BY JESSICA DE VERA
Yet another precinct in Marrickville may be about to fall victim to a stint of over-development, courtesy of property giant Mirvac.
The Sydney-based company has submitted a proposal for new high-density redevelopments on Carrington Road, although the Inner West Council has deemed the initial plans unacceptable.
Mayor of Inner West Council Darcy Byrne said, “The scale of this over development is enormous. It would allow for approximately 2600 new residential units in buildings of up to 35 storeys.
“It is crucial that we protect and retain key industrial land and promote creative industries. This proposal does exactly the opposite.”
The $2 billion rezoning proposal is looking to redevelop approximately 7.8 hectares, eliminating industrial businesses and putting 1400 jobs at risk.
Anthony Albanese, MP for Grayndler (the federal electorate covering Sydney’s inner west) and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, said, “There are IT companies in that industrial area of Marrickville that are creative, are creating jobs and are boosting our national economy as well as the vibrancy of the local community.
”Companies like Erth Visual & Physical, and Empress Stilt Dance produce things like a 2.7-metre-high T. Rex walk-in puppet for creative use.“
The Council received the Planning Proposal for the site on 22 May 2017. An overview of the construction project was provided at the most recent Council meeting for their consideration.
Council officers undertook a preliminary assessment of the proposal and advised Mirvac in a letter that the current proposal is unacceptable, and that additional information is required.
A further report will be provided to Council once that information has been received and a detailed assessment of the proposal has been carried out.
Wollongong University academic Chris Gibson, lead author of ‘Made in Marrickville: Enterprise and cluster dynamics at the creative industries-manufacturing interface, Carrington Road Precinct’, conducted several studies of the Carrington Road Precinct to inform government planners of the dangers of rezoning an industrial hub that has been thriving for 90 years.
The report presents the idea that, contrary to popular opinion, Australian manufacturing is not in decline but “hidden in plain sight”, and these industrial and creative hubs in Marrickville contribute to the area’s vitality and livability.
Mr. Albanese has made similar comments in public statements, saying that “developers need to understand that the key to successful urban redevelopment is bringing the local community with them. Their projects need to complement the suburban landscape, not dominate it.
“I certainly believe in higher densities close to public transport corridors, but what we’re seeing with the arrogant state government in New South Wales is an attempt to change the landscape of the city in a way that will destroy the vibrancy of communities. Along the Sydenham to Bankstown line is the industrial area of Marrickville. It currently plays an important role.”
Community groups such as Save Marrickville South have emerged on social media platforms in attempts to raise awareness around what the proposal will mean for the area.
The community currently has the support of the Council, but since the rezoning proposals are in their early stages, residents aren’t completely convinced that the support will withstand.
Marrickville resident Bobby Giblets said, “I believe that Mirvac’s proposal will be approved, subject to Council conditions that will hopefully reduce the scale of the development to something more reasonable.
“The scale and size of the development is ridiculous and has no regard for the high value of current commercial and industrial utility of the area. The Victoria precinct proposal bears little comparison. I think the Labor party should and will oppose the scale of the development via Darcy Byrne and Jo Haylen.”
The Council will be holding a public meeting on the Carrington Street proposal this Thursday, October 19. Mr. Albanese will not be attending the meeting, but has issued a statement saying he “will campaign with the community against such an over-development proposal.
“Marrickville has a character to it, and the idea that you can go into an area of Marrickville that has one and two-storey heritage houses, which families live in, and just change that to 28 storeys is, quite frankly, absurd.
“I say too, as I said to the Property Council last week: developers have an important role to play, but they will face the anger and fury of local communities if they put greed above the interests of those local communities.”
Mirvac did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.