Residents share concerns about One Sydney Park development
A development application for 390 apartments and a retail complex has raised deep concerns from local community groups Friends of Erskineville (FoE) and Alexandria Residents Action Group. The project lies within the block containing the much-loved Sydney Park.
The land in question had been used as light industrial but was earmarked over 20 years ago to eventually be purchased by council and incorporated into the park, which unfortunately never happened.
Last month, FoE held a “community inspection” of the site, attended by Councillors Linda Scott and Jess Miller, representatives of the developer Hailiang Property Group (HPG), and a few dozen residents. Residents felt that Sydney Park was being “chipped away” and that the land should be preserved as parkland to provide a buffer and compensate for the loss of 1.4 hectares carved off to make way for WestConnex.
Journalist Wendy Bacon also spoke about the dangerous air pollution for residents resulting from the exhaust stack only 300 metres away. She said that the particulate matter levels would be above national goals.
Apartments facing onto Euston Road will be exposed to high traffic noise from seven lanes of motorway traffic and hence require double glazing. Then to provide fresh air, ventilation chimneys are proposed to funnel air from the top of the building into the apartments. This air may be even more polluted due to being closely matched in height to the top of the WestConnex exhaust stack.
The developer pointed out it was providing free community space for the Sydney Fringe Festival. Residents requested that HPG write to the Premier requesting filtering of the exhaust stack but HPG was reluctant.
Even before the approval of the final plans, around 40 apartments have been sold off the plan. Previously, the City of Sydney opposed the early concept plan, but was over-ruled by the state government appointees on the Central Sydney Planning Committee. This highlights the extreme imbalance of power in the planning system which muffles community views.