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Rosebery rising

Local of Rosebery, June Buchanan. Photo: supplied.

BY JADE MORELLINI

Residents of Rosebery are concerned with the City of Sydney Council’s proposed changes to the planning controls for 102 – 106 Dunning Avenue.
The Council plans to increase the height restriction from 18 to 29 metres, change the sites land zoning and increase the site density by 40%.

Rosebery resident, June Buchanan disagrees with this proposal, saying, “It is certainly appalling the way they are just totally taking away the character of Rosebery by overriding the heights that were agreed on. Residents have a right to live in their chosen environment and we have been swamped by a building frenzy, it’s just crazy.”

In 1912 a covenant was created to protect Rosebery from over development. It stated that anyone who buys a residential lot in the estate could only build a one-storey, double fronted cottage.

Local historian John Scott told Fairfax Media, “The owner of the planning company, Richard Stanton, had seen the slums in London and in Surry Hills and wanted Rosebery to be different. Stanton, who also designed Haberfield, didn’t want an ugly collection of different sized buildings. He thought people living on top of each other would become, what he called, slumdogs.”

Not only is it a problem of removing a part of the community’s history, but it will also pose a problem for the environment.

President of Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage and Residents Society and commentator on DA’s across Sydney, Andrew Woodhouse pointed out that by increasing the building height, it will “reduce breeze ways, decrease natural light, increase overshadowing, reduce amenity and increase traffic, while failing to provide new infrastructure or additional open space. The low-scale village ambience will be destroyed and vertical sums created.”

The City of Sydney Council believes these changes could be a positive thing, allowing for the future development of about 120 residential units, affordable rental houses, retail and commercial spaces. Unfortunately, many locals still don’t agree.

Spokesperson for the Rosebery Action Group, Wayne Moody said, “I think we have lost our community. Over-crowding creates stress as we fight over space, parking, amenities, the roads are full, the parks are full. Now nearly everyone has had to leave Rosebery, where they used to work, because they keep pulling down the light industrial buildings and building more units.”

Buchanan agrees, “Absolutely not, Rosebery does not need extra housing. They have provided Green Square, which is over a 30-storey building, which still hasn’t been inhabited yet. They’ve also got another one under construction which is going to be at least as high – it is madness! No, they cannot support more people. Rental properties, yes, but don’t do it in Rosebery, it will be overcrowded, there’s a building frenzy and there’s no infrastructure.”

They want the Government to put more into the infrastructure of Rosebery, rather than create more rental properties.

“The government has not provided one extra bit of infrastructure. I moved into the area December 2009 and there used to be about two or three of us catching the train from Green Square into the city but now you’re lucky if you can squeeze onto the train. The 309 and 310 buses have not increased their regularity and so you still have to wait far too long for those buses to come along, and the M20 finishes going to Botany at around 8:30 at night and so its just an appalling lack of infrastructure,” Buchanan said.

“We have lost control over development. The State Government has got so much control over the development, it’s out of control and the councils who represent locals have no say or cannot stop it. We used to be a suburb where you could walk to work. That’s why it was planned that way by Stanton’s vision,” Moody said.

“The proposal is unsustainable and unacceptable. Good town planning requires the Three Cs, namely; clarity, certainty and consistency. This proposal has neither and is therefore bad planning. It should be refused,” Woodhouse said.

The City of Sydney Council are inviting locals to submit their feedback on the proposed changes to the planning controls by 5pm on Wednesday 11th April via email.

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