the better.
“What is great about Marrickville is that we now have a real divergence of shop types and creative industries are thriving. We have old Marrickville – like the traditional facades on Marrickville and Illawarra roads – but we also have a genuine mix of gritty functioning industrial uses and all types of residential housing.
“I’m not saying that we shouldn’t redevelop and renew this site. Indeed I believe in the long term that we should and it must happen in a way that is holistically planned and sustainably executed.
“But it is absolutely critical that we get it right. It must be sympathetic with what makes Marrickville a great place to live.”
Mayor Haylen indicated that it was premature of Council to refer the proposal to the NSW Government Gateway process. In doing so Council becomes the relevant planning authority and gives its full endorsement before the community is consulted.
“Marrickville residents rightly expect us to consult them when we install a no stopping sign or speed humps in their street. This is 18 hectares of land right in the heart of our LGA. To give this the tick without so much as a conversation with our residents is irresponsible and goes against everything that we stand for at Marrickville Council.
“My amendment proposes a series of round-table discussions with the community considering services and transport, urban density and design, and the nature and extent of employment lands.”
The consultation could occur while other critical work is undertaken and pieces of advice received like the Marrickville Employment Lands Study Review, thereby not delaying the processes more than a few months.
“The Employment Lands review will be available next month – I don’t see why we can’t wait to receive it to better inform this and other planning proposals in the Inner West,” Mayor Haylen said.
Mayor Haylen said the health of any future residents also needed consideration.
“It’s a site highly affected by airport noise, which will impact the wellbeing of any potential residents.
“We should also await the advice from the Department of Planning and Environment to guide how much housing, its density and height, and where on the site it should potentially go.”
Recommendation moved by Mayor Haylen
1) Council await the requested advice from the Department of Planning and Environment (the Department) with respect to the proposed land use mix and, in particular, the location of any residential land uses within the Study Area and continue to assess the Preliminary Planning Proposal based on this advice.
2) Council officers request that consultants undertaking the Marrickville Employment Lands Study Review expedite their work with respect to the Study Area and having regard to any advice from the Department in relation to residential uses.
3) In relation to building heights, Council notes that the height of buildings within the Study Area ranges from approximately 1 to 4 storeys and that the maximum building height within the Marrickville LGA is approximately 9 storeys and determines that the proposed maximum building height should be within this range.
4) At least 2 of the external members of the Council’s Architectural Excellence Panel be requested to undertake and urban design review of the planning proposal, specifically with respect to the built form, existing and streets and new linkages, existing and proposed open space, the existing building stock and industrial character of the area and the interface with surrounding development.
5) A series of round-table discussions be held with the community and other relevant stakeholders with a focus on:
- services and transport;
- urban density and design; and
- the nature and extent of employment lands.
6) Council determine a final Planning Proposal with a view to submitting it to the Gateway and having regard to 1 to 5 above and all other relevant planning considerations including open space dedication and contributions to other public and community benefits befitting an urban renewal project of this scale.