Residents are concerned about a proposed development in Glebe which is anticipated to cause a spike in the area’s traffic and housing density.
Over 150 community members convened on Saturday, February 4 to discuss the Harold Park Raceway site which is expected to add 1,250 units, a supermarket, gym and retail businesses to the area.
The development application submitted by developer Mirvac includes a number of eight-storey residential blocks.
FLAG – Residents Impacted by Harold Park, The Glebe Society, Hands Off Glebe and several local councillors attended the community meeting. While there was consensus on the need for more affordable housing in the area, many voiced concerns about the increased traffic to be generated by the mixed-use site.
A member of FLAG, Andrew Rolfe said the community is not opposed to developing the site. “It’s a good thing to have medium density housing near the city, but they have to show the community it can be done sustainably for traffic.”
“Traffic around our area is already congested on weekday mornings. We feel 3,000 more residents is going to overload the system. It’s up to Council and Mirvac to prove that will not happen,” Mr Rolfe said.
Locals are most concerned about the potential pressures on infrastructure caused by an influx of new residents and visitors to the suburb.
Greens MP and member for Balmain, Jamie Parker, has been at the forefront of community discussions. He said the full impact of traffic to the site needed to be assessed through a micro-simulation traffic study.
“Without such a study the full effects of this development cannot be properly understood,” he said.
Chris Newton, a long-term resident of Glebe, said one issue that is not being addressed is the site’s flooding problems.
“The Harold Park site is a recognised flood area that comes up from the canal through the centre of the site to Wigram Rd. If a rise in the canal due to heavy La Nina-type rainfall coincides with a king tide or equinox, [the site] will flood, as it did in 1985,” she said.
Mr Rolfe said the potential for flooding on the site was only recently brought to FLAG’s attention, but it is an issue the Council and Mirvac should investigate.
FLAG has spoken out about the building heights and will fight to ensure Mirvac complies with the current building height restrictions.
The community group will attend a meeting with the Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP, on March 7 to discuss residents’ concerns.
The event will be attended by appointed state officials including Craig Knowles, Richard Pearson, Robert Webster and Sydney councillors Di Tornai and John McInerney.
By Rebecca Cleaver