Overdevelopment issue hot in Erskineville as Council elections approach
Over 200 residents saw detailed presentations by senior Council planners and FoE volunteers, followed by a Q&A session. City Councillors Irene Doutney (Greens) and Meredith Burgmann (Labor) were in attendance, and showed their support for residents. The major concerns are traffic, flooding, and inadequate public transport and other services.
The controversy is continuing from last year’s directive from the NSW Government to allow 19 storey towers on the site. 500 residents submitted objections to the plan, which the State Government has yet to rule out. The directive was the result of representations from the site’s major landowners, (Macquarie) Goodman and Leightons. Leightons is currently under investigation by the Federal Police for possible ethical breaches in Iraq contracts, while both companies have a history of developer donations to City Councillors.
At present, the Council is pushing for a 9 storey compromise plan, open for comment until the end of February. Council has already received many objections, and many more are expected. The 19 storey plan is widely viewed as an ambit, and residents resolved to retain the existing controls of 5 storeys. Other resolutions calling for a detailed traffic study, a stormwater upgrade, improved public transport and other community services were passed.
The meeting was reminded of the strong history of local activism that had previously saved the school, the public housing estate, and a key park during the Green Bans era.
More information is available on the Friends of Erskineville’s website: www.erskinevillevillage.org