DevelopmentHousingNews

Shopping Village over-development – last chance for response

REDFERN: The Development Application for the Surry Hills Shopping Village site was lodged with the City of Sydney on October 8, ending speculation about just what might happen to this site on the corner of Cleveland and Baptist streets. The answer is massive over-reach by the developer, on behalf of the ultimate owner Wesfarmers, which will continue to operate a Coles supermarket in the new development.

Illustration: Proposal for Toga development on Surry Hills Shopping Village site

Whereas earlier design concepts promised the higher buildings would be at the rear of the site on Marriott Street, the DA shows the tallest buildings will be on Baptist Street. The promised new public park at the south western corner of the site, on Marriott Street, just doesn’t appear in the illustrations of the new design.

Marriott Street is already a narrow one-way street, but it will be expected to take all the traffic for the site, which will have 345 car parking spaces on three underground levels. Currently, traffic can enter the site from both Baptist Street and Marriott Street.

Residents can already easily walk between Baptist and Marriott streets through the existing ground-level carpark, but the DA makes a big claim about providing a 9-metre walkway. The public will get far less access to the site under the DA than they enjoy today.

It appears that in exchange for allowing the project to go above the existing 15-metre height limit to 25 metres (plus 2.5 metres more for design excellence), the Council has received nothing in return. The site will see 157 new residences over five levels above ground throughout, with loss of privacy for existing neighbours.

On March 20, 2017, the City of Sydney recommended the major redevelopment to the Central Sydney Planning Committee, which deals with all applications costing over $50 million. This project is costed at $149 million.

Council had proposed a concept with buildings ranging from two to seven levels, the tallest buildings facing Marriott Street, and the lowest facing Cleveland Street. That’s gone.

Given the price of apartments in inner Sydney, this redevelopment will accelerate the gentrification of the area. There are already some signs of a culture clash between public housing tenants and the higher-income shoppers at the mall.

This DA, numbered D/2018/1128, is on public exhibition until November 5, 2018 and objections must be submitted to Council before the close of business that day.

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