Submission guide for the Harold Park development

There are currently four (4) development applications on exhibition with the City of Sydney detailing the first stages of the development.

Background to Applications

In June 2009, The City of Sydney resolved to commence the rezoning of the Harold
Park Paceway and Former Rozelle Tram Depot site (Harold Park) to allow for residential development.

Leichhardt Council, the Glebe Society and other organisations expressed their strong concerns relating to several aspects of this redevelopment proposal.

In November the Planning Proposal for the site was exhibited and later adopted. The Plan outlines the general arrangement of dwellings on the site: heights, parking provision etc. This is not an approval for the development but rather provides a planning framework for the development applications that will be lodged to construct the development.

There are currently four (4) development applications on exhibition with the City of Sydney detailing the first stages of the development. The development applications include:
Precincts 1 & 2
465 new dwellings in residential apartment buildings
6 residential buildings
Ranging from 5 to 8 storeys

Below are images of the buildings that are the subject of these development applications.

The Planning proposal set out the following details:

1,250 new dwellings in residential apartment buildings ranging from 3 to 8 storeys

1,000 sqm for affordable and seniors housing (land only no buildings)

7565sqm non-residential floor space (7,500m2 of retail floor space within the Tram Sheds and 65m2 of retail floor space in Precinct 2.

3.8ha public open space

Restoration of heritage listed Former Rozelle tram-sheds and dedication of 500sqm of internal space as a community facility

Creation of an internal street network, including connections to the surrounding network

Approximately 1375 car spaces

Important issues for submissions

Excessive Height

The Planning Proposal provides for very large building of a significant heights. At an absolute minimum the development applications should comply with the height limits set by the Planning Proposal.

These development applications are higher than proposed. The RTA has required an increased set back of the buildings from Minogue Crescent so the developer has increased the heights over the upper limits from 5 and 7 stories up to 8 stories. The 8 story limit was to be the maximum on selected areas on the site but now the developer is attempting to introduce 8 stories in these buildings where the heights were only 5 and 7 stories. These changes impose even further view loss impacts especially in terms of buildings above the escarpment.

This should be strongly opposed and sets a terrible precedent for the rest of the development applications yet to come.

The heights outlined in the Planning Proposal are already excessive. To allow the current development applications to breach the current heights should be absolutely rejected as they provide overwhelming visual bulk scale and will constitute an over development of the site.

Insufficient details on traffic impacts

Considering this is one of the largest and most significant developments in the inner west it is essential that a comprehensive network analysis be conducted to understand the full traffic impacts.

It is clear that there will be increased traffic congestion at major intersections; infiltration of through-traffic into residential areas; increased pedestrian and bicycle movements across The Crescent; and parking overflow into adjacent residential areas.

The Crescent/CityWest Link and The Crescent/Johnston Street in particular already provide poor service and will be further burdened by the development.

The current inadequate traffic study already indicates over 700 additional vehicle movements per hour on the weekend peak. The impact of these movements on the broader network can only be fully understood with a micro simulation model.

The current boundary traffic analysis is weak and does not provide the comprehensive analysis required. Micro simulations such as Paramics have been used for a range of developments in the area (including the proposed Tigers development) and have shown previously unmodelled impacts on the traffic network.

A micro simulation should include analysis on intersections such as Booth Street/Wigram Road and the intersection of The City West Link with both The Crescent and Victoria Road. This analysis should include the cumulative impacts of all proposed developments in the vicinity of the Bays Precinct.

A development of this size must have a full micro simulation model developed in order to understand the impact of the proposal on the wider network including streets to the Crescent, Parramatta road as well as local streets in Glebe/Forest Lodge and Annandale.

Traffic Generation
The developer has put forward several strategies for reducing traffic generation:
Introduction of on-site car share car spaces
Signalisation of the main site access with The Crescent/Minogue Crescent
Provision of a Green Travel Plan
A restrictive on-site parking policy
Proximity to the light rail

Leichhardt Council has examined these strategies and has identified several points regarding traffic generation. There is no measure of the effectiveness of the strategies outlined by the developer in reducing the site’s traffic generation. Several of the limitations of the developer's approach are outlined below:

A restrictive on-site parking policy may reduce the development’s traffic generation but it is likely to disperse overflow parking into adjacent streets. This is of particular concern because much of the existing adjacent kerbside parking supply is “unrestricted”. Should restrictive kerbside controls be placed in adjacent Glebe/Forest Lodge streets this may force parking further afield.

The increase in patronage of over 40% in the last 12 months and currently proposed extension of the light rail to Dulwich Hill will substantially expand its catchment. This will attract additional commuters from the inner west, with a limited service frequency (6 trains per hour) potentially resulting in carriages being crowded or even full before they reach Jubilee Park Station (adjacent to the development).

Without detail on the proposed use of car share systems, both in terms of provision of on-site spaces for car share operators and the negotiation of discount and/or incentive schemes for residents and employees of the site, it is not possible to clearly ascertain their likely effectiveness.

Similarly, the two-page Green Travel Plan which proposed strategies such as the provision of walking maps is inadequate and contains no assessment of its overall impact on traffic generation.

The development is highly likely to generate negative traffic and parking impacts and the developer's proposed 'solutions' are woefully inadequate. There is no assessment of the impact of the proposed plans on traffic generation and no detailed rigorous justification for the claims of public transport use.

The claims by the developer that there are methods to reduce traffic generation are untested and weak. They should be discounted until there is a detailed micro analysis and full assessment of the impact of each proposal.

Stairway access to Toxteth Road, Boyce Street and Arcadia Road

We object to the provision of future stairway access for the site to the southern ends of Toxteth Road, Boyce Street and Arcadia Road, for the following reason:
This will unreasonably impact on local resident amenity by allowing both visitors and residents of the Harold Park development to park in local streets.

Steps should be taken to minimise impacts on local residents from the scale and density of the development by excluding the proposed stairway to Toxteth Road, Boyce Street and Arcadia Road.

Vehicle access to Maxwell Street

The development applications propose the provision of vehicle access into and out of the site at Maxwell Street. This access will be through part of the land dedicated as public open space and will compromise the safe use us of this space.

Vehicle access was specifically excluded under the development proposal agreed by the City of Sydney but the developer is proposing to breach the already excessive provisions by proposing vehicle access. Over 100 students and staff use the Maxwell Road entrance to the College in the same weekday peak morning period as the school and light rail users.

The developer is again seeking to breach the limits set by the already overly generous planning proposal and should be strongly opposed. Vehicle access to Maxwell Street should be removed in order to maximise the value of public open space and reduce the risk of serious vehicle/pedestrian conflict in Maxwell Street.

Ill defined public open space
The approved Planning Proposal includes provision for a full size sporting field as requested by a wide range of community groups and Leichhardt Council.

Before the approval process begins for this site there must be clear process in place to ensure open space provision is available for sporting groups and that the public space be organised in a manner that maximises public access.

The provision of public open space including sporting facilities must be resolved at this stage before the development application process commences to:

Ensure that recreation space is available for sporting groups

Ensure that there be a public road frontage to the playing fields to increase public access and guard against privatization of these spaces by local Harold Park residents

Affordable/seniors housing
The current plan only provides 1000sqm of land dedicated for the use of affordable/seniors housing. The Harold Park Development Control Plan states that the final project will deliver up to 5,500m2 Gross Floor Area of affordable and seniors housing while the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) only agrees to a minimum of 1,000m2 of land for affordable and seniors housing. The VPA is a contract between the developer and the City of Sydney. This is an inadequate amount of land which robs the community of an assurance that this development does not become a high income enclave lacking in housing diversity.

This proposed social benefit (as well as sporting fields and community facilities) has not been included in these development applications but rather has been proposed for 'a later date'. This response is inadequate as these measures must be clearly defined and committed to ensure confidence that they will be delivered to a sufficiently high standard to meet the objectives of the planning proposal.

Before the development application process begins the developer should identify the exact location and amount of land to be dedicated to affordable and seniors housing.

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