The proposed development site at Station Street, Marrickville

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A planned 16-storey apartment block on Station Street in Marrickville has community groups and councillors up in arms.

The proposal, which has been approved by the NSW Department of Planning’s Gateway Process, exceeds current planning restrictions.

Greens councillor Max Phillips said the developer of the apartment block will create a public square in exchange for being allowed to exceed zoning limits.

“The proposal includes a Voluntary Planning Agreement where council gives the developer Station Street, the developer then raises the level up to Illawarra Road and creates a new public square,” Mr Phillips said.

“In exchange for this public benefit, the developer wants a massive exceedance from planning regulations to go from a maximum height of eight storeys to 16 storeys.”

Mr Phillips said the square would fail to provide much amenity to the general public.

“The public square actually involves the privatisation of a public street and in reality will serve as a private building forecourt,” he said.

Laura Eden convenor of Save Station Street from Developers said the development would encroach on a low-rise residential zone, affect residents’ sunlight and cut off current pedestrian access to Marrickville Station.

“They’re proposing to rezone a low residential area to accommodate part of this building. 1 Leofrene Ave is low residential, it’s a house and the developers bought this,” Ms Eden said.

“It’s going to affect a lot of residents’ solar access. It takes away our only access to Marrickville Station Platform 2.”

Council previously sent the proposal to the state government to be considered under the Gateway Process, which is designed to reduce approval times.

Labor councillor Chris Woods said the proposal has been approved by the state government and its height was excessive.

“The state Gateway Process has approved the concept in principle,” Mr Woods said.

“The major concern is that the level, the height of the building, would be far too high for the area.”

Marrickville Mayor Jo Haylen said no decisions have been made as no development application has been lodged and the community would be consulted.

“Our community don’t need to feel anxious. Council is yet to consider any formal development application,” Ms Haylen said.

“This means no decisions have been made on the height or any other aspect of this proposed development. A final decision will not be made without community consultation.”

Council will consider the proposal at the next meeting on February 4.