New plans for Rozelle Village Pty Ltd development – high rise or high street?
I am a strong supporter of the Balmain Leagues Club and I support sustainable and appropriate development on the former club site. You may have read my recent community update about it. Since writing that letter, the developer has submitted significantly revised plans.
The new proposal more than doubles the number of apartments to a total of 304, almost triples commercial floor space and increases parking spaces to 834. The plan includes excavation of eight basement levels and construction of a five-six storey podium and three residential towers, two at 25 storeys and one at 32 storeys. Two of these towers are linked so the developer is describing them as one tower (which is why you may see reference to a development of two towers). Despite these increases, the Leagues Club will comprise less than 5% of the total development.
I love our local area with its village feel and bustling high street with boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. I am greatly concerned that this development will destroy our wonderful high street by swallowing up local business, creating traffic chaos and irreversibly changing our streetscape.
The developer's own economic impact assessment states that Balmain/Rozelle traders will suffer a loss of up to 11.2% equal to $20.4 million in turnover relative to turnover otherwise achievable at 2016. (Source: Economic Impact Assessment April 2012 p 25.)
The new plans include 13,971 square metres of retail floor space (gross floor area). Compare this to the existing total retail floor space in the Rozelle strip centre, which is currently less than 12,000 square metres. I am worried that many of our local retailers will not survive.
As Mayor of Leichhardt Council I was on the Joint Regional Planning Panel which unanimously rejected a previous application two years ago which was half the size of the current proposal. One of the main reasons for refusal was evidence showing it would create traffic gridlock. This larger development will create even more traffic.
The Liberal government refused Leichhardt Council's request to bring the decision for this development back to the community. The State Government's Planning and Assessment Commission will determine this application, leaving this important development in the hands of unaccountable government appointees rather than the local community.
My office is undertaking a comprehensive review of the proposal and I will provide continuous updates on my website, including a submission guide to assist you with writing to the Department of Planning. I encourage you to make a submission to the Department of Planning before the deadline of 18 June 2012 to ensure your opinions are heard.
Jamie Parker MP
Member for Balmain