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Central to Eveleigh corridor controversy resurfaces

Community group Redwatch has expressed concern about the future of heritage-listed buildings in the Redfern-Waterloo area.

The group fears many heritage sites will be removed under the NSW Government’s Central to Eveleigh corridor development.

Last week, an updated computer-generated simulation of the proposed Central to Eveleigh development was released. The simulation, also known as a flythrough, left out five heritage-listed buildings.

These buildings’ absence in the flythrough implies they will be removed during the project, according to Redwatch members.

The buildings include The New Locomotive Workshop, The Works Managers office, The Chief Mechanical Engineers Building, the Scientific Services Building, The Telecommunications Equipment Centre and The Paint Shop. According to Redwatch, these make up the majority of the heritage-listed buildings in Eveleigh.

The updated flythrough did, however, show the removal of a controversial high-rise that had originally been proposed in the middle of the Locomotive Workshops at the Australian Technology Park.

Redwatch spokesperson Geoff Turnbull told City Hub the group is very concerned about the developments.

“Most of these important heritage sites will now be destroyed or replaced by high rise buildings,” he said.

Redwatch had access to an earlier flythrough in March of this year. When the group complained about the removal of the heritage sites, they were told by UrbanGrowth NSW that the missing buildings in the early flythrough did not mean the removal of the buildings would appear in final plans.

UrbanGrowth NSW is the governmental body responsible for the development.

Mr Turnbull said that now they have found out the buildings are still missing in the updated flythrough, he feels the group may have been misled.

“They told us the original plans weren’t indicative of how the development would turn out but now they’ve released an updated one with the same problems. This is very concerning to us,” he said.

UrbanGrowth NSW told City Hub that the updated flythrough was also not related to the final plans for the proposal.

“The representation of buildings in the flythrough does not constitute a planning proposal for development at Central to Eveleigh,” a spokesperson said.

“No development proposals have been prepared for any buildings, and any proposal in relation to heritage would most certainly involve community consultation.”

Mr Turnbull also said the entire process of the Central to Eveleigh development planning had left out consultation with residents and with the community.

“We are now twelve months on since this development was proposed and there has still been no broad-based discussion or community engagement between the Central to Eveleigh team and our community,” he said.

“They held some random focus groups and they have had two sessions with residents groups, but they have been very tightly focused around the issues that they want to talk about, rather than the issues the community wants to discuss.”

UrbanGrowth NSW disputed this claim.

“UrbanGrowth NSW has consulted widely with the community from November 2013 to September 2014 to gain valuable inputs into the corridor masterplanning process we are about to undertake,” a spokesperson said.

“We value the important role of Redwatch in the community and they have been involved in every round of engagement, including a one-on-one discussion with them in September 2014.”

 

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