I contributed this article to the internal NSW Greens newspaper Green Mail (March 2006) …
The Carlton United Brewery site is about to be redeveloped - will it be an icon of urban renewal or a modern inner city slum?
The Carlton United Brewery (CUB) site is a 5.7 hectare industrial site and the former home of The Kent Brewery but in more recent times it was known as the Carlton & United Brewery. It stands adjacent to the suburb of Chippendale, a short walk from the city.Before the Sydney City Council was elected in 2004, virtually every non-Labor candidate promised that there would be a new process of consultation with the community in order to set planning controls for the site that would be sustainable and in sympathy with neighbouring Chippendale.
After the election I was elected to the Central Sydney Planning Committee (CSPC), which deals with developments over $50M.
The CSPC is a considerable workload because it involves another set of briefings and meetings aside from the council process. It consists of three councillors and four government representatives.
I had hoped that between myself, Clover Moore and Deputy Mayor John McInerney, we could achieve a reasonable set of planning controls over the CUB site. However, this was not to be the case and I resigned from the CSPC in August last year over what I saw as a “sell-out” by Independent councillors on the car-parking ratio, floor space ratio and height controls.
So what happened? An independent study commissioned by the Council recommended a parking ratio of 0.57 spaces per apartment, but the Council representatives on the Committee, the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, and Deputy Lord Mayor, John McInerney supported the current Local Environment Plan allowing a car-parking space ration of 0.97. This translates to an extra 800 cars –a huge environmental impact.
After extensive communication with residents in the area it was clear to me that many wanted an even lower ratio, but 0.57 seemed a realistic compromise since about half the households in Chippendale currently do not own a car, and locals commonly walk, cycle or use public transport.
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