OpinionReaders' Letters

‘Manhattanisation’ of Sydney Uni!

The “Manhattanisation” of the University of Sydney is happening apace! What were once distinctive, pleasant grounds of some heritage import, friendly to locals and wildlife, are about to have one of their last tiny green buffers, between the University and the Darlington community on Shepherd Street, replaced by another invasive and overbearing multi-storey building. This edifice will also remove one of the last internal parking areas, and force the last of the businesses’ cars onto our local streets. Removal of the rear of the intact row of heritage Victorian terraces on Darlington Avenue is also scheduled. Every year or so, the University selects one of its few remaining open spaces and builds, or replaces the native vegetation with hard landscaping. The cumulative effect of this creeping increase in site density is detrimental to the local communities with whom it allegedly shares its campus, and to its own staff and students. I would hope that full site heritage and wildlife impact studies of the campus have been required. The campus seems subject to fewer planning regulations than a single apartment block! A massive document, Campus Improvement Program for the Camperdown-Darlington Campus for 2014-2020, has been submitted to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure for approval, without community consultation. I doubt local communities will support these infrastructure changes increasing the density of the University campus, including proposals to double the site floor space to 97,000sqm, and house more than 10,000 students over seven years. We will be uniting in strident objection!

Alexandra Rivers

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