Posted by & filed under Inner West Independent.

The combined impact of multiple large developments in the Rozelle and Balmain area has come under increased community scrutiny.

Leichhardt Councillor Darcy Byrne has expressed concern over the impact of proposed developments at the Balmain Leagues Club on Victoria Rd, the Anka site at Terry St, and the Nutrimetics Site at Elliot St.

“There are now more than 600 units, 1200 car parking spaces and a shopping mall being proposed for one tiny precinct in Rozelle,” he said, arguing the effect would be a “perfect storm” of overdevelopment.

Rozelle Village is currently proposing a three-tower complex on the site of the Leagues Club and its application is before the Planning Assessment Commission.

The Anka development, a residential complex, is currently on public exhibition until June 13.

Meanwhile, Roche Group has lodged an appeal against the rejection of their proposal for the Nutrimetric site by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

President of the Balmain Rozelle Chamber of Commerce, Jodie Stewart, said the collective impact of the Leagues Club and Anka site is concerning, noting traffic and parking effects.

She said the developments’ impact studies have not considered each other.

Managing Director of Rozelle Village, Ian Wright, said they have assessed the combined impact of traffic from the Leagues Club and the Anka site.

He did not provide other instances of collective assessment.

He said an expected reduction in the Anka site’s density allows for more traffic to be generated by the Leagues Club.

He said as per the Director- General’s requirements their traffic assessment has accounted for the stretch of Victoria Rd from the Iron Cove Bridge to Anzac Bridge, including adjoining roads.

If a development is occurring within that section, then its traffic impact has been modelled.

Ms Stewart said it was hard to believe the traffic assessments provided for both the Leagues Club and the Anka site and questioned where they acquired their figures.

Leichhardt Mayor Rochelle Porteous said she was under the impression the Director-General’s requirements adopted only a ‘corridor’ perspective which only paid attention to the major arteries instead of a ‘network’ approach where all roads are assessed.

She said a network approach should be adopted to account for likely ‘rat-running’, where commuters use residential roads to overcome congestion on main roads.

She said the council has engaged traffic consultants to analyse the Leagues Club assessment using a network method.

Ms Stewart said the Chamber was against major retailers accompanying the developments, as this would harm already struggling small businesses.

Ms Porteous said Leichhardt Council has repeatedly called on the Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay, and the Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard, to adopt a cumulative assessment of the developments in the area, including the White Bay Cruise Terminal site.

She said both White Bay, to be completed in January, and the Leagues Club have not considered the impact of other sites.

A Sydney Ports spokesperson said a cumulative impact assessment was conducted as part of its Environmental
Assessment Report.

The study included a traffic evaluation of major developments within White Bay’s vicinity.

The assessment also took into account any nearby developments which had been approved or considered but not yet constructed.

Ms Porteous said she is also worried about the impact on community resources such as aged care, child care, recreational and sporting facilities.

She said the Leichhardt Municipality has the fourth highest population density in Australia and any increase in population strains these services.

When asked whether Leichhardt Council is considering a policy to mitigate the cumulative impact of
developments, Ms Porteous did not provide a clear response.

Roche Group and Anka did not return the Inner West Independent’s calls.

Leichhardt Council will host a public meeting on the Anka site tonight (Thursday, May 24) at Balmain Town Hall.