City of Sydney Council has approved the Employment Lands Strategy for Green Square despite objections over its content and process.
Amongst the issues council has identified are burgeoning transport flows, increases to building heights, high density urban renewal and commitments to affordable community housing.
Liberal councillor Edward Mandla was the sole opposing voice during the June 23 council meeting.
Cr Mandla said in the committee stage of planning, he encountered “a long line of disgruntled land owners facing massive losses”.
According to 2008 Council predictions, the Green Square area is projected to host 40,000 additional residents and 22,000 additional workers by 2030.
Council’s Strategy argues for a “more flexible” approach to land use, acknowledging this will result in higher density employment and the re-industrialisation of the southern employment lands.
The Employment Lands Strategy document argues “restricting residential development is essential to ensuring employment uses can continue to locate in the area long term”.
President of the Friends of Erskineville residents group Darren Jenkins argues the Employment Lands Strategy coupled with the Ashmore Precinct Development could spell a planning disaster.
“Density in itself isn’t a bogey man. It’s when proper planning is not done to serve the new and existing members of our community.”
“No plans have been put in place to deal with the increased density in Erskineville and when new residents start moving in to the Ashmore Precinct Development it will become blindingly clear that not enough has been done by council and the State Government to prepare.”
Cr Mandla believes that the exhibition of the Strategy will yield further complaints from residents and landholders.
“Once something is on exhibition the City of Sydney tends to “answer” every submission and make only minor changes.”
“I felt this needed more time, the City ought to be more transparent and councillors needed to be given more options within a comprehensive balanced briefing.”
Mr. Jenkins likewise called for greater transparency.
“Many residents feel their concerns are falling on deaf ears and that the City and State have a planning agenda that will be implemented come what may.”
“Erskineville is blessed to have many informed and engaged residents who insist that community consultation be more than another box to be ticked on the way to an inevitable conclusion.”